国際・政治: ずくなしの冷や水

2019年01月11日

‘Era of American shame over’: Pompeo delivers ‘good news’ of US ‘liberators’ returning to Mideast

RT2019/1/11
‘Era of American shame over’: Pompeo delivers ‘good news’ of US ‘liberators’ returning to Mideast
In his keynote speech in Cairo, the Secretary of State continued with Trump-era policy of not just refusing to read the room, but baiting the audience with cocksure declarations of American greatness verging on the evangelical.

“It’s the truth, lower-case ‘t,’ that I’m here to talk about today. It is a truth that isn’t often spoken in this part of the world, but because I’m a military man by training, I’ll be very blunt and direct today: America is a force for good in the Middle East,” started off Pompeo, part stern homespun preacher, part P.T. Barnum getting the show back on the road.

And what’s the best way of drawing customers to your circus (or church)? It’s definitely not focusing on granular analysis of intractable centuries-old geopolitical problems, or admitting that you are just a tawdry freak show.

‘A liberating force, not an occupying power’

Instead, the wholesome and magic-filled Mike was all about “the good news,” America’s “innate good”, a “bright future”, and boasts bordering on the hard sell.

“America has always been, and always will be, a liberating force, not an occupying power. We’ve never dreamed of domination in the Middle East. Can you say the same about Iran?” asked Pompeo, almost as if expecting pantomime-style boos from his audience.

“In World War II, American GIs helped free North Africa from Nazi occupation. Fifty years later, we assembled a coalition to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Would the Russians or Chinese come to your rescue in the same way, the way that we have?” cue more inaudible jeers.

Any problems – well that was “another American that stood before you”. The last pastor didn’t just “gravely misread” history, he perhaps collaborated with Satan himself, when he took the shape of Iran.

“He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed, quote, ‘a new beginning,’ end of quote,” said Pompeo in reference to Barack Obama’s speech in the same city in 2009, but refusing to mention him by name, perhaps lest he be summoned.

“What did we learn from all of this? We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. And when we partner with enemies, they advance.”

But now the flock will be arighted, continued Pompeo, a politician who has unironically spoken in public about his belief in the coming Rapture.

“The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real new beginning.”
‘Robust humanitarian aid’ for Yemen & ‘peace’ for Syria

But Obama has not been president for two years – haven’t most of the problems he left behind still remained?

What about Yemen, for example, which according to the UN – and even US allies - continues to be the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crisis, with millions starving and displaced.

“In Yemen, we’ve assisted our coalition partners as they take the lead in preventing an Iranian expansion that would be disastrous for world trade and regional security. As is always the case with America, our engagement has also been coupled with robust humanitarian aid.”

Syria and Iraq? “Life is returning to normal for millions of Iraqis and Syrians. Nations in the global coalition should all be enormously proud of this achievement. Together we have saved thousands of lives.”

Islamic State? “Life under ISIS was real hell, a living hell on Earth. Today, those areas are liberated, thanks to our coalition’s power and might and commitment.”

In fact, almost everything has been sorted - “When the mission is over, when the job is complete, America leaves,” said Pompeo, bragging about the reduced contingents in the region.
Speaking in tongues

Of course, almost any politician making a speech in the Middle East is obliged to put a glossy spin on the situation, if they don’t want to just collapse on the floor and wail in futility for forty minutes instead.

But the benefits of the new Pentecostal style of diplomacy, based on mass delusions and leaps of faith are less obvious. A penny for the thoughts of the Egyptians in the audience – some of whom no doubt came in with sympathetic trepidation to listen to the powerful foreign official, who ended his speech by blessing his audience.

Did they feel blessed? Is the US a church they believe in? Do they want to continue watching the shows from the same ringmaster?

Igor Ogorodnev, RT
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 19:09| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ロシアが外貨準備をドルから人民元などにシフト

人民元が持ち直しています。


ファナックの3年間価格推移


村田製作所の3年間価格推移


人民元高は、ドルを捨てて人民元やユーロ、地域通貨による決済が広がっていますから当然の動きです。

上にグラフを掲げた企業は国際優良銘柄といわれるものですよね。外国人が売っている? 日銀は吸収できていませんね。

彼らは何か大きな経済変動を見込んでいる?

RT2019/1/10
Russia shifts $100bn of its reserves into yuan, yen & euro in a great dollar dump
The Central Bank of Russia has moved further away from reliance on the US dollar and has axed its share in the country’s foreign reserves to a historic low, transferring about $100 billion into euro, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.

The share of the US currency in Russia’s international reserves portfolio has dramatically decreased in just three months between March and June 2018, from 43.7 percent to a new low of 21.9 percent, according to the Central Bank’s latest quarterly report, which is issued with a six-month lag.

The money pulled from the dollar reserves was redistributed to increase the share of the euro to 32 percent and the share of Chinese yuan to 14.7 percent. Another 14.7 percent of the portfolio was invested in other currencies, including the British pound (6.3 percent), Japanese yen (4.5 percent), as well as Canadian (2.3 percent) and Australian (1 percent) dollars.

The Central Bank's total assets in foreign currencies and gold increased by $40.4 billion from July 2017 to June 2018, reaching $458.1 billion.


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 13:26| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Police deny top lawmen carried casket of crime boss after viral funeral

RT2019/1/10
Police deny top lawmen carried casket of crime boss after viral funeral VIDEO
A video of a huge procession in Russia’s Far East went viral over a claim that it showed the funeral of a local crime lord, and his casket being carried by the city’s police chief and top prosecutor.

On Tuesday, there was a big funeral in Amursk, a city of some 40,000 located in Russia’s Khabarovsk region. The deceased person was said to be a career criminal in life with numerous convictions, local police confirmed without naming the man.

According to a video of the event published on the social media, the man was better known under his criminal nickname Zaruba and he was the head of organized crime in Amursk. His influence in the city was so great that the head of the city police force and the senior prosecutor were allegedly present at the funeral and carried the casket while road police stopped traffic.

The video quickly went viral and sparked understandable outrage among internet users, who were not happy to learn that modern Russia is not far removed from Al Capone’s Chicago. Except their anger may be misplaced.

