|Asia News Digest
Report Blaming North Korea for Sinking a South Korean Naval Ship Stinks
May 20 (EIRNS)The release on May 20 of the final report of an investigation into the sinking of the South Korean Navy ship Cheonan on March 26, which killed 46 sailors, "stinks of a set-up of the classic British variety," said Lyndon LaRouche. While the report concluded that "North Korea did it," LaRouche said that "the whole affair doesn't make sense. Someone wanted to set something upperhaps it's the same people who convinced Obama to go into Afghanistan. People forget that Brzezinski and the British set up the Soviets in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is still a trap for the US. Obama is doing itlike Nero, he's burning Rome now, but what will he do next?"
LaRouche said that until there is more information, no competent conclusion can be drawn. "There may have been a North Korean role," he said, "but what responsible party would do it?" Although the investigating team, from South Korea, the U.S., Australia, Britain, and Sweden, displayed the remains of a torpedo dredged up in the area, which they say matches North Korean design, there are many doubts about the evidence, and the investigators admit that their conclusion is largely based on "ruling out other alternatives."
"Oh, great," responded LaRouche, "just like the Kennedy assassination. My response is: 'What do you know, they got Lee Harvey Oswald again!'"
Russia Tries To Calm Korea Situation
May 22 (EIRNS)The Korea Herald reported May 22 that Russia has called on all parties concerned "to show restraint" in reacting to an investigation that concluded that a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in March. A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 20 said Moscow was paying close attention to how the results of the investigation were being reported in Seoul, as well as to the statement made by the North Korean National Defense Committee, which continues to deny the accusation.
Militants Attack Largest U.S./NATO Base in Afghanistan
May 19 (EIRNS)Giving a taste of what Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the foreign troops are expected to encounter this Summer, 20-30 Afghan militants today entered the largest and most heavily fortified U.S. Air Force base in Afghanistan, Bagram Air Force (BAF) base, about 50 miles north of Kabul. Just 24 hours earlier, militants had exploded a car bomb, claiming the lives of five U.S. soldiers, one Canadian soldier, and 12 civilians. The May 19 attack on BAF, as reported by the Pentagon, resulted in nine NATO soldiers being wounded, one Armenian contractor being killed, and a few suicide bombers blowing themselves up. One building within the compound was badly damaged.
The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been quick to deny the Taliban's claims to have breached the base, which is a hub of NATO operations. "Though it is clear the enemy intended a spectacular event here at BAF, they were unable to breach the perimeter and unable to detonate their suicide vests," military spokesman Lt. Col. Clarence Counts, Jr. noted in a prepared statement on the ISAF website. Bagram press officer Maj. Virginia McCabe also cast doubt on claims that suicide bombers had been involved.
According to analysts, the Taliban are trying to show their reaction to the expected plan of NATO's operation in Kandahar in the coming weeks. Kabul and BAF are the least friendly areas for the Taliban, and yet Taliban were able to recruit within Kabul and to prepare, plan, and execute two such major attacks within a span of 24 hours in the city, and on the most fortified military base in Afghanistan.
McChrystal Snubs U.S. Ambassador, Favors British Foreign Office Agent
May 16 (EIRNS)"When military officers and diplomats gathered recently in a secure room in the Pentagon on a recent Friday to get a video briefing from the Afghan battlefield, they were startled to see a youthful British diplomat in an open-neck shirt, rather than the familiar face and camouflage fatigues of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the American commander." But Mark Sedwill has increasingly been acting as McChrystal's proxy over recent weeks, the New York Times reported today. "The two men travel together every other week to hot spots around Afghanistan. They often team up to visit President Hamid Karzai. And with Gen. McChrystal's support, Mr. Sedwill has turned what had been a low-profile adviser's role into a key civilian leadership postone in which he vies for visibility with the American Ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry."
Indeed, Eikenberry, a former U.S. Afghan commander who opposed Obama's insane Afghan War buildup, had wanted just that very post, of top NATO civilian head in Afghanistan, but McChrystal vetoed Eikenberry in favor of his British friend Sedwill, the Washington Post reported May 9.
If Eikenberry is an American patriot, who is Sedwill? He is a top British imperialist, whose specialty for well over a decade, has been entrapping the dumb American "cousins" into endless wars in Asia. In 1996-97, he was First Secretary of the British Embassy in Baghdad and simultaneously a UN weapons inspector. During 2000-02, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair was luring the George W. Bush Administration into their Iraq War, Sedwill was Private Secretary to British Foreign Secretaries Robin Cook and Jack Straw. He was sent to Afghanistan in 2009 as British Ambassador, and then replaced as Ambassador when he got the job of "NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan" and McChrystal's alter ego, which position he holds today.
British Government Wants To Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan
May 22 (EIRNS)A delegation of British ministers arrived in Kabul on May 22 with the message that Britain wants to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible. The delegation, consisting of Foreign Secretary William Hague, Defense Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, was set to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and evaluate the British position there. Fox told London's The Times that the focus of the visit would be the speeding up of the withdrawal of British troops, and that there would be no new troops deployed. He also will be investigating the possibility of speeding up the training of Afghan troops.
Britain will hardly be disengaging from Afghanistan, however. Fox said that he still believed that Britain should have a military presence in Afghanistan. And, on May 15, Karzai was the first foreign leader to meet with David Cameron, after Cameron became Prime Minister.
China's Energy Output Grows 10% Even with Shutdown of Inefficient Coal Plants
May 23 (EIRNS)Official figures from China's National Energy Administration show that installed electricity generation capacity in China stood at 874 million kilowatts at the end of last year, up 10.23% year on year, and should surpass 900 million kilowatts by the end of 2010.
This is in spite of the shutdown of many smaller, older, mostly coal-generating facilities, which caused a reduction of thermal power generation of 1.45% for the year.