Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘china

This unique son phenomena in China

The consequences of the new unique generation of Chinese

The One child policy of China that was adopted more than 3 decades ago.

Parents opted to abort the girl and keep the son (A ratio of 110/90 males to girls

The current policy of allowing for 2 children is not going to make much of a difference.

Probably, the parents will continue to abort the second girl in preference for a second son

And what are the known characteristics and attitudes of a unique child?

Selfish, not good at sharing, tyrannical, capricious, self-centered, secretive.

These characters are mostly of a nurturing epigenetic nature.

Many of these descriptive characters are shared by children, but Not the entire set.

Soon there will be one and a half billion of Chinese on earth.
The current second role will soon be reward as a first global role in world status.

The best hope might turn out to be our worst nightmare.
For a short time yet the Chinese phenomenon will keep touching us just by ricochet.

Soon, very soon the new Chinese generation will be out of his secretive nature-Discreet, to touch us.
One and a half billion of unique children (males or females).

And I’m not unique to thinking of the coming calamity…
(Inspired from the French post of Jamil Berry)

Secret ‘women only’ language: In China

A decade ago Chinese-American author Lisa See was researching an article on foot-binding when she found a reference to Nushu, the world’s only “women’s writing”.

Though the origins were murky, the script revealed a culture of women’s relationships and sparked the idea for her novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the film of which, co-produced by Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng, is released tomorrow.

After having their feet bound at around the age of seven, girls in Jiangyong County in Hunan province would live indoors – first in the “women’s chamber” of their own homes, and later in the homes of their husband’s family.

To ease their isolation and offer support in their pain, girls from the same village were brought together as “sworn sisters” until their weddings.

But a more serious relationship, almost akin to marriage and expected to last for life, could be arranged between two girls by a matchmaker, with a formal contract, if the pair shared enough of the same “characters” (being born on the same day, for example).

In See’s book she writes: “A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose — to have sons.”

Women used Nushu – a script unique to the area – to write to their laotongs after they “married out” into different villages.

Yet until the 1960s few outside the province knew about it, and no men could read it, says See.

“In the mid-60s an old woman fainted in a station,” she says. “The police went through her things to see who she was and found a piece of paper with what looked like a code, so she was arrested on suspicion of being a spy.”

In the midst of the cultural revolution, the experts who finally identified the script were sent to labour camps, not emerging to study the writing until the 80s.

Following the success of See’s book, the film aims to allow people to learn more.

Note: In all societies, particularly in matriarchal societies, women had their own coded languages, even the dances were coded (belly dancing) to disseminate messages

Najat Rizk shared a link.
Young Chinese girls in Hunan province used Nushu, a language that no men could read, to communicate with one another.
Now a new film aims to tell us more about it
theguardian.com|By Homa Khaleeli

 

Tale of 2 political systems

My name is Eric Li, and I was born here. But no, I wasn’t born there. This was where I was born: Shanghai, at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

My grandmother tells me that she heard the sound of gunfire along with my first cries.

When I was growing up, I was told a story that explained all I ever needed to know about humanity.

It went like this. All human societies develop in linear progression, beginning with primitive society, then slave society, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and finally, guess where we end up? Communism!

Sooner or later, all of humanity, regardless of culture, language, nationality, will arrive at this final stage of political and social development.

The entire world’s peoples will be unified in this paradise on Earth and live happily ever after.

But before we get there, we’re engaged in a struggle between good and evil, the good of socialism against the evil of capitalism, and the good shall triumph.

1:24 That, of course, was the meta-narrative distilled from the theories of Karl Marx. And the Chinese bought it. We were taught that grand story day in and day out. It became part of us, and we believed in it. The story was a bestseller. About one third of the entire world’s population lived under that meta-narrative.

1:45 Then, the world changed overnight. As for me, disillusioned by the failed religion of my youth, I went to America and became a Berkeley hippie.

1:58 Now, as I was coming of age, something else happened. As if one big story wasn’t enough, I was told another one.

This one was just as grand. It also claims that all human societies develop in a linear progression towards a singular end. This one went as follows: All societies, regardless of culture, be it Christian, Muslim, Confucian, must progress from traditional societies in which groups are the basic units to modern societies in which atomized individuals are the sovereign units, and all these individuals are, by definition, rational, and they all want one thing: the vote.

Because they are all rational, once given the vote, they produce good government and live happily ever after. Paradise on Earth, again.

Sooner or later, electoral democracy will be the only political system for all countries and all peoples, with a free market to make them all rich.

But before we get there, we’re engaged in a struggle between good and evil. (Laughter) The good belongs to those who are democracies and are charged with a mission of spreading it around the globe, sometimes by force, against the evil of those who do not hold elections.

3:18 (Video) George H.W. Bush: A new world order

3:20 (Video) George W. Bush: … ending tyranny in our world

3:22 (Video) Barack Obama: … a single standard for all who would hold power.

3:37 This story also became a bestseller. According to Freedom House, the number of democratic States went from 45 in 1970 to 115 in 2010. (That’s the biggest lie ever)

In the last 20 years, Western elites tirelessly trotted around the globe selling this prospectus: Multiple parties fight for political power and everyone voting on them is the only path to salvation to the long-suffering developing world.

Those who buy the prospectus are destined for success. Those who do not are doomed to fail. But this time, the Chinese didn’t buy it.

4:13 Fool me once …

4:20 The rest is history. In just 30 years, China went from one of the poorest agricultural countries in the world to its second-largest economy.

Six hundred fifty million people were lifted out of poverty. 80% of the entire world’s poverty alleviation during that period happened in China.

In other words, all the new and old democracies put together amounted to a mere fraction of what a single, one-party state did without voting.

4:48 See, I grew up on this stuff: food stamps. Meat was rationed to a few hundred grams per person per month at one point. Needless to say, I ate all my grandmother’s portions.

5:00 So I asked myself, what’s wrong with this picture?

Here I am in my hometown, my business growing leaps and bounds. Entrepreneurs are starting companies every day. Middle class is expanding in speed and scale unprecedented in human history.

Yet, according to the grand story, none of this should be happening. So I went and did the only thing I could. I studied it.

Yes, China is a one-party state run by the Chinese Communist Party, the Party, and they don’t hold elections.

Three assumptions are made by the dominant political theories of our time. Such a system is operationally rigid, politically closed, and morally illegitimate.

Well, the assumptions are wrong. The opposites are true. Adaptability, meritocracy, and legitimacy are the three defining characteristics of China’s one-party system.

Most political scientists will tell us that a one-party system is inherently incapable of self-correction. It won’t last long because it cannot adapt. Now here are the facts.

In 64 years of running the largest country in the world, the range of the Chinese Communist Party’s policies has been wider than any other country in recent memory, from radical land collectivization to the Great Leap Forward, then privatization of farmland, then the Cultural Revolution, then Deng Xiaoping’s market reform, then successor Jiang Zemin took the giant political step of opening up Party membership to private business people, something unimaginable during Mao’s rule.

6:38 So the Party self-corrects in rather dramatic fashions. Institutionally, new rules get enacted to correct previous dysfunctions.

For example. Political leaders used to retain their positions for life, and they used that to accumulate power and perpetuate their rules.

Mao was the father of modern China, yet his prolonged rule led to disastrous mistakes. So the Party instituted term limits with mandatory retirement age of 68 to 70.

7:06 One thing we often hear is, “Political reforms have lagged far behind economic reforms,” and “China is in dire need of political reform.”

But this claim is a rhetorical trap hidden behind a political bias.

See, some have decided a priori what kinds of changes they want to see, and only such changes can be called political reform.

The truth is, political reforms have never stopped. Compared with 30 years ago, 20 years, even 10 years ago, every aspect of Chinese society, how the country is governed, from the most local level to the highest center, are unrecognizable today.

Now such changes are simply not possible without political reforms of the most fundamental kind. Now I would venture to suggest the Party is the world’s leading expert in political reform.

7:56 The second assumption is that in a one-party state, power gets concentrated in the hands of the few, and bad governance and corruption follow.

Indeed, corruption is a big problem, but let’s first look at the larger context. Now, this may be counterintuitive to you. The Party happens to be one of the most meritocratic political institutions in the world today.

China’s highest ruling body, the Politburo, has 25 members. In the most recent one, only five of them came from a background of privilege, so-called princelings. The other 20, including the president and the premier, came from entirely ordinary backgrounds.

In the larger central committee of 300 or more, the percentage of those who were born into power and wealth was even smaller. The vast majority of senior Chinese leaders worked and competed their way to the top. Compare that with the ruling elites in both developed and developing countries, I think you’ll find the Party being near the top in upward mobility.

8:53 The question then is, how could that be possible in a system run by one party?

Now we come to a powerful political institution, little-known to Westerners: the Party’s Organization Department.

The department functions like a giant human resource engine that would be the envy of even some of the most successful corporations. It operates a rotating pyramid made up of three components: civil service, state-owned enterprises, and social organizations like a university or a community program.

They form separate yet integrated career paths for Chinese officials.

They recruit college grads into entry-level positions in all three tracks, and they start from the bottom, called “keyuan” [clerk]. Then they could get promoted through four increasingly elite ranks: fuke [deputy section manager], ke [section manager], fuchu [deputy division manager], and chu [division manger].

Now these are not moves from “Karate Kid,” okay? It’s serious business.

The range of positions is wide, from running health care in a village to foreign investment in a city district to manager in a company.

Once a year, the department reviews their performance. They interview their superiors, their peers, their subordinates. They vet their personal conduct. They conduct public opinion surveys. Then they promote the winners.

Throughout their careers, these cadres can move through and out of all three tracks.