Regional police launched an investigation and are now saying the claims are not true. The prosecutor was not even in the city on the day of the funeral, said the Interior Ministry’s branch in Khabarovsk, the region’s capital which oversees the police department in Amursk. The police chief was not at the funeral and the traffic police didn’t stop traffic but fined procession members who disrupted it, the statement said.

“The person, who posted the video and the comments, has been identified. He is known to the police. He was summoned for an interview and failed to explain why he did it,” a spokesperson for the police branch in Khabarovsk told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Police demanded the original publication of the video be deleted, but given its viral fame copies are still widely available. Law enforcement is considering filing a libel lawsuit against the author, the spokesperson said.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:16| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月09日

サウジがスーダンの子どもをイエメンの前線に送っている

TRT World認証済みアカウント @trtworldの17:15 - 2019年1月8日のツイート
Reports accuse Saudi Arabia of recruiting child soldiers from Sudan to fight its war in Yemen. Riyadh denies the claims #StraitTalk

https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/1082551228251267073
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:26| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月08日

Commander: Iraqi Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to US Attacks

FARSNEWS2019/1/8
Commander: Iraqi Popular Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to US Attacks
TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary-general of Iraq's al-Nujaba popular movement underlined preparedness to give a strong response to any possible US attack on Iraqi forces.

"If the US targets the Iraqi forces, we will give them a crushing response. Our response will not merely be confined to missile attacks as they think but we will approach them so closely and will give them a surprising and proper response and God will help us," al-Ka'abi said in an interview with the Persian-language Ettela'at newspaper on Tuesday.

He also reminded of the Iraqi popular forces' assistance to the Syrian army in the fight against the terrorist groups, and said, "We have also declared to our brothers in Ansarullah (in Yemen) that we are ready to stand beside them on all humanitarian, military and other scenes."

Al-Ka'abi, meantime, expressed confidence that Ansarullah forces are themselves capable of defeating al-Saud, the US and the Zionists.

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced late last month of his decision to withdraw forces from Syria immediately.

But, later other US officials modified the position by saying that the pullout would be done under specific conditions. Also media reports said that the US is reinvigorating its bases in Western Iraq.

An informed source said on Saturday that a large number of state-of-the-art US-made weapons had been dispatched to Ein al-Assad airbase in al-Anbar province.

"A number of US military planes, carrying weapons and military equipment, arrived at Ein al-Assad airbase in al-Baghdadi region in the town of Hit in Western al-Ramadi. No reason has yet been cited for these flights to the airbase and the details about the weapons which are said to be advanced," the source was quoted as saying by Iraq's al-Wa'e news agency.

He added that a few days ago, a large number of US military vehicles had also arrived at Ein al-Assad, noting that the American forces take assistance from the security companies for transferring military equipment to their positions in Iraq and the military men are sent to different places on planes.

Iraq's Ein al-Assad airbase hosted US President Donald Trump on December 26 before the New Year. Trump underlined in his remarks that he did not intend to withdraw forces from Iraq at all.


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:11| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Taliban Call off Peace Talks with US Officials

FARSNEWS2019/1/8
Taliban Call off Peace Talks with US Officials
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Taliban said on Tuesday they had canceled planned peace talks with US officials in Qatar this week over an agenda disagreement.

“Both sides have agreed to not meet in Qatar,” senior Taliban members based in Afghanistan told Reuters.

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters.

The Taliban had rejected requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the discussion.


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:04| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月06日

US troop pullout from Syria conditional on Turkey's security guarantees for Kurds - Bolton

RT2019/1/6
US troop pullout from Syria conditional on Turkey's security guarantees for Kurds - Bolton
US forces will not leave Syria until Turkey guarantees the safety of US-backed Kurdish militias, National Security Advisor John Bolton has said, as cited by AP. He added that there was no timetable for a US withdrawal.

According to Bolton, US President Donald Trump told him that he would “not allow Turkey to kill the Kurds.”

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum, so they don’t endanger our troops but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” he said.

Bolton also stressed there was no set timetable for US withdrawal from Syria, adding that Washington was not interested in maintaining a long-term military presence in the country.

“The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement,” he noted.

Bolton’s statements provoked a critical response from Ankara. It is “irrational” to claim that Turkey targets Kurds in its operations, the Turkish president’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, adding that the Turkish military campaign is aimed against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as well as against the Kurdish YPG and PKK groups, which Ankara sees as terrorists.

Turkey’s goal is to “save the Kurds” from persecution by these “terrorist organizations,” Kalin said, and that any claim that these groups might represent the Kurdish people was showing “disrespect to our Kurdish brothers.” He also made it clear that Ankara is not intending to stop its military campaign as he said that “Turkey will continue its efforts with determination.”

Bolton made his comments while on a visit to Jerusalem, where he is meeting with Israeli officials to explain Donald Trump’s sudden announcement last month that American forces stationed in Syria would be coming home.

Trump had previously stated that the US’ sole mission in Syria – the defeat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) – had been completed. Bolton’s statement appears to add a new condition before withdrawing: receiving assurances from Ankara that US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria will not face an assault from Turkish forces.

Although Trump vowed to bring US troops home as soon as possible, bitter disagreements between Washington and Ankara over the status of the Kurdish militias will likely bring the withdrawal to a halt. Turkey has labeled the Kurdish YPG – which receives support from the Pentagon – as a terrorist group.

Bolton will travel to Turkey on Monday, where he is expected to lay out Washington’s demands to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the importance of ensuring that the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” was “still part of the American mission” in Syria. His comment was condemned by Ankara, which creatively argued that Pompeo was comparing all Kurds to terrorists.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:49| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月04日

ハッカー集団が911関連機密文書をネタにした身代金要求を継続

2019年01月02日
Hacker group threatens to leak 9/11 ‘truth’ unless paid in bitcoin の続報です。
ファイルの一部を読むための暗号を売ったようですが、130万円程度しか入手できていません。ハッカーと接触したRTの記者はブラフではないと述べていますが・・・。

RT2019/12/4
Hacker group releases '9/11 Papers', says future leaks will 'burn down' US deep state
The Dark Overlord hacker group has released decryption keys for 650 documents it says are related to 9/11. Unless a ransom is paid, it threatened with more leaks that will have devastating consequences for the US ‘deep state’.

The document dump is just a fraction of the 18,000 secret documents related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks believed to have been stolen from insurers, law firms, and government agencies.

