|Asia News Digest
Newsweek Says British Did Indeed Wreck the World
Aug. 19 (EIRNS)Two Stanford University professors published an article in Newsweek magazine on Aug. 14, entitled "Did Britain Wreck the World?" "By Jove, it certainly seems that way," they wrote. Identifying a number of former British colonies where ethnic and religious wars have kept the countries disunited, the authors said: "Most of today's festering conflicts can be traced to colonial-era meddling, either through partition, slicing and dicing the planet as they saw fit or, worse, indiscriminately corralling unrelated ethnic groups into a single, quarrelsome country."
The content and timing of the article are particularly interesting in light of the fact that the British role in President Obama's health-care reform has come under serious attack in the United States. The article has been picked up widely in India, where all major English-language news dailies have reproduced it.
The countries identified in this article are Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan ("When they left centuries later, they divvied it up by religion, prompting mass migration and perhaps a million deaths. Kashmir, which had a Hindu leader and a Muslim majority, has been contested ever since"), Iraq, Sudan ("A British-Egyptian alliance ruled North and South Sudan separately until 1946, when the Brits abruptly changed their minds and decided the two should merge. The north was economically and politically favored over the south, and civil war has been on and off ever since"), Israel/Palestine, Somalia ("Fashioned in 1960 from a British protectorate and an Italian colony, Somalia has been divided against itself ever since. In the 1990s, after decades of civil strife, the government collapsed and the two neighbors declared autonomy"), and Nigeria ("The West African nation was once two distinct statesofficially joined in 1914, but administered by the British separately until independence in 1960. Here, the British favored the south, setting the stage for decades of strife").
Jakarta Bombings Linked to Plot To Kill Obama?
Aug. 21 (EIRNS)According to Dynno Chressbon, an intelligence analyst at the Indonesia-based Centre for Intelligence and National Security, last month's Jakarta hotel bombings show that militants also plan to use snipers to attack Barack Obama's convoy when the U.S. President visits Indonesia on his way to the APEC Summit in the British stronghold of Singapore in November.
Although details of the Indonesian police investigation have not been made public, two Yemenis were involved, Ario Sudarso and Mohamad Syahrir, who are connected to Anshar El Muslimin, a group that in turn is linked to al-Qaeda network in Iraq, Chressbon said.
It has been established that the al-Qaeda in Iraq network was run using Saudi money. The Saudi-British link, through armaments company BAE Systems, has helped maintain a large number of terrorists who have been imbued with the Saudi-directed Wahhabi doctrine of Islam. Since Java, the most populous of the Indonesian islands, was run by Dutch colonialists for over 350 years, and, for a short while, by the British, the Anglo-Dutch network within Indonesia remains strong, providing an opportunity to British intelligence, MI6, to plot assassinations.
The Saudi infiltration of Java is rather recent. The Saudis had a strong influence among the orthodox Muslims on the western tip of Sumatra island. But, in recent years, the Saudi quest to lease land in Indonesia to grow paddy to secure Saudi Arabia's food grain requirements, provided an entry into Java.
"For Obama, they planned to attack the convoy around the airport using MK-IIIs," Chressbon said, referring to a Russian-made sniper rifle that he said was used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and also in Muslim areas of conflict in the Philippines.
Webb Tells Myanmar's Suu Kyi To Stop Supporting Sanctions
Aug. 17 (EIRNS)U.S. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) reported to the press in Bangkok that he had told Myanmar opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 14 years, during their private meeting in Yangon, that the international sanctions against her country have been a complete failure, sanctions which Suu Kyi has supported on behalf of her British sponsors. Webb travelled to Yangon to gain the release of John Yettaw, an American citizen who was sentenced for breaking the terms of Suu Kyi's house arrest by swimming uninvited to her home. The Senator was successful in his mission, and was permitted to meet for an hour with Suu Kyi.
Webb said that he wanted to be careful not to misrepresent Suu Kyi's views, but it was his "clear impression from her that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions," and that "there would be some areas she would be willing to look at." He added: "The sanctions that have taken place in this situation have essentially driven Myanmar more towards China, making their country more vulnerable in my view and cutting off contact from the Western world." Suu Kyi is reported to have said that she would no longer call for a boycott of tourism to Myanmar. According to news reports, Webb also requested the government overturn its decision to sentence Suu Kyi to 18 months of additional house arrest for the incident involving Yettaw. It was unclear whether the military government had agreed to that request. According to a statement released by the Senator, he expressed his "deep respect" for the "sacrifices she has made on behalf of democracy around the world."
Like Bill Clinton's historic trip to North Korea earlier this month, Senator Webb was not representing the White House and delivered no message from President Obama. He will be reporting back to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said.
The George Soros-funded human rights NGOs and the BBC are screaming that Webb has undermined all the hard work they have done, by granting the Myanmar junta credibility and getting nothing in return.
China Admits Half of the Newly Unemployed Won't Get Jobs
Aug. 22 (EIRNS)Yin Weimin, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said China will be able to provide openings for only about half of its 24 million job seekers, and then only if it meets its growth target for 2009. "The shortfall between supply and demand [in employment] will become larger than last year due to the failure to create enough job opportunities," he said, in a report carried in People's Daily.
Yin noted that China, taking the advice of Western investment bankers, had hoped the service industry would play a larger role in creating employment, but that has not happened.
Cui Chuanyi, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, told China Daily yesterday that the global economic downturn will bring more employment challenges in the second half of the year. "The employment market will face a bigger crush in the third quarter with the return flow of migrant workers," he said. "About 90% of unemployed migrant workers, who went back to their rural hometowns, could not find jobs and they will choose to return to the big cities again in the coming few months." Around 22 million migrant workers, who make up most of the workforce in the labor-intensive industries, lost their jobs because of the global financial crisis, he said.
"Another 5-6 million graduates from middle school in rural areas will also join in this migrant workers' return flow in the third quarter," he said.
China's massive stimulus package was meant to bridge a temporary collapse in Western demand for China's exports, but of itself could not create prosperity in China. While it has cushioned the drop in employment to some extent, the distortionsspeculative real estate, commodity and stock pricescaused by the flood of money into the economy, are not sustainable in the longer term.
With the recent decision to restrain the heretofore unrestricted outpourings of Chinese bank loans, to prevent hyperinflationary explosions in assets values, there is no prospect for prosperity in the export sector.