Over time, the good ones move beyond the four base levels to the fuju [deputy bureau chief] and ju [bureau chief] levels. There, they enter high officialdom.

By that point, a typical assignment will be to manage a district with a population in the millions or a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Just to show you how competitive the system is, in 2012 there were 900,000 fuke and ke levels, 600,000 fuchu and chu levels, and only 40,000 fuju and ju levels.

10:47 After the ju levels, the best few move further up several more ranks, and eventually make it to the Central Committee.

The process takes two to three decades. Does patronage play a role? Yes, of course.

But merit remains the fundamental driver.

In essence, the Organization Department runs a modernized version of China’s centuries-old mentoring system.

China’s new president, Xi Jinping, is the son of a former leader, which is very unusual, first of his kind to make the top job. Even for him, the career took 30 years. He started as a village manager, and by the time he entered the Politburo, he had managed areas with a total population of 150 million people and combined GDPs of 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars.

11:33 Now, please don’t get me wrong, okay? This is not a put-down of anyone. It’s just a statement of fact.

George W. Bush, remember him? This is not a put-down. (Laughter) Before becoming governor of Texas, or Barack Obama before running for president, could not make even a small county manager in China’s system. Winston Churchill once said that democracy is a terrible system except for all the rest. Well, apparently he hadn’t heard of the Organization Department.

12:05 Now, Westerners always assume that multi-party election with universal suffrage is the only source of political legitimacy.

12:13 I was asked once, “The Party wasn’t voted in by election. Where is the source of legitimacy?”

12:19 I said, “How about competency?”

12:23 We all know the facts. In 1949, when the Party took power, China was mired in civil wars, dismembered by foreign aggression, average life expectancy at that time, 41 years old.

Today, it’s the second largest economy in the world, an industrial powerhouse, and its people live in increasing prosperity.

12:41 Pew Research polls Chinese public attitudes, and here are the numbers in recent years.

Satisfaction with the direction of the country: 85 percent. Those who think they’re better off than five years ago: 70 percent. Those who expect the future to be better: a whopping 82 percent.

Financial Times polls global youth attitudes, and these numbers, brand new, just came from last week.  93% of China’s Generation Y are optimistic about their country’s future. Now, if this is not legitimacy, I’m not sure what is.

13:19 In contrast, most electoral democracies around the world are suffering from dismal performance. I don’t need to elaborate for this audience how dysfunctional it is, from Washington to European capitals.

With a few exceptions, the vast number of developing countries that have adopted electoral regimes are still suffering from poverty and civil strife.

Governments get elected, and then they fall below 50 percent approval in a few months and stay there and get worse until the next election.

Democracy is becoming a perpetual cycle of elect and regret. At this rate, I’m afraid it is democracy, not China’s one-party system, that is in danger of losing legitimacy.

14:02 Now, I don’t want to create the misimpression that China’s hunky-dory, on the way to some kind of super powerdom. The country faces enormous challenges.

The social and economic problems that come with wrenching change like this are mind-boggling.

Pollution is one. Food safety. Population issues.

On the political front, the worst problem is corruption. Corruption is widespread and undermines the system and its moral legitimacy. But most analysts misdiagnose the disease. They say that corruption is the result of the one-party system, and therefore, in order to cure it, you have to do away with the entire system.

A more careful look would tell us otherwise. Transparency International ranks China between 70 and 80 in recent years among 170 countries, and it’s been moving up.

India, the largest democracy in the world, 94 and dropping. For the hundred or so countries that are ranked below China, more than half of them are electoral democracies. So if election is the panacea for corruption, how come these countries can’t fix it?

 I’m a venture capitalist. I make bets. It wouldn’t be fair to end this talk without putting myself on the line and making some predictions. So here they are.

In the next 10 years, China will surpass the U.S. and become the largest economy in the world.

1. Income per capita will be near the top of all developing countries.

2. Corruption will be curbed, but not eliminated, and China will move up 10 to 20 notches to above 60 in T.I. ranking.

3. Economic reform will accelerate, political reform will continue, and the one-party system will hold firm.

We live in the dusk of an era. Meta-narratives that make universal claims failed us in the 20th century and are failing us in the 21st.

Meta-narrative is the cancer that is killing democracy from the inside.

Now, I want to clarify something. I’m not here to make an indictment of democracy. On the contrary, I think democracy contributed to the rise of the West and the creation of the modern world.

It is the universal claim that many Western elites are making about their political system, the hubris, that is at the heart of the West’s current ills.

If the elite class would spend just a little less time on trying to force their way onto others, and a little bit more on political reform at home, they might give their democracy a better chance.

China’s political model will never supplant electoral democracy, because unlike the latter, it doesn’t pretend to be universal. It cannot be exported. But that is the point precisely.

The significance of China’s example is not that it provides an alternative, but the demonstration that alternatives exist.

Let us draw to a close this era of meta-narratives. Communism and democracy may both be laudable ideals, but the era of their dogmatic universalism is over.

Let us stop telling people and our children there’s only one way to govern ourselves and a singular future towards which all societies must evolve. It is wrong. It is irresponsible. And worst of all, it is boring.

Let universality make way for plurality. Perhaps a more interesting age is upon us. Are we brave enough to welcome it?

17:45 Bruno Giussani: Eric, stay with me for a couple of minutes, because I want to ask you a couple of questions. I think many here, and in general in Western countries, would agree with your statement about analysis of democratic systems becoming dysfunctional, but at the same time, many would kind of find unsettling the thought that there is an unelected authority that, without any form of oversight or consultation, decides what the national interest is. What is the mechanism in the Chinese model that allows people to say, actually, the national interest as you defined it is wrong?

18:23 EXL: You know, Frank Fukuyama, the political scientist, called the Chinese system “responsive authoritarianism.” It’s not exactly right, but I think it comes close.

So I know the largest public opinion survey company in China, okay? Do you know who their biggest client is? The Chinese government.

Not just from the central government, the city government, the provincial government, to the most local neighborhood districts. They conduct surveys all the time.

Are you happy with the garbage collection? Are you happy with the general direction of the country? So there is, in China, there is a different kind of mechanism to be responsive to the demands and the thinking of the people.

My point is, I think we should get unstuck from the thinking that there’s only one political system — election, election, election — that could make it responsive. I’m not sure, actually, elections produce responsive government anymore in the world BG: Many seem to agree. One of the features of a democratic system is a space for civil society to express itself. And you have shown figures about the support that the government and the authorities have in China. But then you’ve just mentioned other elements like, you know, big challenges, and there are, of course, a lot of other data that go in a different direction: tens of thousands of unrests and protests and environmental protests, etc. So you seem to suggest the Chinese model doesn’t have a space outside of the Party for civil society to express itself.

19:56 EXL: There’s a vibrant civil society in China, whether it’s environment or what-have-you. But it’s different.

You wouldn’t recognize it. Because, by Western definitions, a so-called civil society has to be separate or even in opposition to the political system, but that concept is alien for Chinese culture.

For thousands of years, you have civil society, yet they are consistent and coherent and part of a political order, and I think it’s a big cultural difference.

Note: In States as populous and large as continents, it does not make sense to have a vote for the central power without it done in successive levels, piece meal.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
It’s a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy.
Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he…
ted.com|By Eric X. Li

 

While USA has long-term destabilizing policies, China executes its far-sighted economic expansion. Pipeline of Iran/Pakistan

Now that there are no reasons for sanctions against Iran, China is resuming its economic plans in the region.

China has the cash for economic development and not for investing in preemptive wars as traditional colonial powers are used to control the world.

 

ISLAMABAD—China will build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s acute energy shortage, under a deal to be signed during the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad this month, Pakistani officials said.

The arrival of President Xi Jinping is expected to showcase China’s commitment to infrastructure development in ally Pakistan, at a time when few other countries are willing to make major investments in the cash-strapped, terrorism-plagued country.

Saeed Shah posted on April 9, 2015

The pipeline would amount to an early benefit for both Pakistan and Iran from the framework agreement reached earlier this month between Tehran and the U.S. and other world powers to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions if it went ahead with the project.

“We’re building it,” Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasitold The Wall Street Journal. “The process has started.”

In Washington, U.S. officials said details of sanctions will be negotiated as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran due in June.

“We aren’t going to speculate as to how any solutions we may reach in that regard could impact on any particular proposed business ventures,” a State Department official said late Wednesday, adding that “significant support to Iran’s energy sector, such as providing significant investment or technology,” could still result in sanctions under the framework agreement last week.

ENLARGE

Dubbed the “Peace Pipeline,” the project will further bolster improving ties between Pakistan and Iran, uneasy neighbors for decades as a result of Pakistan’s ties to Iran’s long-term adversaries, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

The pipeline will bring much-needed gas to Pakistan, which suffers from a crippling electricity deficit because of a shortage of fuel for its power-generation plants.

Pakistan has been negotiating for months behind the scenes for China to build the Pakistani portion of the pipeline, which will cost up to $2 billion.

Tehran says that its 560-mile (900-kilometer) part of the pipeline from an Iranian gas field is complete and has long pressed Pakistan to build its part of the scheme.

Pakistan hasn’t begun construction, however, in light of threatened U.S. sanctions for trading with Iran.

Islamabad had sought to work around the sanctions by asking the Chinese to build the pipeline but not yet connect it to the Iranian portion.

The prospect of an Iran nuclear agreement, which would ease sanctions in stages once the deal is completed, has given Islamabad further impetus to clear the project.

Among the first sanctions to be lifted, according to the framework accord, would be the ban on Iran energy exports.