The Dark Overlord initially threatened to release the 10GB of data unless the hacked firms paid an unspecified bitcoin ransom. However, on Wednesday, the group announced a "tiered compensation plan" in which the public could make bitcoin payments to unlock the troves of documents.

A day later, the Dark Overlord said that it had received more than $12,000 in bitcoin – enough to unlock "layer 1" and several "checkpoints," comprised of 650 documents in total.

There are four more layers that remain encrypted and, according to the group, "each layer contains more secrets, more damaging materials… and generally just more truth."

The hackers are asking for $2 million in bitcoin for the public release of its "megaleak," which it has dubbed "the 9/11 Papers."

The group has also offered to sell the documents to terrorist groups, foreign governments, and media outlets. When RT approached the hackers for comment, they proposed providing the channel exclusive access to the potentially explosive papers – for a price, of course.

“They were willing to sell those documents to me. So it’s all about money for them,” RT America correspondent Michelle Greenstein said.

By design, the "layer 1" documents – if authentic – do not appear to contain any explosive revelations. The publications focus mostly on testimonies from airport security and details concerning insurance pay-outs to parties affected by the 9/11 attacks. However, the data dump suggests that the group is not bluffing.

"Let this serve as more definitive proof that what we're saying is true, and that we're doing exactly as we promised you. Continue to keep the bitcoins flowing, and we'll continue to keep the truth flowing," they wrote in a message that included the decryption keys.

The documents – which were immediately scrubbed from Reddit, Pastebin and Twitter – are available for download on Steemit at the time of writing.

Shortly after releasing the decryption keys, the group posted an ultimatum addressed to "the nation-state of the United States of America and the greater deep-state."

"To all the other parties involved (airlines, litigation firms, investigation firms, FBI, TSA, FAA, banks, security companies and more), we're going to burn you down unless you begin to 'play ball,'" the message reads.

Apparently angered by the fact that the ransom has not yet been met, the message warned: "We're peeling these layers back like an onion. No one can save you except for us. Pay the f*** up."

Although the group insists that it is financially motivated and not interested in "hacktivism," they nonetheless expressed hope that continued crowd-funding would secure the full release of the 18,000 documents.

"We can't allow the mainstream media to silence the truth any longer. We must ensure their propaganda is crushed by the truths we're dealing today," the hackers wrote after providing the decryption keys for "layer 1."

The Dark Overlord claim to have hacked documents from not only major global insurers like Lloyds of London and Hiscox, but also Silverstein Properties, which owned the World Trade Center complex, and various government agencies.

The "megaleak" purportedly includes secret documents that were meant to be destroyed but were instead retained by legal firms, allegedly revealing "the truth about one of the most recognizable incidents in recent history."

The group emerged in 2016 and has been responsible for numerous extortion schemes involving hacked data. The Dark Overlord infamously leaked an entire season of Netflix's Orange is the New Black last year after a ransom was not met.

このハッカー集団は、もっぱらカネ目当てのようです。

ハッカー、ヘルスケア事業者らに身代金要求〜患者情報1000万件を人質に
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:49| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月03日

アップルの売れ行き不振は中国の経済減速? それとも製品の魅力低下?

RT2019/1/3
Apple iPhone sales look $9bn worse than expected, CEO blames China & cheap batteries
Apple shares plummeted after CEO Tim Cook revealed that the iPhone maker expects a drop of up to $9bn in revenue compared to its November report. More affordable battery replacements are to blame, among other things.

Apple stated that it now expects a revenue of approximately $84 billion in the first quarter of 2019, down from its previous estimate of $89bn to $93bn. Markets have reacted swiftly to the news, sending Apple shares into a 7.5-percent nosedive.

Explaining the causes behind the revision, Cook almost squarely blamed the expected drop in sales on the economic slowdown in mainland China, a key emerging market for Apple smartphones.

"While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," Cook wrote, noting that "most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China."

By far the greatest hit was dealt by iPhone sales, which, per Cook’s admission, are responsible “for all our revenue shortfall to our guidance and for much more than our entire year-over-year revenue decline”

In fact, non-iPhone product revenues actually contributed to 19-percent growth, except in China, where, according to Cook, a cooling-down economy hurt all kinds of Apple products (but still, the iPhone was the worst by far).

The ongoing US-China trade spat has also played its part in driving down Apple sales in the country, Cook stated, citing "the climate of mounting uncertainty" over the back-and-forth between Washington and Beijing.

If Apple racks up $84bn by the end of the first quarter, it will be a decrease of more than $4bn from the same period last year, when it pocketed $88.3bn.

Buried deep in the letter is Cook's admission that some of the devoted Apple fans who used to buy new devices every year are now "taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements."

Following a massive scandal over its practice of deliberately slowing down older iPhones, Apple reduced the price for its battery replacements, charging $29 instead of $79 in 2018. The program was wrapped up by the end of the year.

Twitter has met Apple's troubles with derision, with many pointing out that new models are massively overpriced while hardly being technological breakthroughs.

Others advised Cook to stop pointing the finger at China, and instead fix the flaws in Apple services and work on new products.

One user argued that Cook's mentioning of the battery drama serves as proof that it was Apple's strategy from the beginning to fire up sales by damaging the performance and battery life of older models.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:06| Comment(2) | 国際・政治

Top 5 countries opting to ditch US dollar & the reasons behind their move

RT2019/1/2
Top 5 countries opting to ditch US dollar & the reasons behind their move
The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.
China
The ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China, as well as sanctions against Beijing's biggest trading partners have forced China to take steps towards relieving the dollar dependence of the world's second-largest economy.

In Beijing's signature soft-power style, the government hasn't made any loud announcements on the issue. However, the People's Bank of China has been regularly reducing the country's share of US Treasuries. Still the number-one foreign holder of the US sovereign debt, China has cut its share to the lowest level since May 2017.

Moreover, instead of promptly dumping the greenback, China is trying to internationalize its own currency, the yuan, which was included in the IMF basket alongside the US dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, and the British pound. Beijing has recently made several steps towards strengthening the yuan, including accumulating gold reserves, launching yuan-priced crude futures, and using the currency in trade with international partners.