“This [Iran nuclear agreement] will help us in getting a few things which were coming into the way of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be cleared and we will move forward,” Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran, Noor Muhammad Jadmani, said Sunday in Tehran, according a report on IRNA, the official Iranian news agency.

Pakistan is negotiating with China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, a subsidiary of Chinese energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation, to build 435 miles (700 kilometers) of pipeline from the western Pakistani port of Gwadar to Nawabshah in the southern province of Sindh, where it will connect to Pakistan’s existing gas-distribution pipeline network.

China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau referred questions to CNPC, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The cost would be $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion for the pipeline, or $2 billion if an optional Liquefied Natural Gas terminal at Gwadar is included in the scheme. Under the deal, 85% of the financing will be provided by a Chinese loan, with Pakistan coming up with the rest.

The remaining 50 miles (80 kilometers), from Gwadar to the Iranian border, will be built by Pakistan.

The pipeline, which would take two years to build, would eventually supply Pakistan with enough gas to fuel 4,500 megawatts of electricity generation—almost as much as the country’s entire current electricity shortfall.

The pipeline would give Iran a market to its east for its gas. The pipeline scheme, conceived in 1995, originally was supposed to extend to India. Tehran blames U.S. pressure for India dropping out in 2009.

Islamabad believes the Iranian gas is the cheapest and simplest energy supply option for Pakistan.

Pakistan will also start to take liquefied natural gas from Qatar, and it remains in protracted multicountry negotiations over a pipeline that would bring gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to supply Pakistan and India. Washington had long lobbied Pakistan to go for the Turkmenistan pipeline instead of the Iranian one.

The Chinese president’s visit, which has been postponed at least twice, is now expected on or around April 19.

Pakistan has had a close strategic alliance with China for decades—aimed mostly against common foe India—but now Beijing is seeking to add an economic dimension to the relationship.

Islamabad and Beijing plan an “economic corridor” linking the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is under Chinese management, to southwestern China with road and rail connections. The highly ambitious program, which also includes power-generation projects, carries a price tag of some $40 billion. Unveiling agreements and details for the economic corridor will form a center piece of Mr. Xi’s visit.

The Iran pipeline isn’t part of the economic corridor but it will be separately fast-tracked, Pakistani officials said.

“The Chinese have an expertise, a willingness to come here, and also work in areas which are not considered to be very safe,” said Hamayoun Khan, director of the Pakistan Council on China, an independent think tank based in Islamabad.

Jeremy Page in Beijing contributed to this article.

Write to Saeed Shah at saeed.shah@wsj.com

Asad Ghsoub shared this link on FB

This is big if it goes ahead after being halted for a long time and can kiss Pakistani intervention in Yemen goodbye

A project long thwarted by international sanctions on Tehran is flickering back to life as Islamabad gives it a go-ahead in light of the international framework accord on Iran’s nuclear program.
wsj.com|By Saeed Shah

 

WHY DOES THE WEST HATE PUTIN? THE SECRET REASON

The Official Reasons
We all know the governments of the West, lead by the US and the UK, have turned against Russia. (Never expect the UK to oppose US foreign policies)
There are many reasons offered by our media:
1. Russia tried to stop the Ukraine from joining the EU.
2. Russia helped the “pro-Russian rebels” shoot down MH-17.
3. Russia “invaded” the Crimea illegally.
4. Thousands of Russian troops and tanks are fighting in the Ukraine.
Some of us think these claims are war propaganda for the citizens of the West used to justify sanctions against Russia and increasing military tensions.
Australianvoice posted this March 7, 2015
The Geo-political Reasons
Less widely discussed but more important are the geo-political reasons which look at the areas of conflict between the economic interests of the US and those of Russia and China.At the moment the EU is heavily dependent on energy from Russia. The US would like to stop this.The conflict in the Ukraine is an important part of the process of economically separating the EU from Russia. But there is also a wider agenda.China and Russia lead the BRICS group of countries consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS countries want to develop a world wide economic system that does not depend the US dollar.

The BRICS  want to be independent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World bank. China has also suggested to Europe that they join together with Russia and themselves in what they call the New Silk Road, stretching across the whole of Eurasia, from Lisbon to Shanghai.

Needless to say there is no immediate place for the US in this plan, so this gives another reason to cut the economic ties between Russia and the EU.

The Secret Reason – The War that Didn’t Happen
While these factors are all important, there is another factor which is never discussed in the Western media.

The trigger for the sudden hostility against Russia and Putin can be found in almost unreported events which took place late in August and early September 2013.

What happen in that crucial period is that a planned NATO surprise attack on Syria was stopped by Russia. This was probably the first time since WWII that a military attack planned by the West was confronted by sufficient force to require its cancellation.

The people in the West will not be told because their belligerent, tough-talking leaders “blinked”. They backed down and decided to change their plans. The new plan: Undermine the Ukraine and seize Crimea for NATO.

This obviously didn’t work either, and the mess they created is still with us.

The Planned US/French Attack on Syria
Early in the morning of Saturday, August 31, 2013, an American official called the office of President Hollande telling him to expect a call from Obama later in the day.

“Assuming that the evening phone call would announce the commencement of U.S. air strikes (against Syria), Hollande ordered his officers to quickly finalize their own attack plans. Rafale fighters were loaded with Scalp cruise missiles, their pilots told to launch the 250-mile-range munitions while over the Mediterranean.”(1)

At this point in time the French pilots and the US forces were only waiting for the final command from President Obama to begin their attack.

However, later that same day, at 6:15 pm, Obama called the French President to tell him that the strike scheduled for 3:00 am, September 1, would not take place as planned. He would need to consult Congress.(2)

Three days later, at 06:16 GMT Tuesday, September 3, two missiles were launched “from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea” heading for the Syrian coast, but they did not reach Syria.(3) “Both missiles crashed into the sea.”(4) There are several different accounts of what took place. According to Israel Shamir:

“It was claimed by a Lebanese newspaper quoting diplomatic sources that the missiles were launched from a NATO air base in Spain and they were shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system.

Another explanation proposed by the Asia Times says the Russians employed their cheap and powerful GPS jammers to render the expensive Tomahawks helpless, by disorienting them and causing them to fail.

Yet another version attributed the launch to the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim.”(5)

The Warships Were Ready
It is hard to know what was behind this failed missile launch, but it did not trigger an all-out war.

We can all be very thankful for this. In the map below we can see the significant collection of warships in position off the Syrian coast at the time.(6)

An article in Global Research referred to a “massive US and allied naval deployment is occurring in the Eastern Mediterranean off Syria’s coastline as well as in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.”(7)

Med Map Syria

At the time it looked almost certain that the US and its allies would launch an attack on Syria.

Instead, the proposed attack was put off indefinitely.

As Israel Shamir says, “the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean,” and the US suddenly decided to back away from such a serious military conflict.

One commentator quipped that Obama finally deserved his Nobel Peace Prize after all.

Here is the assessment of the situation from the Saker, an outspoken opponent of what he calls the Anglo-Zionist Empire. Because of his previous life the Saker has insider knowledge of the workings of NATO military affairs.

“Less noticed was the fact that Russia sent a hastily assembled but capable naval task force to the Syrian coast. Not a task force big enough to fight the US Navy, but a task force capable of providing a full view of the skies over and beyond Syria to the Syrian military.

For the first time the US could not achieve a surprise attack on Syria, not with cruise missiles, not with airpower. Worse, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah embarked on a covert and overt program of material and technical assistance for Syria which ended up defeating the Wahabi insurgency.”(8)

Why Did the US Change Plans?
It is difficult for us to know all of the manoeuvres which took place behind the scenes during August and September, 2013, but the final outcome is clear. After years of increasing tensions and threats, the US and its allies decided not to launch a direct attack on Syria as planned.

Given the rhetoric and military deployment directed against Syria seemed to follow the script used for Iraq and Libya, there has been little discussion in the West about why the US and its friends suddenly changed their plans.

Now with hindsight we can see that this failed direct attack led to an increased indirect attact and the rise of what is know known as ISIS.

Two of the obvious reasons I can see for this sudden change are not the sort of things the political leaders of the West want to discuss.

One is the fact that these wars are very unpopular. As a result of countless lies and failures revealed about the pointless and savage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it seems that some of the politicians are listening to their citizens. How else can you explain the unexpected decision of the British Parliament on Thursday, 29 August, to vote against the UK taking part in any strikes on Syria?

The other reason is the extent of the military build-up by Syria, Russia and even China.(9)

The Russians and Chinese have not only blocked the US in the Security Council. They “voted” with their military hardware.

They are not happy about what the US planned for Syria and made it quite clear that they would use force to stop them.

When was the last time the Chinese ever sent warships to the Mediterranean?

Both Russia and China are clearly not happy with the way the US decides to invade one country after another.

What Does it Mean?
For reasons which are not hard to imagine, there has been little discussion of the broader significance of these events in the Western media. However commentators like Israel Shamir and Pepe Escobar believe these events signal an important shift in the balance of power in the world.

The following is taken from a presentation by Israel Shamir at the Rhodes Forum October 5, 2013:

“First, the good news. American hegemony is over. The bully has been subdued.
“We cleared the Cape of Good Hope, symbolically speaking, in September 2013. With the Syrian crisis, the world has passed a key forking of modern history. It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
“The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. It will take some time until the realisation of what we’ve gone through seeps in: it is normal for events of such magnitude.”(10)

For ‘Eurasia’ read Russia and China.

In blunt terms, these two countries simply forced the US to back off and cancel their plans for war. Generally speaking, the ordinary people of the US, the UK and many other countries were just as opposed to the attack as the people in Syria itself.