As part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to introduce swap facilities in participating countries to promote the use of the yuan. Moreover, the country is actively pushing for a free-trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will include the countries of Southeast Asia. The trade pact could easily replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed multi-national trade deal which was torn up by US President Donald Trump shortly after he took office. RCEP includes 16 country signatories and the potential pact is expected to form a union of nearly 3.4 billion people based on a combined $49.5 trillion economy, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world's GDP.

India
Ranked the world's sixth-largest economy, India is one of the biggest merchandise importers. It's not surprising that the country is directly affected by most global geopolitical conflicts and is significantly impacted by sanctions applied to its trading partners.

Earlier this year, Delhi switched to ruble payments on supplies of Russian S-400 air-defense systems as a result of US economic penalties introduced against Moscow. The country also had to switch to the rupee in purchases of Iranian crude after Washington reinstituted sanctions against Tehran. In December, India and the United Arab Emirates sealed a currency-swap agreement to boost trade and investment without the involvement of a third currency.

Taking into account that India is the third-largest country by purchasing power parity, steps of this kind could considerably diminish the role of the greenback in global trading.

Turkey
Earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to end the US dollar monopoly via a new policy that is aimed at non-dollar trading with the country's international partners. Later, Turkey's leader announced that Ankara is preparing to conduct trade through national currencies with China, Russia and Ukraine. Turkey also discussed a possible replacement of the US dollar with national currencies in trade transactions with Iran.

The move was prompted by political and economic reasons. Relations between Ankara and Washington have been deteriorating since the failed military coup in the country to oust President Erdogan in 2016. It's been reported that Erdogan suspects US involvement in the uprising and accuses Washington of harboring exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for masterminding the coup.

The Turkish economy sank after Washington introduced economic sanctions over the arrest of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges in relation to the uprising.

Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Washington for unleashing a global trade war, sanctioning Turkey and trying to isolate Iran. The NATO member's decision to buy Russian S-400 missile systems added fuel to the fire.

Moreover, Turkey is trying to ditch the dollar in an attempt to support its national currency. The lira has lost nearly half of its value against the greenback over the past year. The currency plunge was exacerbated by soaring inflation and increasing prices for goods and services.

Iran
A triumphant return of Iran to the global trading arena did not last long. Shortly after winning the US presidential election, Donald Trump opted to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Tehran and a group of nations, including the UK, US, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the EU.

The oil-rich nation has once again become a target for severe sanctions resumed by Washington, which has also threatened to introduce penalties against any countries that would violate the embargo. The punitive measures banned business deals with the Islamic Republic and cracked down on the country's oil industry.

Sanctions have forced Tehran to look for alternatives to the US dollar as payment for its oil exports. Iran clinched a deal for oil settlements with India using the Indian rupee. It also negotiated a barter deal with neighboring Iraq. The partners are also planning to use the Iraqi dinar for mutual transactions to reduce reliance on the US dollar amid banking problems connected to US sanctions.

Russia
President Vladimir Putin said the US is "making a colossal strategic mistake" by "undermining confidence in the dollar." Putin has never called for restricting dollar transactions or banning the use of US currency. However, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said earlier this year that the country had to dump its holdings of US Treasuries in favor of more secure assets, such as the ruble, the euro, and precious metals.

The country has already taken several steps towards de-dollarizing the economy due to the constantly growing burden of sanctions that have been introduced since 2014 over a number of issues. Russia has developed a national payment system as an alternative to SWIFT, Visa and Mastercard after the US threatened tougher new sanctions that would target Russia's financial system.

So far, Moscow has managed to partially phase out the greenback from its exports, signing currency-swap agreements with a number of countries including China, India and Iran. Russia has recently proposed using the euro instead of the US dollar in trade with the European Union.

Once a top-10 holder of US sovereign debt, Russia has all but eliminated its holdings of US Treasuries. Moscow has used the money to boost the nation's foreign reserves and to build up its gold stockpile to stabilize the ruble.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:23| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2019年01月02日

Hacker group threatens to leak 9/11 ‘truth’ unless paid in bitcoin

RT2019/1/2
Hacker group threatens to leak 9/11 ‘truth’ unless paid in bitcoin
The Dark Overlord hacker group has threatened to leak thousands of “secret” documents stolen from insurers and government agencies that they claim reveal the truth about 9/11 – unless they’re paid not to.

The Dark Overlord, a “professional adversarial threat group” known for their hacks of Netflix, plastic surgery clinics, and other sensitive targets, posted a link to a 10GB encrypted archive of documents related to 9/11 litigation, promising to release the encryption keys if their demands were not met in a post on Pastebin on Monday.

The group claims the documents tell the story of what really happened on one of the most notorious dates in recent history, tweeting “We’ll be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18,000 secret documents leak.” They published a “teaser” consisting of letters, emails, and various documents that mention law firms, the Transport Security Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration, with a promise of more to come.

They claim to have hacked documents from not only major global insurers like Lloyds of London and Hiscox, but also Silverstein Properties, which owned the World Trade Center complex, and various government agencies. The material, which supposedly includes confidential government documents that were meant to be destroyed but were instead retained by legal firms, allegedly reveals “the truth about one of the most recognizable incidents in recent history and one which is shrouded in mystery with little transparency and not many answers.”

Anyone worried they might be named in the documents can have their names redacted – for a fee, according to the announcement. “Terrorist organizations” and “competing nation states of the USA” are also offered first dibs on the info – if they pay up. Otherwise, the hackers write, the insurers can pay an unspecified bitcoin ransom – or “we’re going to bury you with this.”

Some of the documents were nabbed in an April hack of a law firm associated with Hiscox that the firm acknowledges could have exposed 1,500 of its US commercial policyholders. The Dark Overlord claims that while their ransom was paid in relation to that earlier hack, their victim violated the “agreement” by cooperating with law enforcement, necessitating further extortion.

The group emerged in 2016 with hacks on medical centers, advertising sensitive data for sale on the dark web in order to force victims to pay for its removal. They infamously leaked an entire season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black last year to prove to that company they meant business and have stolen data from more than 50 companies, according to Vice.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:59| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年12月31日

アサドがイラク空軍に自国内のテロリスト攻撃を包括許可

SPUTNIK20418/12/31
Iraqi Forces Announce 30 Daesh Commanders Eliminated in Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor
The airstrike comes after RT Arabic reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had granted Iraqi jets general permission to conduct strikes on the Daesh* terrorist group in the country.