Pepe Escobar is even more dramatic. Writing on the 17th October, after the Syrian backdown and the government shutdown in Washington, he explains that there has been a policy shift in Beijing.

Now, for China, the diplomatic gloves are off. It’s time to build a “de-Americanized” world.

It’s time for a new international reserve currency to replace the US dollar.(11)

This new approach is presented in a Xinhua editorial.(12) The last straw for them was the US shutdown coming on top of the financial crisis provoked by Wall Street banks. He quotes perhaps the most important paragraph:

Instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies.”(13)

China has at least three parts to this new strategy.

The first is to stop the military adventures of the US. All nations must respect international law and deal with conflicts within the framework of the UN.

The second is to broaden membership of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to include countries in the emerging and developing world.

The third is to work towards a “new international reserve currency that is to be created to replace the dominant US dollar.”(14)

Perhaps this is why the leaders in the West are not celebrating the war that didn’t happen.

The Russians and Chinese have forced the West to adhere to international law and avoid an illegal war.

Further, the Chinese see this as a beginning of a new era in world politics. They want to “de-Americanize” the world.

The Russians want to see a “multi-polar” world. This means that the US and its small group of friends in Western Europe and Japan will need to recognize that they cannot make all the major decisions in the world on their own.

Note: The arrogance of the US failed to change the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall

 

 

 

State-sponsored hacking on the rise: The USA, France, Israel, China and now North Korea

North Korea only needed an Internet connection and computers to cripple an entire company like Sony Pictures Entertainment .

North Korea targeted Sony Pictures Entertainment because the studio planned to release “The Interview,” a satirical film depicting a plot to assassinate North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

Hackers calling themselves “Guardians of Peace” demanded that Sony stop the movie’s release, set for Christmas, or they would attack moviegoers in a 9/11-style assault.

Sony at first bowed to pressure and on Wednesday withdrew the film from theater distribution. But on Friday, criticized for giving the hackers what they wanted, the company said it hoped to distribute the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco on “different platforms.”

Sony and the rise of state-sponsored hacking

North Korea has been blamed for one of the most destructive cyber-attacks on a company in US history. It’s just the latest in a string of hacks sanctioned and funded by governments

Ian Sherr  and Seth Rosenblatt posted this December 20, 2014

“This is absolutely a wake-up call,” said Bruce Bennett, an expert on North Korea and military defense for the RAND Corporation think tank. “We have North Koreans who built nuclear weapons. Why should we suspect they can’t do cyberattacks?”

While the latest cyberattack puts North Korea in the public eye, the country is not unique.

China, Israel, France, Syria and the US are among the world’s most powerful countries that have amassed armies of hackers engaged in cyberwarfare. These countries have reportedly used sophisticated computer skills to disable Iran’s uranium enrichment plants, cripple oil and gas production in Saudi Arabia and sabotage satellite and infrastructure systems around the world.

The number of cyberespionage attacks across the Web rose 15 % between 2011 and 2013, according to a report by Verizon. The annual cost of a successful cyberattacks increased to $20.8 million in the financial sector, $14.5 million in technology and $12.7 in the communications industry, according to a Heritage Foundation report released just before the attack on

Most attacks targeting the US come from China and France, in addition to those originating on American soil, according to Internet research firm Norse. State-sponsored hacking is “undeniably on the rise,” said Kurt Stammberger, senior vice president of market development at Norse.

In 2010, a malicious computer program called Stuxnet successfully damaged machines Iran was believed to be using to create nuclear weapons. Two years later, The New York Times said Israel and the United States were behind the attack.

Since then, hackers working on behalf of various countries have carried out plots against nations and corporations.

The Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers sympathetic to the dictatorial regime there, has defaced websites and taken control of social-media accounts.

The Chinese government is suspected of having breached the computer networks of government and spy agencies around the world, as well as large corporations including Google, Adobe, Yahoo and defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

President Obama also said he doesn’t believe North Korea worked with other countries in the attack against Sony.

In the not-too-distant future, warfare with traditional weaponry may take a backseat to potentially more destructive tactics: computer code attacking the companies and infrastructures, including electric grids and oil and gas pipelines, that society relies on.

That isn’t as farfetched as it once was, said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of security services firm CrowdStrike. “From a technical perspective, this attack wasn’t unprecedented,” he said. “There’s no doubt we’ll see more of these in the future.”

While the attack on Sony may seem expansive in its destructive scope, it only affected shareholders, partner companies and employees. An attack on critical infrastructure of countries would be more devastating, said Evan Sills, a cybersecurity consultant at Good Harbor.

Many countries have the ability to do such damage but have so far refrained from such destructive attacks, Sills added. But that doesn’t mean terrorist groups will show similar restraint.

“What North Korea did to Sony, a terrorist group could do to them in three years,” Sills said. “In terms of how bad could it get? It could get pretty bad.”

 

 

 

Santa’s real workshop: the town of Yiwu in China that makes the world’s Christmas decorations

Inside the ‘Christmas village’ of Yiwu, there’s no snow and no elves, just 600 factories that produce 60% of all the decorations in the world

Santa's workshop … 19-year-old Wei works in a factory in Yiwu, China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder.
Santa’s workshop … 19-year-old Wei works in a factory in Yiwu, China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex

There’s red on the ceiling and red on the floor, red dripping from the window sills and red globules splattered across the walls. It looks like the artist Anish Kapoor has been let loose with his wax cannon again.

This is what the making of Christmas looks like; this is the very heart of the real Santa’s workshop – thousands of miles from the North Pole, in the Chinese city of Yiwu.

Our yuletide myth-making might like to imagine that Christmas is made by rosy-cheeked elves hammering away in a snow-bound log cabin somewhere in the Arctic Circle. But it’s not. The likelihood is that most of those baubles, tinsel and flashing LED lights you’ve draped liberally around your house came from Yiwu, 300km south of Shanghai – where there’s not a (real) pine tree nor (natural) snowflake in sight.

Christened “China’s Christmas village”, Yiwu is home to 600 factories that collectively churn out over 60% of all the world’s Christmas decorations and accessories, from glowing fibre-optic trees to felt Santa hats.

The “elves” that staff these factories are mainly migrant labourers, working 12 hours a day for a maximum of £200 to £300 a month – and it turns out they’re not entirely sure what Christmas is.

Wei gets through at least 10 face masks each day, trying not to breathe in the cloud of red dust.

Wei gets through at least 10 face masks each day, trying not to breathe in the cloud of red dust. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex

“Maybe it’s like [Chinese] New Year for foreigners,” says 19-year-old Wei, a worker who came to Yiwu from rural Guizhou province this year, speaking to Chinese news agency Sina. Together with his father, he works long days in the red-splattered lair, taking polystyrene snowflakes, dipping them in a bath of glue, then putting them in a powder-coating machine until they turn red – and making 5,000 of the things every day.

In the process, the two of them end up dusted from head to toe in fine crimson powder. His dad wears a Santa hat (not for the festive spirit, he says, but to stop his hair from turning red) and they both get through at least 10 face masks a day, trying not to breathe in the dust.

It’s a tiring job and they probably won’t do it again next year: once they’ve earned enough money for Wei to get married, they plan on returning home to Guizhou and hopefully never seeing a vat of red powder again.

Packaged up in plastic bags, their gleaming red snowflakes hang alongside a wealth of other festive paraphernalia across town in the Yiwu International Trade Market, aka China Commodity City, a 4m sq m wonder-world of plastic tat.

It is a pound shop paradise, a sprawling trade show of everything in the world that you don’t need and yet may, at some irrational moment, feel compelled to buy. There are whole streets in the labyrinthine complex devoted to artificial flowers and inflatable toys, then come umbrellas and anoraks, plastic buckets and clocks. It is a heaving multistorey monument to global consumption, as if the contents of all the world’s landfill sites had been dug-up, re-formed and meticulously catalogued back into 62,000 booths.

The two men produce 5,000 red snowflakes a day, and get paid around £300 a month.

The two men produce 5,000 red snowflakes a day, and get paid around £300 a month. Photograph: China Daily/Reuters

The complex was declared by the UN to be the “largest small commodity wholesale market in the world” and the scale of the operation necessitates a kind of urban plan, with this festival of commerce organised into five different districts. District Two is where Christmas can be found.

There are corridors lined with nothing but tinsel, streets throbbing with competing LED light shows, stockings of every size, plastic Christmas trees in blue and yellow and fluorescent pink, plastic pine cones in gold and silver. Some of it seems lost in translation: there are sheep in Santa hats and tartan-embroidered reindeer, and of course lots of that inexplicable Chinese staple, Father Christmas playing the saxophone.

It might look like a wondrous bounty, but the market’s glory days seem to have passed: it’s now losing out to internet giants like Alibaba and Made In China.

On Alibaba alone, you can order 1.4 m different Christmas decorations to be delivered to your door at the touch of a button. Yiwu market, by comparison, stocks a mere 400,000 products.

A Christmas corridor in District Two of Yiwu International Trade Market.

A Christmas corridor in District Two of Yiwu International Trade Market. Photograph: /flickr

Aiming at the lower end of the market, Yiwu’s sales thrived during the recession, as the world shopped for cut-price festive fun, but international sales are down this year. Still, according to Cai Qingliang, vice chairman of the Yiwu Christmas Products Industry Association, domestic appetite is on the rise, as China embraces the annual festival of Mammon. Santa Claus, says the Economist, is now better known to most Chinese people than Jesus.