“Today, Iraqi F-16 aircraft have carried out a painful and powerful airstrike on al-Susah in Syrian territory. The target has been completely eliminated − a two-storey house used as a shelter for terrorists and a meeting place”, Iraqi Air Force said in a statement, stressing that "30 top Daesh officers" were holding a meeting in the building at the time.

Earlier in December, Iraqi planes hit a meeting of Daesh fighters in the area, claiming they killed some 44 militants.

The village of al-Susah is located near the Eastern Syrian city of Hajin, which was previously one of the last remaining jihadist strongholds in the country. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also opposes Daesh in the area.

The strike against the terrorists comes amid the US withdrawal from Syria, with President Donald Trump announcing on 19 December that American troops had achieved their goal of defeating Daesh in the Middle Eastern state.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:26| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

マンビジを巡りクルドが揺れる

FARSNEWS2018/12/31
Spokesman: Kurdish YPG Militia to Disarm after Peace Returns to Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) will lay down their arms only after peace returns to Syria, the militia’s Spokesman Nuri Mahmud said.

Mahmud argued that the weapons supplied by the United States were used to combat terrorists, according to a Jordanian news channel, Al-Hadath.

The YPG said it had handed over the Northern town of Manbij to the Syrian army to allegedly focus on the fight against the ISIL terrorist group on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

The surprise withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria was announced after Trump said that the objective to defeat the Daesh terror group had been achieved.


FARSNEWS2018/12/29
Commander of US-Backed SDF in Northeastern Syria Defects As Turkish Army Prepares for Major Operation
TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the notorious field commanders of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a town in Hasaka province has cut off relation with the militia amid the Turkish troops' threats of a major assault against the Kurds in Northern and Northeastern Syria, a Lebanese media outlet reported on Saturday.

The Lebanese al-Manar TV Channel reported that a senior commander of the SDF gunmen has defected along with his fighters in the small town of al-Darbasiyah in Northern Hasaka amid the Ankara forces' preparation for a large-scale operation on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

It further said that the SDF has put forces on alert after the commander's defection.

In the meantime, the SDF militias have dug long tunnels in the village of al-Doweirah South of Ra'as al-Ein near Syria's border with Iraq, the TV channel said, adding that the Turkish reconnaissance planes, meantime, are flying over SDF-held regions in the town Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa at the border with Turkey.

Earlier this month, a large number of the SDF forces defected their ranks and started fleeing Northern Syria after Ankara announced that it was preparing for a major military invasion of Northern Syria.

"Tens of SDF fighters have defected and fled in several regions of Raqqa and Hasaka provinces," field sources in Northern Syria reported.

The sources pointed to the defection of a group of SDF forces from al-Hos village in Eastern Raqqa, and said that a new wave of arrests of SDF members occurred in the surrounding areas of the city of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka after defection of their comrades in Raqqa.

Meantime, a number of SDF members surrendered themselves to the Turkish army in the village of al-Mobarakieh East of the town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka, the sources said.

The sources, meantime, unveiled that the defection of the US-backed militants from their ranks created rifts in several border regions with Syria near Ra'as al-Ein in Hasaka, Quntara in Soluk region East of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.

Meantime, a number of border settlers fled al-Mohata, al-Abreh and al-Kharabat regions in Ra'as al-Ein in Northern Hasaka.

FARSNEWS2018/12/29
YPG Official: Kurds Oppose Pishmerga Deployment, May Join Syrian Army
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior official of the People's Protection Units underlined continued negotiations with the Syrian government, saying that the YPG may join the army.

Aldar Khalil, the head of YPG's diplomatic relations committee, said on Saturday that deployment of Pishmerga forces in YPG-held regions at the Syrian borders are not acceptable, stressing that the YPG has, rather, agreed presence of the Syrian army in these areas.

His remarks came after reports said that the militants of al-Qad stream, loyal to Ahmed al-Jaraba, a dissident Syrian figure, are due to replace the Kurdish forces at the borders with Turkey in Northern Syria along with Pishmerga forces.

Also, Kurdish sources reported that the Syrian army's command center in talks with the YPG has asked for delivering control of all regions occupied by them to the army, adding that the command center has stated that it will consider the YPG forces as part of other Syrian armed forces like the National Defense Forces (NDF).

No Syrian state or military official has yet confrimed the report.

Relevant reports said earlier today that the officers of the Syrian Army will start patrolling the city of Manbij in the near future along with the Kurdish fighters forming part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

"The Syrian army was moved to Manbij in response to civilians’ requests and also in accordance with their task of restoring state sovereignty over the country’s entire territory," the news agency SANA quoted the General Staff’s official as saying.

According to the Al Mayadeen TV channel, local residents supported the Syrian official forces taking control of Manbij and its area. They have also held several demonstrations in support of the government.

After the United States’ decision to start the pullout of troops from Syria, Ankara had hoped to take over Manbij and attach it to the security zone in the border area between Azaz and Jarabulus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on December 21 the Turkish army would clear that city of Kurdish forces.

FARSNEWS2018/12/29
Syrian Army Highly on Alert to Counter Turkish Troops' Possible Operation in Manbij
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has kept forces on high alert to respond to any possible military assault by the Turkish troops and allied militants on the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo, field sources reported on Saturday.

The sources said that the Damascus forces, deployed in Manbji, are on alert to counter any attack by the Turkish soldiers and Ankara-backed militants.

The sources went on to say that the Army Command has ordered Presidential Guard Forces and other Damascus soldiers to give a crushing response to any military operation by the Ankara forces in Manbij region.

They further said that the Ankara forces have started preparing for a military operation in Manbij after the Syrian Army's arrival in the region.

The sources quoted Ziad Hajji Obeid, Commander of the militants of Turkey-backed National Army, as saying that a sum of 15,000 militants from his group have prepared to enter Manbij, adding that almost 25,000 gunmen of the Ankara-backed Free Army have been preparing to enter the towns of Tal Abyadh and Ra'as al-Ein.

The Syrian Armed Forces' Headquarters announced in a statement on Friday that the Damascus forces entered Manbij in Aleppo province and hoisted the country's national flag over the key town.