The beaming sales reps of Yiwu market couldn’t sound happier with their life sentence of eternal Christmastime. According to Cheng Yaping, co-founder of the Boyang Craft Factory, who runs a stall decked out like a miniature winter wonderland: “Sitting here every day, being able to look at all these beautiful decorations, is really great for your mood.”

It’s somehow unlikely that those on the other end of the production line, consigned to dipping snowflakes in red-swamped workshops for us to pick up at the checkout for 99p, feel quite the same way.

What is this fuss, and who is this Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo?

How many of you cared to remember a name like Liu Xiaobo?

How many of you ever read any translated work of Liu Xiaobo?

How many Chinese ever read an article of Liu Xiaobo? 

Does it make any difference if Liu Xiaobo was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010?

What if a few multinational news media decided to label Liu Xiaobo an icon for freedom, simply because he was jailed for a few months?

What if Archbishop Desmond Tutu (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work fighting the racist Apartheid system in South Africa) is circulating a petition for the release of Liu Xiaobo?

Liu Xiaobo  was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights“.

Today, Liu Xiaobo remains in jail, as China’s most famous political prisoner.

Xiaobo is serving an 11-year term for his activism demanding that the Chinese government make his country more democratic and make its courts more independent.

His wife, who has never been convicted of any crime, is under house arrest. This is not just.

Before signing any petition, I want to be clear on:

1. Did Xiaobo visited the sweat shop factories and communicated with the modern slaves?

2. Did Xiaobo talked in person with the university chairmen who are pressuring graduate students to work for Foxcom as slaves a couple of days and nights per week?(These slave factories manufacturing Apple iPhone and other products for US multinational companies)

3. Did Xiaobo got engaged on the field and lead activists to demonstrate against infamy and indignities?

It worth that people asking to sign on petition to “enlighten” readers on the field work and engagement of the “hero” so that we learn what it takes to receive a peace award…

 

 Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote: I am humbled to share the Nobel legacy with someone so brave as Xiaobo. Today, with more than 130 other Nobel Prize winners, I am calling on the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to release Liu Xiaobo from prison and his wife, Xia, from house arrest.

Liu Xiaobo and his wife
Sign Desmond’s Petition

This is a historic moment in China.

Every 10 years, the Chinese government hands over power to a new generation of leadership. As of a few weeks ago, Xi Jinping has succeeded his predecessor, Hu Jintao, in leading China — and hopes are that he will open China to reform more than any of his predecessors.

The Chinese government doesn’t usually listen to voices from outside the country. (Or voices from within the country, for that matter!) But the world has a singular opportunity to push for change when China’s leadership changes over every 10 years.

This is our chance! Humans are wonderful, and we can do amazing things when we act together.

I have seen this time and time again with my own eyes.

Click here to sign my petition now, and call on China’s new Premier Xi Jinping to release Nobel Peace Prizer winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu via Change.org <mail@change.org>

Note: Do you know that Oslo (Norway) extends only the Nobel peace prize, while Stockholm (Sweden) selects all the other Nobel prizes?

And yet, Oslo was doing a terrible job in its selection for this single prize. For example:

1. Oslo voted for a newly elected president (Obama) before witnessing any peaceful achievement.  Obama is still assassinating people using drones, and adopting double tap tactics in order to kill those coming to rescue the injured and killed from the first missile attack, and Obama has been at it for four years now, hundreds of those drone attacks, killing hundred (90% being civilians)

2. Oslo awarded master terrorist late Israeli PM, Menahim Begin, the peace prize. Begin even managed to terrorize his masters the British colonial mandated power in Palestine and committed genocide on scores of Palestinian villages… And achieved his “peaceful activities” by committing the genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon 1982.

3. Oslo awarded Shimon Peres the same prize. Peres is the current president of Israel and who launched a preemptive war on Lebanon in 1996,  just after receiving the award and bombed a UN compound in Qana (south Lebanon), killing 100 civilians who came for refuge. This “diplomat” dotted Israel with nuclear weapons from France in the 60’s.

China published a report: “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011”

Apparently, China got enough of the exclusive US reports on human rights violations “outside of the US” and produced its own counter attack report.

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report titled

“The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011” on Friday.

Human Rights Record of United States in 2011

Occupy Seattle protesters, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, scuffle with police officers 

during a May Day rally and anti-capitalist march in Seattle. Stuart Isett / Bloomberg

“The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices for 2011 on May 24, 2012.
As in previous years, the reports are full of over critical  remarks on the human rights situation
in nearly 200 countries and regions as well as distortions and accusations
concerning the human rights cause in China.
However, the United Statesturned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and kept
silent about it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 is hereby prepared
to reveal the true human rights situation of the United States to people across the world
and urge the United States to face upto its own doings.
I.On life, property and personal security
The United States has mighty strength in human, financial and material resources
to exert effective control over violent crimes.
However, its society is chronically suffering from violent crimes, and its citizens’ lives,
properties and personal security are in lack of proper protection.
A report published by the US Department of Justice on Sept 15,2011, revealed that in 2010, the US residents aged 12 and above experienced 3.8 million violent victimizations, 1.4 million serious violent victimizations,14.8 million property victimizations and 138,000 personal thefts.
The violent victimization rate was 15 victimizations per 1,000 residents (www.bjs.gov).
The crimerate surged in many cities and regions in the United States.
In the southern region of the United States, there were 452 violent crimes and 3,439
property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants (in 2010) on average
(The Wall Street Journal, Sept 20, 2011).
Just four weeks into 2011, San Francisco saw 8 homicides -compared with five during
the same time of the previous year, with Oakland racking up 11, when the previous year
in the same period it had four (The SanFrancisco Chronicle, Jan 29, 2011).
Grand larcenies in the subway in New York City increased from 852 in 2010
to 1,075 cases in the first nine months of 2011, a 25 % jump (The ChinaPress, Sept 24, 2011).
Homicide cases in Detroit in 2011 saw a 13.5%  rise over 2010 (www.buzzle.com).
Between January and October 2011, a total of 123,924 serious crime casestook place in Chicago
(portal.chicagopolice.org).
An antibullying public service announcement declared in January 2011 that more than
6 million school children experienced bullying in theprevious six months (CNN, Mar 10, 2011).
According to statistics from the Family First Aid, almost 30% of teenagers in the United States
are estimated to be involved in schoolbullying (www.familyfirstaid.org).
The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens’ lives
and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant
gun ownership.
The US people hold between 35 percent and 50 % of the world’ s civilian owned guns,
with every 100 people having 90 guns (Online edition of the Foreign Policy, Jan 9, 2011).
According to a Gallup poll in October 2011, 47% of American adults reported
that they had a gun. That was an increase of 6 percentage points from a year ago
and the highest Gallup had recorded since 1993.
About 52%  of middleaged adults, aged between 35 and 54, reported to own guns,
and the adults’ gun ownership in the south region was 54% (The China Press, Oct 28, 2011).
The New York Times reported on Nov 14,2011, that since 1995, more than 3,300 felons
and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors had regained their gun rights
in the state of Washington and of that number, more than 400 had subsequently committed
new crimes, including shooting and other felonies (The New YorkTimes, Nov 14, 2011).
The United States is the leader among the world’s developed countries in gun violence
and gundeaths. According to a report of the Foreign Policy on Jan 9, 2011,
over 30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence and another 200,000 
Americans are estimated to be injured eachyear due to guns
(Online edition of the Foreign Policy, Jan 9, 2011).
According to statistics released by the US Department of Justice, among the 480,760 
robbery cases and 188,380 rape and sexual assault cases in 2010, the rates of victimization
involving firearms were 29% and 7 percent, respectively (www.bjs.gov).
On Jun 2, 2011, a shooting rampage in Arizona left six people dead and one injured
(The China Press, Jun 3, 2011).
In Chicago, more than 10 overnight shooting incidents took place just between the evening
of June 3 and the morning of June 4 (Chicago Tribune, Jun 4, 2011).
Another five overnight shootings occurred between Aug 12 evening and Aug 13
morning in Chicago.
These incidents have caused anumber of deaths and injuries (Chicago Tribune, Aug 13, 2011).
Shooting spree cases involving one gunman shooting dead over five people also happened
in the states of Michigan,Texas, Ohio, Nevada and Southern California
(The New York Times, Oct 13, 2011; CNN, Jul 8, 2011; CBS, Jul 23, 2011;USA Today, Aug 9, 2011).
High incidence of gun related crimes haslong ignited complaints of the US people and
they stage multiple protests every year,demanding the government strictly control
the private possession of arms.
The US government, however, fails to pay due attention to this issue.

II. On civil and political rights

In the United States, the violation of citizens’ civil and political rights is severe.

It is lying to itsel fwhen the United States calls itself the land of the free (The Washington Post,

Jan 14, 2012).

Claiming to defend 99 percent of the US population against the wealthiest,

the Occupy Wall Street protest movement tested the US political, economic and social systems.

Ignited by severe social and economic inequality, uneven distribution of wealth and

high unemployment,the movement expanded to sweep the United States after its inception

in September 2011.

Whatever the deep reasons for the movement are, the single fact that thousands of protesters

were treated in a rude and violent way, with many of them being arrested – the act of willfully trampling on people’ s freedom of assembly, demonstration

and speech – could provide a glimpse to the truth of the so-called US freedom and democracy.

Almost 1,000 people were reportedly arrested in first two weeks of the movement,

according to British and Australian media (The Guardian, Oct 2, 2011).

The New York police arrested more than 700 protesters for alleged blocking traffic

over Brooklyn Bridge on Oct 1, and some ofthem were handcuffed to the bridge

before being shipped by police vehicles(uschinapress.com, Oct 3, 2011).