The statement by the Syrian Armed Forces' Headquarters came after the Syrian Democratic Forces asked for the deployment of the government troops.

The Syrian Army entered Manbij town after the People's Protection Units asked the Syrian Armed Forces to enter the strategic town.

SDF Spokesman Ceyhan Ahmad also confirmed the Syrian Army's arrival in Manbij town.

The local sources in Northern Syria announced that the Ankara-backed militants are fortifying their positions around Manbij in a bid to attack the strategic town concurrent with US troops' withdrawal from there.

Manbij is in a critical situation after US President Donald Trump declared US forces' withdrawal from Manbij town.

In relevant development on Thursday, residents of Manbij called on Damascus to deploy army forces in the strategic town in Northeastern Aleppo.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted Mojib al-Rahman al-Dandan, the representative of Manbij in the Syrian parliament, as saying on Thursday that as Damascus and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are holding talks on deployment of army forces in the town, the residents are also strongly pressuring the officials to this end.

He added that after US President Donald Trump's declaration of withdrawal of American forces from Syria, the US army retreated from Manbij to Tishrin dam, noting that Manbij residents want immediate deployment of the Syrian army in the town.

Al-Dandan, meantime, said that the SDF leaders are also involved in internal differences as some intend to leave Syria for France and call for the establishment of a no-fly zone and some others want talks with the Syrian government.

He underlined the possibility for the imminent deployment of the Syrian army forces in the region, and said given the strategic importance of Manbij which is the main route to the Forat (Euphrates) dam, the army will be able to liberate all areas in Eastern Syria after regaining the region.


Turkey & Russia ministers talk Syria as Damascus claims its troops entered Kurdish-held Manbij
Top diplomatic and military officials from Russia and Turkey have met in Moscow on Saturday to discuss developments in Syria’s northeast, where Kurdish militias have sought Damascus’ protection from Ankara.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu have held a face-to-face meeting with their Turkish counterparts Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hulusi Akar, who arrived in Moscow on Saturday. The Turkish delegation also includes presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin, as well as intelligence chief Hakan Fidan.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the high-profile talks were “very useful,” adding that both sides had “paid special attention to the new circumstances” in Syria after the announcement of the US troop withdrawal.

Lavrov’s Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, also stressed the need for Ankara and Moscow to coordinate its activities in view of Trump’s decision.

Both Tukey and Russia expressed their commitment to the "territorial integrity and unity of Syria and are ready to counter any actions aimed at disrupting those principles”, Cavusoglu assured.

The Turkish FM said that the creation of a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib Province and humanitarian issues were also on the agenda.

The Russo-Turkish discussions were meant to “ensure absolute clarity and synchronize expectations” about how events should unfold in that part of Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists earlier on Friday.

The talks have taken place on the heels of a Kurdish plea for help yesterday, as militias asked Damascus to take over the area around Manbij. The Kurds were effectively caught off-guard by the US withdrawal from Syria, leaving them vulnerable to a potential Turkish offensive.

The Syrian military later said its forces have “raised the flag” in the Kurdish-populated region, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was skeptical about the statement, saying it was a “psychological action.”

The Kurds sought assistance from Damascus after the US – which stocked and supported their armed wing, the YPG, for several years – announced it will pull out troops from Syria. Relations between Kurds and the Syrian government have been tense at times, but they have kept neutral since the start of the 2011 civil war and occasionally teamed up against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Experts say Syria’s troops entering Manbij would spell restoration of the government control over the Kurdish-populated province. Syrian government “is once to reassert sovereignty over its full territory and this is what it’s doing right now entering Manbij whether by call from civilians or from the Kurds,” Omar Nashabe, political analyst and editor of Beirut-based al-Akhbar weekly told RT.

“[The US] has abandoned the Kurds, and now what’s going to happen with the Kurds? Somebody has to take over and control the situation,” he stated.

The Syrian announcement came after Turkey, America’s NATO ally, vowed an “anti-terrorist” operation in northeastern Syria. Turkey has amassed a large fighting force near its southern border, but stopped short of launching the promised offensive.

“If the Syrians’ move to Manbij means the departure of elimination of YPG influence in Manbij, then there should be no problem for Turkey,” Osman Faruk Logoglu, former Turkish ambassador to the US, commented on RT, adding this is in fact how President Erdogan himself perceives the situation.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:11| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

米国市民がスパイ容疑で拘束される

FARSNEWS2018/12/31
Russia's FSB Detains US Citizen in Moscow During Spy Action
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained US citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow during a spy action, the FSB's press service stated on Monday.

"On December 28, a US citizen Paul Whelan was detained by officers from the Russian Federal Security Service during a spy action in Moscow", the press office said, Sputnik reported.

An investigation is ongoing, it added. The Russian service has not shared any other details on the matter.

The article, according to which a criminal case was initiated, provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 10 to 20 years.

Earlier in December, a Norwegian citizen was detained for similar charges of espionage. The court hearing on the case of Frode Berg is set for February 2019.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:05| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年12月29日

トルコ軍とシリア軍の衝突があるのか

※ Sohayb Masri @Sohayb_Masri1氏の2018/12/29のツイート
Our coverage will start tomorrow inshallah...
Today the Syrian Army forces are settling down their points in #Manbij & our videos with the heroes who are saving & protecting our nation borders will start soon ..

この人たちは親子でしょうか。右の方は眉が似ています。若いときはこんな顔で歳を取ると中央の親父のようになる。シリアの人たちの顔つきは、ぐーんと明るくなっています。





FARSNEWS2018/12/25
8,000 Turkish, FSA Forces Ready to Fight PKK in Manbij
TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 8,000 Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were deployed to the contact lines with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at borders with Northern Syria.

In total, a 200-vehicle Turkish convoy, which was composed of various units, set out from Karkamış to Jarabulus and from Kilis to Azaz simultaneously, Yeni Safak reported.

In addition to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), a 60-vehicle FSA convoy was sent to the border line.

While an army corps linked to the FSA waits at the ready, 2,000 special forces, who participated in Turkey’s Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations, reached the Manbij countryside.