On Oct 9,92 people were arrested in New York (The NewYork Times, Oct 15, 2011).

The Occupy Wall Street movement was forced out of its encampment at Zuccotti Park

and more than 200 people were arrested on Nov 15 (TheGuardian, Nov 25, 2011).

Chicago police arrested around 300 members of the Occupy Chicago protest in two weeks

(The Herald Sun, Oct 24, 2011).

At least 85 people were arrestedwhen police used teargas and baton rounds to break up

an Occupy Wall Street camp in Oakland, California on Oct 25.

An Iraq war veteran had a fractured skull and brain swellingafter being allegedly hit in the head

by a police projectile (The Guardian, Oct 26, 2011).

Acouple of hundred people were arrested when demonstrations were staged in different

US cities to mark the Occupy Wall Street movement’ s two-month anniversary on Nov 17 (USAToday, Nov 18, 2011).

Among them, at least 276 were arrested in New York only.

A few protesters were bloodied as they were hauled away.

Many protesters accused the police oftreating them in a brutal way (The Wall Street Journal,

Nov 18, 2011).

As a US opinion article put it, the United States could be considered, at least in part,

authoritarian. (The WashingtonPost, Jan 14, 2012).

While advocating press freedom, the United States in fact imposes fairly strict censoring

and control over the press and “press freedom” is just a political tool used to beautify

itself and attack other nations.

The US Congress failed to pass laws on protecting rights of reporters’news sources,

according to media reports. An increasing number of American reporters lost jobs for

“improper remarks on politics.”

US reporter Helen Thomas resigned for critical remarks about Israel in June 2010

“Report: On the situation with human rights in a host of world states,

“the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia, Dec 28, 2011).

While forcibly evacuating the Zuccotti Park, the original Occupy Wall Street encampment,

the New York police blocked journalists from covering the police actions.

They set cordon lines to prevent reporters fromgetting close to the park and closed

airspace to make aerial photography impossible.

In addition to using pepper spray against reporters, the police also arrested around

200 journalists, including reporters from NPR and the New York Times

(uschinapress.com, Nov 15, 2011).

By trampling on press freedom and public interests, these actions by the US authorities

caused a global uproar.

US mainstream media’ s response to the Occupy Wall Street movement revealed the hypocrisy

in handling issues of freedom and democracy.

Poll by Pew Research Center indicated that in the second week of the movement,

reports on the movement only accounted for 1.68 percent of the total media reports

by nationwide media organizations.

On Oct 15, 2011, when the Occupy Wall Street movement evolved to be a global action,

CNN and Fox News gave no live reports on it, in a sharp contrast to the square protest

in Cairo, for which both CNN and Fox News broadcast live 24 hours.

The US imposes fairly strict restriction on the Internet, and its approach “remains

full of problems and contradictions.”

(The website of the Foreign Policy magazine, Feb 17, 2011)

“Internet freedom” is just an excuse for the United States to impose diplomatic pressure

andseek hegemony.

The US Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both have clauses about monitoring

the Internet, giving the government or law enforcement organizations power to monitor

and block anyInternet content “harmful to national security.”

Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 stipulates that the federal

government has “absolute power” to shut down the Internetunder a declared national emergency.

According to a report by British newspaper the Guardian dated Mar 17, 2011,

the US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites

by using fake online personas, and will allow the US military to create a false consensus

in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries

or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The project aims to control and restrict free speech on the Internet (The Guardian, Mar 17, 2011).

According to a commentaryby the Voice of Russia on Feb 2,2012, a subsidiary under

the US government’ s security agency employed several hundred analysts, who were

tasked with monitoring private archivesof foreign Internet users in a secret way,

and were able to censor as many as 5 million microblogging posts.

The US Department of Homeland Security routinely searched key words like “illegal immigrants,”

“virus,””death,” and “burst out” on Twitter with fake accounts and then secretly traced

the Internet users who forwarded related content.

According to a report by the Globe and Mail on Jan 30,2012, Leigh Van Bryan, a British,

prior to his flight to the US, wrotein a Twitter post, “Free this week,

for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?”

As aresult, Bryan along with a friend were handcuffed and put in lockdown with

suspected drug smugglers for 12 hours by armed guards after landing in Los Angeles

International Airport, justlike “terrorists”.

Among many angered by the incident in Britain, an Internet user posted a comment, “What’s worse, being arrested for an innocent tweet, or the fact that the American

Secret Service monitors every electronic message in the world?”

The US democracy is increasingly being influenced by capitalization and becoming

a system for”master of money.” Data issued by the US Center for Responsive Politics

in November 2011 show that 46 % of the US federal senators and members

of the House of Representatives have personal assets of more than a million dollars.

That well explains why US administration’ splans to impose higher tax on the rich

who earn more than one million dollars annually have been

blocked in the Congress (www.financeol.com).

As a commentary put it, money hasemerged as the electoral trump card in the US

political system, and corporations have a Supreme Court recognized right to use their

considerable financial muscle to promote candidates and policies favorable to their

business operations and to resist policies and shutout candidates deemed inimical

to their business interests (Online edition of Time, Jan 20, 2011).

According to a media report, nearly two thirds of all the contributions that the chairman

of the House Financial Services Committee received during the 2010 election cycle

came from industries regulated by his committee.

A ranking Democrat Representative on the Agriculture Committee, who served as chairman

between 2007 and 2010, saw a 711% increase in contributions from groups regulated

by his committee and a 274% increase in contributions over all, in the same period

(The New York Times, Nov 16, 2011).

According to aWashington Post report on Aug 10,2011, nearly 8 in 10 of Americans

polled were dissatisfied with the way the political system is working, with 45 %

saying they are very dissatisfied (The Washington Post, Aug 10, 2011).

The US continued to violate the freedom of its citizens in the name of boosting security levels(The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2012).

The Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2011 released areport,”Patterns of Misconduct:

FBI intelligence violations from 2001 to2008,” which reveals that domestic political

intelligence apparatus, spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,continues

to systematically violate the rights of American citizens and legal residents.

The report shows that the actual number of violations that may have occurred

from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of law,

Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.

The FBI issued some 200,000 requests and that almost 60% were for investigations of

US citizens and legal residents(www.pacificfreepress.com).

The New York Times reported on Oct 20,2011, that the FBI has collected information

about religious, ethnic and national-origin characteristics of American communities

(The New York Times, Oct 20, 2011).

According to a Washington Post commentary dated Jan 14,2012, the US government

can use “national security letters” todemand, without probable cause,

that organizations turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and

associations, and order searches of everything from business documentsto library records.

The US government can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted

citizens without securing any court order or review (The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2012).

Abuse of power, brutal enforcement of law and overuse of force by US police have resulted

in harassment and hurt to a large number of innocent citizens and have caused

loss of freedom of some people or even deaths.

According to a report carried by the World Journal on Jun 10, 2011, the past decade

saw increasing stop and frisks by the New York police, which recorded an annual of

600,000 cases in 2010, almost double of that in 2004.

In the first three months of 2011, some 180,000 people experienced stop-and-frisks, 88 % of whom were innocent people (World Journal, Jun 10, 2011).

In early July of 2011, two police officers beat a mentally ill homeless man to death

in Orange County, Southern California (FoxNews.com, Sept 21, 2011).

In August 2011, North Miami police shot and killed a man carrying realistic toy gun

(TheNY Daily News, Sept 1, 2011).

On Jan 8,2011, a Central California man was shot and killed bythe police, who thought

of him as a gang member only because the jacket he was wearing wasred, “the chosen color of a local street gang.” (www.kolotv.com, Jan 19, 2011)

In May 2011, Arizona’ s police officers raided the home of Jose Guerena and shot

him dead in what was described as an investigation into alleged marijuana trafficking.

However, the police later found nothing illegal in his home (The Huffington Post, May 25, 2011).

Misjudged and wrongly handled cases continued to occur.

According to media reports, Anthony Graves, a Texas man,was imprisoned for 18 years

for crimes he did not commit (CBS News, Jun 22, 2011).

46 year old Thomas Haynesworth spent 27 years in prison after being arrested

at the age of 18 for crimes he didn’t commit (Union Press International, Dec 7, 2011).

Eric Caine, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment after being tortured

by police into confessing totwo murders, spent nearly 25 years behind bars.(Chicago Tribune, Jun 13, 2011).

The US lacks basic due lawsuit process protections, and its government continues

to claim theright to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion

(The Washington Post, Jan14, 2012).

The National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec 31,2011, allows for the indefinite detention of citizens (The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2012).

The Act will place domestic terror investigations and interrogations into the hands

of the military and which wouldopen the door for trial free, indefinite detention of anyone,

including American citizens, so long as the government calls them terrorists

(www.forbes.com, Dec 5, 2011).

The US remains the country with the largest “prison population” and the highest

per capita level of imprisonment in the world, and the detention centers’ conditions

are terrible.

According tothe US Department of Justice, the number of prisoners amounted to 2.3 million

in 2009 and one in every 132 American citizens is behind bars.

Meanwhile, more than 140,000 are serving life sentences 

(Report: On the situation with human rights in a host of world states, the website of

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia, Dec 28, 2011).

According to a Los Angeles Times reporton May 24,2011, in a California prison,

as many as 54 inmates may share a single toilet and as many as 200 prisoners

may live in a gymnasium (Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2011).

According to data issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the estimated number

of prisonand jail inmates experiencing sexual victimization totaled 88,500 

in the US between October 2008 and December 2009 (www.bjs.gov).

Since April 2011, officials stopped serving lunch on the weekend in some US prisons

as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in36 prisons are eating

two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three (The NewYork Times, Oct 20, 2011).

Harsh conditions and treatment in prisons have caused recurring protests

and suicides of inmates.

There were two major hunger strikes in California prisons staged by a total of more

than 6,000 and 12,000 prisoners in July and October 2011, respectively,

to protest against what they call harsh treatment and detention conditions (CNN,Oct 4, 2011; The New York Times, July 7, 2011).

According to a Chicago Tribune report on July20,2011, since 2000,

at least 175 youths have attempted to kill themselves inside Departmentof Juvenile Justice

lockup facilities in Chicago and seven youths committed suicide.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in a 2011 report noted that in the US,

an estimated 20,000 to25,000 individuals are being held in isolation,

and the US government in 2011 for twice turned down the Special Rapporteur’s 

request for a private and unmonitored meeting with detainees held in isolation.

Human Rights Record of United States in 2011

Demonstrators call for justice in the murder of Trayvon Martin atLeimert Park 

in Los Angeles on March 22, 2012. Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed a task force 

to investigate the shooting death ofunarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin 

as calls grew for charges tobe filed against the neighborhood watch volunteer 

who killed him. Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

III. On economic, social and cultural rights

The United States is the world’s richest country, but quite a lot of Americans still lack

guarantee for their economic, social and cultural rights, which are necessary

for personal dignity and self-development.

The United States has not done enough to protect its citizens from unemployment.

At no time in the last 60 years had the country’s long term unemployment

been so high for so long as it was in 2011.

It has been one of the Western developed countries that provide the poorest

protection of laborer’s rights.

It has not approved any international labor organizationconvention in the last 10 years.

Moreover, the US lacks an effective arbitration system to deal with enterprises

that refuse to compromise with employees.

The New York Times reported on Dec 12, 2011, that at last count,13.3 million people

were officially unemployed and that 5.7 million of them

had been out of work for more than six months (The New York Times, Dec 12, 2011).

The unemployment rate was 8.9 percent for 2011 (www.bls.gov), and the unemployment rate

for American youths between 25 and 34 stood at 26 % in October of that year

(TheWorld Journal, Nov 18, 2011), with more underemployed.

A total of 84 metropolitan areasreported jobless rates of at least 10.0%,

and El Centro, California, recorded the highest unemployment rate of 29.6 %

in September of 2011 (www.bls.gov).

The unemployed people suffered from not only financial pressures but also mental pressures

including anxiety and depression.

There is a widening of the gap between the extreme top and bottom (The USA Today, Sept 13, 2011), showing apparent unfair wealth distribution.

The United States claims to have a large population of middle class,

making up 80% of its total population, while there is only very few impoverished

and extremely rich people (The China Press, Oct 13, 2011).

This is not the truth. According to the report issued by the US Congressional Budget Office

(CBO) on Oct 25, 2011, the richest 1% of American families have the fastest growth of family revenue from 1979 to 2007 with an increase of 275 % for after-tax income,

while the after-tax income of the poorest 20 % grew by only 18 % (The World Journal, Oct 26, 2011).

Cable News Network reported on Feb 16,2011, that in the last 20 years, incomes for 90%

of Americans have been stuck in neutral, while the richest 1% of Americans have seen

their incomes grow by 33 %.

Economic Policy Institute published a paper on Oct 26,2011, saying that in 2009

the ratio of wealth owned by the wealthiest 1% to the wealth owned by median households

was 225 to 1 (www.epi.org).

In the United States, thebestoff 10 % made on average 15 times the incomes of

the poorest 10 percent (Reuters,Dec 9, 2011).

The wealthiest 400 Americans have $1.5 trillion in assets (The China Press, Oct13, 2011), or the same combined wealth as the poorest half of Americans – more than 150 million people (www.currydemocrats.org).

The annual incomes of the richest 10 chief executive officers (CEO) were enough

to pay the salary of 18,330 employees (The World Journal, Oct 16, 2011).

Roughly 11% of Congress members had net worth of more than $9 million, 

and 249 members were millionaires.

The median net worth:$891,506, was almost nine times the typical household

(The USA Today, Nov 16, 2011).

A commentary by the Spiegel said that theUS has developed into

an economic entity of “winners take all”. American politician Larry Bartels said

that fundamental shifts in wealth allocation was caused by political decisions

rather than the consequences of market forces or financial crisis (The Spiegel, Oct 24, 2011).

Contrary to the wealthiest 10 percent, the number of Americans living in poverty

and the poverty rate continued to hit record highs, which is a great irony in affluent America.

A report published by the Census Bureau on Sept 13, 2011, showed that 46.2 million people

lived belowthe official poverty line in 2010, 2.6 million more than 2009,

hitting the highest record since 1959.

The report also said that the percentage of American who lived below the poverty line

in 2010 was 15.1 percent, the highest level since 1993.

An analysis done by the BrookingsInstitution estimated that at the current rate,

the recession would have added nearly 10 million people to the ranks of the poor

by the middle of the decade. According to the analysis, 22% of children 

were in poverty (The New York Times, Sept 13, 2011).

Another survey showed that 12 states of the US had poverty rates above 17 percent,

with Mississippi’s poverty rate standing at 22.4 percent (The Huffington Post, Oct 21, 2011).

The US has grown into acountry dependent on food stamps (Reuters, Aug 22, 2011).

The percentage of Americans who did not have enough money to buy food grew

from 9 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2011 (The World Journal, Oct 15, 2011).

In 2010,17.2 million households, or 14.5 percent, werefood insecure (www. Worldhunger. org).

In 2011, 46 million Americans lived on food stamps, about 15 percent

of the total population, up 74 % from 2007 (Reuters, Aug 22, 2011).

Millions of homeless people wandered around streets.

Reports said that about 2.3 million to 3.5 million Americans did not have a place

that they call home to sleep in the night(www.homelessnessinamerica.com).

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of homeless families grew by 20 percent

(The Huffington Post, Aug 26, 2011).

Over the past five years, thepercentage of singles arriving at shelters

after living with family or elsewhere in the community has jumped

from 39 percent to 66 percent (The USA Today, Dec 9, 2011).

There was an all time record of more than 41,000 homeless people in New York City,

including 17,000 homeless children (www.coalitionforthehomeless.org).

On any given night in Santa Clara County,California, 7,045 people were homeless

according to a 2011 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey (www.santaclaraweekly.com).

And advocates estimated that Chicago hadup to 3,000 homeless youths

in need of shelter on any given night(www.chicagonewscoop.org).

The US declared it has the best healthcare service in the world, but quite a lot of

Americans could not enjoy due medication and healthcare.

The Cable News Network reported on Sept 13,2011, that the number of people

who lacked health insurance in 2010 climbed to 49.9 million (Cable News Network, Sept 13, 2011).

Bloomberg reported on March 16,2011, that 9 million Americans have lost

health insurance during the past two years.

An additional 73 million adults had difficulties paying for healthcare and 75 million

deferred treatment because they could not afford it (Bloomberg, March 16, 2011).

Death and infection risks caused by AIDS grew.

Since the first American patient was diagnosed with AIDS in 1981,600,000 people

have died from the disease in the US By the end of 2008, 1,178,350 Americans had been infected with AIDS (The China Press, June 3, 2011).

AFP reported that nearly three quarters of Americans with HIV do not have

their infection undercontrol and one in five people with human immuno-deficiency virus

are unaware that they havethe disease.

Among people who know their HIV status is positive, only 51 percent get ongoing

medical treatment (AFP, Nov 29, 2011).

Statistics given by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that,

in the last 10 years, death caused by prescription drugs in America had doubled

and that one would die from taking prescription drug every 14 minutes.

Prescription drug overdose caused 37,485 deaths in 2009, exceeding traffic fatalities

(TheChina Press, Sept 19, 2011).

The US government has significantly cut the expense on education, reduced teaching staff,

and shortened school hours with tuition fees soaring.

The guarantee for teenagers’ rights to education is weakening.

The New York Times reported on Oct 3,2011, that since 2007, school budgets in

New York city have been cut by 13.7% every year on average.

Since 2008, 294,000 posts in the American education industry, including schools

of higher education, have been cut (The China Press, Oct 25, 2011).

Four day per week classes have been practiced in 292 school districts,

which was only put into use during the financial crisis in the 1930s and

the oil crisis in the 1970s (The World Journal, Oct 30, 2011).

A report by College Board showedthat the average tuition fee of American

four year public universities in the school year of 2011through 2012 was $8,244, $631 more than the last school year, up 8.3 percent (The ChinaPress, Oct 27, 2011).

About 3,000 people gathered on Sproul Plaza to protest tuition increasesat Berkeley on Nov 9, 2011 (The New York Times, Nov 13, 2011).

Reuters reported that twothirds of undergraduate students would graduate

with student loans about $25,000 on average owing to expensive college tuition

(Reuters, Feb 1, 2011).

Native American culture in the United States has long been suppressed.

The country assimilated the Native American culture through legislation

and mainstream culture.

At the endof the 19th century, the United States carried out “white man’s education”

and implemented compulsory English-only education.

Most of the people who now speak Native American languages are the seniors living

in reservations. It is estimated that only 5% of Native Americans 

will speak their own languages 50 years later if there are no measures

from the US government.

The financial crisis was far from being the sole reason for the inadequate guarantee

of Americans’ economic, social and cultural rights. So far, the US has not approved

the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

The above problems concerning human rights are the reflection of the US ideology

and political system that ignore people’s economic, social and cultural rights.

IV. On racial discrimination

Ethnic minorities in the United States have long been suffering systemic,

widespread and institutional discrimination. And racial discrimination has become

an indelible characteristic and symbol of American values.