During the deployment and in the following hours, Turkish war planes and unmanned and armed aerial vehicles established an air shield in the zone.



posted by ZUKUNASHI at 16:17| Comment(1) | 国際・政治

2018年12月28日

世界の動きが急です

年末ですが、海外情報が忙しいです。

クルドがシリア政府軍に駆け込みました。
Kurdish YPG calls on Syrian government to protect Manbij from Turkish attack
シリア軍がマンビジに入り旗を立てました。ロシアとシリアはこうなることを読んでいましたね。
Syrian Army ‘raises flag’ in country’s Kurdish province for 1st time since start of civil war
Syrian government forces have entered the northern city of Manbij, Damascus announced in response to a call for intervention by Kurdish militias. The move comes after Turkey amassed troops on its southern border.
On Friday, the YPG, the Kurdish militias, called on Damascus to secure Manbij, a strategic location in northern Syria close to the border with Turkey. Ankara earlier said it plans to conduct an “anti-terrorist operation” around the city, with the YPG being the target.

土曜日にトルコとロシアの外務、防衛大臣が会合です。明日の会議後の会見が注目されます。
Moscow welcomes Syrian Army entry to Manbij, will ‘synchronize expectations’ with Ankara
Top Russian and Turkish officials are to discuss on Saturday the latest developments in northern Syria, where Kurdish militias have invited government troops to take Manbij, a strategic city Ankara eyed for a military op.

Russian foreign and defense ministers are to welcome their Turkish counterparts in Moscow on Saturday for a ‘2+2’ meeting. The talks are aimed at “ensure absolute clarity and synchronize expectations” of the two nations about Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on the eve of the meeting. He suggested the results of the consolations may shed new light to the statements, which came this week from Turks and their opponents in Syria, the Kurdish militias.

米国に取り残された同盟軍、英仏はどう出るか。
US Wants to Shift Responsibility on Its Allies by Leaving Syria - Lavrov
Moscow wants the US to explain its plans for Syria after its military withdrawal, which was announced earlier, via existing communication channels.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that Washington was willing to shift responsibility for Syria to its coalition partners and its allies in the region by deciding to pull-out its forces from the Arab Republic. Lavrov also noted that Washington does not always fulfil its promises.
"Apparently, Washington wants to shift the responsibility onto its partners in the coalition on the ground, including troops illegally stationed there belonging to France, the United Kingdom, Germany, as well as the air forces of the coalition", Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister also slammed Western countries for not being willing to help Syria in its reconstruction.
"Russia has already helped Syrian government establish conditions for normal life [in the country]. The Western states, in my opinion, are acting counterproductively and are violating international humanitarian laws and human rights by refusing to do the same", he said.
Lavrov added that Russia will be demanding that the West change its position on the matter and "recognise their responsibility in facilitating the creation of conditions" for the return of refugees and displaced people during the upcoming conference on Syria's reconstruction in Brussels.
The White House announced on 19 December the withdrawal of its 2,000 troops from Syria within 60 to 100 days. US President Donald Trump justified the pull-out by stating that the American troops had achieved their goal of defeating Daesh* and could therefore return home.

サウジが米国からロシア、中国に接近という見方なのですが。
Saudi reshuffle: ‘Riyadh signals to US foes that it’s ready to cooperate’

サウジ外相交代です。カショギ事件の後も呆れるようなことしか言いませんでした。
Saudi Arabia replaces FM, sacks envoy to UK in major govt reshuffle following Khashoggi killing

アラブ諸国がアサドに接近する動きが続いています。
Arab states are making nice with Assad’s Syria. Will the West follow suit?
Attempts by Arab states to mend ties with Damascus serve to bolster the Syrian government’s victories on the ground and may well see the West changing its attitude towards the country, Middle East experts have told RT.
The first sign of a thaw between Syria and its Arab neighbors came earlier in December when Sudanese President Omar Bashir visited Damascus. It was followed by Wednesday’s report that the Arab League may readmit Syria into the 22-member bloc sometime next year, and the announcement by the UAE on Thursday that it’s reopening its embassy in the Syrian capital.
Damascus was kicked out of the Arab League in 2011 as President Bashar Assad was accused of atrocities against his people. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab states have been actively pushing for the removal of Assad from power during the years of the deadly war, and had been slammed by Damascus on numerous occasions for their support of armed extremists fighting against the Assad government.
Yet, the desire for rapprochement with Damascus now “is not a manifestation of brotherly love to [Syrian president Bashar] Assad,” Sergey Balmasov, of the Institute of the Middle East, believes. Those moves are dictated by the situation on the ground, where Damascus now controls most of the country’s territory.
For many Arab nations politics is like trade; it’s just business.
“They are now thinking: ‘Well, we couldn't remove Assad and we lost a lot of money on it, but we’ll lose even more if we keep not recognizing him.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:54| Comment(8) | 国際・政治

中国の人さらいがすごい これは怖いや

※ 九寨溝飯館 @eggtokyo氏の2018/12/27のツイート
中国では年間20万人位の児童が行方不明になるとも言われています。特に1月から旧正月の2月頃にかけては誘拐事件も多発するようです。外出時に誘拐防止対策で子供に紐やチェーンを付ける親も居ます。もし幼い子供を連れて中国に行かれる場合は細心のご注意を。
https://twitter.com/i/status/1078249054117613568

・・・引用終わり・・・

でも、何度か見ていると、これらの現場映像、どれもよく見通せるところから撮られていますよね。よく出来すぎている気もします。啓発ビデオでしょうか。
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:24| Comment(1) | 国際・政治

'UK, US look at jihadist groups as useful, are they as against terrorists as they pretend to be?'

RT2018/12/27
'UK, US look at jihadist groups as useful, are they as against terrorists as they pretend to be?'
A Times' article portraying Chechen jihadists as freedom fighters because they are anti-Russian is an attempt to whitewash a connection between the Ukrainian government and terrorist groups, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

The British newspaper published a highly controversial interview with a Chechen who is fighting against anti-government forces in Eastern Ukraine. The head of his battalion earlier admitted that his fighters waged jihad in Syria and that the leader was even part of a terror group committing atrocities in Russia.

"Some of the battalion's gunmen admit to having honed their combat skills at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) training camps in Iraq and Syria," the article says.

Former US diplomat Jim Jatras, commenting on the timing of the article to RT, said that the editorial decision to let this information out now is perhaps because "somebody just discovered the significance of it" especially in light of President Trump's announcement to withdraw US troops from Syria after Islamic State's defeat.

He said that it has been known since 2014 that there are "Chechen fighters on the Kiev government side".

"This has been a magnet for anti-Russian elements from all sorts of countries, Georgia and from Europe, people fighting with these non-governmental militias that are allied with the Ukrainian forces. And some of them are very extreme, very radical ideologically. This should come as no surprise that somebody admits that they have this relationship with ISIS," he said.

The British establishment, including the media and intelligent services, have been at the forefront of the anti-Russian campaign even before the 2016 US presidential election, according to Jatras. "They even had this entire group that was set up within the British government to generate anti-Russian press material."

The point of this "disinformation against Russia", he said, is "not only to blacken Russia but to make sure there could be no rapprochement between Moscow and Washington as Donald Trump has said he wants to have. And this effort has been wildly successful."

"Portraying these Chechen jihadists as 'freedom fighters', because they are anti-Russian wouldn't be necessarily unusual for the British media and you would expect that," Jatras said.

In his view, "the real tit-bit was the fact that somebody overlooked the significance of these fellows admitting that they have this relationship with the Islamic State which supposedly is the big enemy that we have been fighting against in Syria… But nothing could be farther from the truth."

Jatras suggested that the US' real reason for being in Syria is "to try to get rid of the Assad government and also to block the Iranians and to thwart the Russian effort in that country."

He said that IS "at best has been a kind of 'frenemy' that we treated as an enemy sometimes but also find it useful for larger political goals there."

He thinks this story isn't "all that surprising given the bent of the British media."

Jatras believes the article to be an intentional attempt to whitewash the connection between the Ukrainian government and terrorist groups "while knowing that they are cooperating with the Ukrainian government."

The government in Kiev is chaotic, weak and "at the mercy of the extreme nationalist elements," the former diplomat said.

"Of course they can't control these groups like Azov battalion and others on the field. It shouldn't be surprising that when they invite other radical groups to participate in the war that are nominally not part of the official Ukrainian forces, they also cooperate with them while allowing them to continue on an independent basis. I don't see how that morally whitewashes or isolates the Ukrainian authorities from the radical politics of these terrorists," Jatras noted.

In Jatras' opinion, these jihadists have been the biggest threat to the Western world for the last couple of decades, however, the UK and the US government don't look at this that way.

"They look at these groups as useful. And this has a long history, not only going back to the efforts against the Soviets in Afghanistan, but to Bosnia, to Kosovo, to Libya, to Syria… The idea that we don't have this long relationship with these groups is extremely naive," Jatras said.

"How many people put two and two together and say 'wait a minute, this doesn't smell right.' Why is our government, why is the British government, which is a close ally of the US, working with these terrorist groups? I thought we were against terrorism. And I think it is very hard for a lot of people to look at this and say 'wait a minute, maybe we are not as against the terrorists as we pretend to be?'"


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:29| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

サウジ内閣改造 リヤドが米国の敵に協力の準備があるとのシグナルを送る

興味深い記事です。サウジはロシアや中国から宇宙衛星技術の購入を検討するのに前向きだというのですが。

RT2018/12/27
Saudi reshuffle: ‘Riyadh signals to US foes that it’s ready to cooperate’
Saudi Arabia has made a major reshuffle of its top officials. The move is meant to make the cabinet more efficient and loyal to the King and the crown prince in the face of US pressure, a Middle East expert told RT.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday(12/25) issued a number of royal decrees, reforming some parts of the Saudi cabinet and appointing different individuals to various offices. It’s the second major reshuffle by the king after Saudi Arabia changed the way power is transferred in the monarchy and made his son Mohammed bin Salman the heir to the throne, Grigory Lukyanov, a Middle East analyst and senior lecturer at the Russian Higher School of Economics, told RT.

The first reshuffle came amid the so-called anti-corruption campaign, which boils down to shaking down powerful and wealthy princes to fill up the coffers of the kingdom while curbing their political ambition. The new round is about placing more competent people in charge while not compromising the powerbase of Salman and his son, Lukyanov said.

The need comes in part from the Jamal Khashoggi case and in part from the remaining doubt among the political elites over the reform of the inheritance procedure. The rotations of officials in Saudi Arabia are increasingly pushing up non-aristocratic people, who are making a career on their personal merits..Mohammed perceives them as the future foundation of his power.

The Khashoggi case centers around the murder of a prominent self-exiled Saudi journalist, which triggered a major falling out between Riyadh and its Western backers. The crown prince is believed by many people to be personally responsible for the slaying of Khashoggi, which happened at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi king needs to find ways to address the new reality, in which his country’s traditional patron, the US, takes actions hostile towards the Saudis, the expert said.

The Saudi government has to act in a robust manner, purging the elite from those deemed too pro-American, including in the cabinet. They also have to show the US that they will not tolerate anyone’s meddling in Saudi Arabia’s domestic affairs and signal other nations that their help would be appreciated.

The reform of the Saudi space authority, which is part of the reshuffle, is a clear signal to Russia and China, that Saudi Arabia is willing to consider purchasing space technologies from them, even though Washington sees both as its strategic foes, Lukyanov added.

The efficiency aspect, too, is in part driven by foreign pressure. A more competent cabinet will have better chances in preventing incidents like the Khashoggi murder or Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic row with Canada, the expert said. The king and his son are apparently confident enough in their hold on power, since they decided they can sacrifice less-competent loyal people in the reshuffle and appoint others in their place. In the previous round, loyalty to the king’s faction was considered a paramount consideration.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:51| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Trump: No Withdrawal from Iraq, US Can Attack Syria from Nearby Base

FARSNEWS2018/12/27
Trump: No Withdrawal from Iraq, US Can Attack Syria from Nearby Base
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump said he’s not planning to take American troops out of Iraq as he made his first visit to an active combat zone.

His surprise trip also sparked online frenzy after his plane had been noticed over Europe, RT reported.

Speaking at Ein al-Assad Air Base West of Baghdad, Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria last week.

“I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It’s time for us to start using our head,” the president said.

“In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria,” he added.

Trump, accompanied by wife Melania, visited the troops deployed in a war zone for the first time since the beginning of his presidency.



posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:32| Comment(0) | 国際・政治