Ethnic minorities have low political, economic and social positions due to discrimination.

The number of ethnic people in civil service is not proportional to their population.

New York Times reported on June 23,2011, that the number of Asian Americans 

in New York City has topped one million, nearly 1 in 8 New Yorkers,

but only one Asian-American serves in the State Legislature, two on the City Council

and one in a citywide post of the New York City.

Accordingto the annual report released by the National Urban League of the US,

African-Americans’ 2011 Equality Index is currently 71.5 %, compared to 2010’s 72.1%,

among which thee conomic equality index declined from 57.9 percent to 56.9%,

and the health index, from 76.6 percent to 75 %, and the index in the area of social justice,

from 57.9 % to 56.9 %.

Ethnic Americans are badly discriminated against when it comes to employment.

It was reported that the unemployment rate of Hispanics rose to 11 percent in 2010

from 5.7 % in 2007 (The New York Times, Sept 28, 2011).

The unemployment rate of African Americans was 16.2%.

For black males, it’s at 17.5 percent; and for black youth, it’s nearly 41 %,

4.5 times the national average unemployment rate (CBS News, June 19, 2011).

Nationally, black joblessness stands at 21%, rising to as high as 40% in major urban centers

such as Detroit (The Wall Street Journal, Aug 31, 2011).

In Ziebach County of South Dakota, acommunity mainly composed of Native Americans,

more than 60% of the residents live at or below the poverty line,

and unemployment rate hits 90% in the winter (The Daily Mail,Feb 15, 2011).

A study shows that of the seven occupations with the highest salaries,

six are over represented by whites (Washington Post, Oct 21, 2011).

The poverty rate of African Americans doubles that of whites, and the ethnic minority

groups suffer severe social inequalities. According to a report by the Pew Research Center

released inJune 2011, the median wealth of white households is 20 times

that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households (pewresearch.org).

In 2010, poverty among blacks rose to 27.4 percent, and poverty among Hispanics increased

to 26.6 percent, much higher than the9.9% poverty rate among whites (www.census.gov).

Pew Research Center report says the lopsided wealth ratios among whites,

Hispanics and AfricanAmericans in 2009 were thelargest in the past 25 years (pewresearch.org).

According to an investigation done by the Washington-based Bread for the World, “black children are suffering from poverty at a rate ofnearly 40 %, and

over a quarter of Blacks reported going hungry in 2010”. “The figures are both startling and very telling,” said Rev Derrick Boykin (www.amsterdam.com).

Ethnic minorities are denied equal education opportunities, and ethnic minority kids

are discriminated against and bullied in schools.

According to a report by the US Census Bureauon June 8, 2011, in 2008, among 18-to 24-year-olds, 22 % were not enrolled in highschools for Hispanics, 13 % for African Americans, whereas only 6 percent for whites(www.census.gov).

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on Oct 28,2011, one third of American students

are bullied at schools, and Asian-American children bear the brunt.

The teases and insults they get in cyber space are three times more compared

with kids from other ethnic groups.

A research finds 54 percent of Asian-American students have been bullied in schools, 38.4 % for African-Americans and 34.3% for Hispanics (World Journal Oct29, 2011).

Ethnic minorities and nonChristians are also badly discriminated against in fields

such as law enforcement, justice and religion, rendering the so claimed ethnic equality

and religious freedom nothing but self-glorifying forged labels.

A New York Times story (Dec 17,2011) saysthe New York Police Department

recorded more than 600,000 stops in 2010 and 84 percent of those stopped

were blacks or Latinos. It was reported that black non-Hispanic males are incarcerated

at a rate more than six times that of white non-Hispanic males

(World Report2011: United States, www.hrw.org).

On Dec 1,2011, the American Civil Liberties Union said that”the FBI is using

its extensive community outreach to Muslims and other groups to secretly

gather intelligence in violation of federal law”. (Washington Post, Dec 2, 2011)

A survey by Pew Research Center finds that 52 percent of Muslim Americans surveyed

said their group is undergovernment’s surveillance, about 28 %said they had been treated

or viewed withsuspicion and 21 % said they were singled out by airport security

(articles.boston.com).

More than half of Muslim-Americans in another poll said government anti-terrorism policies singled them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many reported

increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security,

law enforcement officers and others (Washington Times, Aug 30, 2011).

Illegal immigrants also live under legal and systematic discrimination.

It was reported that afterArizona passed its anti illegal immigration bill, Alabama began

implementing its immigration law on Sept 28, 2011.

The Alabama immigration law provides differentiated treatments to illegal immigrants

in each of its term, rendering their daily lives rather difficult.

Critics argued that thelaw runs counter to the US Constitution and to certain terms

in relevant international human rights law regarding granting equal protections

to illegal immigrants (www.hrw.org).

The NewYork Times reported on May 13, 2011, that Georgia passed an anti-illegal immigration law which outlaws illegal immigrants working in the state

and empowers local police officers to question certain suspects about their immigration status.

Illegal immigrants suffer ferocious mistreatments.

Internal reports from the Office of Detention Oversight of the Immigration and

Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed grave problems in many US detention facilities

for immigrants, including lack of medical care, the use of excessive force and

“abusive treatment”of detainees (The Houston Chronicle, Oct 10, 2011).

A report released on Sept 21, 2011, by an Arizona-based nonprofit organization

revealed that thousands of illegal immigrants detained across the border between

Mexico and Arizona are generally mistreated by US borderpolice, being denied enough food,

water, medical care and sleep, even beaten up and confined in extreme coldness or heat,

suffering both psychological abuse and threats of death

(TheWorld Journal, Sept 24, 2011).

Native Americans are denied their due rights.

From January to February 2011, UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya

lodged two accusations against the United States, including accusing

the Arizona State government of approving the use of recycled wastewater

for commercial ski operations on the San Francisco Peaks, a site considered sacred

by several Native American tribes (www.forgottennavajopeople.org),

as well as the case of imprisoned indigenous activist Leonard Peltier.

Peltier was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 for the alleged murder of two FBIagents.

However, Peltier has been claiming he is innocent and persecuted by the USgovernment

for participating in the American Indian Movement (www.ohchr.org).

On April 26, 2011, Farida Shaheed, independent expert in the field of cultural rights,

Heiner Bielefeldt, special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief,

and James Anaya, special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples,

of the UN Human Rights Council, jointly lodged accusations against the US,

claiming that the city of Vallejo, California, is planning to level and pave

over the Sogorea Te, held sacred to indigenous people in northern California,

in order to construct a parking lot and public restrooms (www.treatycouncil.org).

Race-motivated hate crimes occur frequently. According to an FBI report, 6,628 hate crime incidents were reported in 2010, 2,201 of which were against African-Americans

and 534 against Hispanics and 575 against whites.

About 47.3 % of all were motivated by racial bias, 20% by religion and 12.8 % by

an ethnicity/national origin bias (ww.fbi.gov).

Accordingto a report released by the Center for American Progress in August 2011,

seven American charitable groups, over the past decade, had spent 42.6 million US dollars 

on inciting hatred against Muslim communities (The New York Times, Nov 13, 2011).

There are three active white supremacy groups in the city of San Francisco,

which focus on attacking ethnic minorities andimmigrants (www.abclocal.go.com).

On Nov 10,2010, two Mexican nationals were beaten by agroup of whites

who were members of these organizations (www.sfappeal.com).

According to aninvestigation, black men aged 15 to 29 years old were most likely

to be victims of murders.

In New York City, they make up less than 3 percent of the city’s population but in 2010

represented 33 percent of all homicide victims (The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2011).

The sufferings of civil rights activists who oppose racial discriminations arouse attention.

The Huffington Post reported on May 31,2011, Catrina Wallace,

a civil rights activist in Jena, Louisiana, was sentenced to 15 years in prison

by authorities only based on a drug dealer’saccusation.

Previously, Wallace had taken part in organizing a 50,000-people protest against racial discrimination that won freedom for six black high school students.

The article deemed the sentence was revenge taken by authorities

on Wallace’s human rights activism. “I am a freedom fighter. I fight for people’s rights.”

Human Rights Record of United States in 2011

Yang Ting Lye (left) and Amy Huang hug at an impromptu memorial oncampus for the two graduate students from China, Qu Ming of Jilin andWu Ying of Hunan, who were shot dead near the University ofSouthern California in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012. Jonathan Alcorn /Reuters

V. On the rights of women and children

To date, the US has ratified neither the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women, nor the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As the USneglects the rights of women and children, their situation deteriorates.

Gender discrimination against women widely exists in the US. According to statistics,

women arenot fully represented in governments at all levels in the US, as women hold

only 17 % ofthe seats in Congress (www.wcffoundation.org).

Women doing the same work as men often getless payment in the US, and the wage gap has

narrowed by only 18 cents in the past halfcentury (www.thedailybeast.com).

According to a report released by the American Civil LibertiesUnion, in 2009,

women working full-time, year-round were paid 77 cents on average for

everydollar paid to men (www.aclu.org).

Women in the US widely suffer discrimination in terms ofemployment, promotion and work.

A new study confirms that American tech companies arewoefully behind in including women

among their board members and highest-paid executives.

On average, fewer than one in 28 of the highestpaid tech executives is a woman.

AtCalifornia’s biggest public companies, only about 10% of the board members and

top executives are women (The New York Times, Dec 9, 2011).

The poverty rate among American women reached a record high.

According to data from theUS Census Bureau, over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010,

including more than 7.5million in extreme poverty and 4.7 million single mothers in poverty.

The poverty rate amongwomen climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009,

the highest in 17 years.

Theextreme poverty rate among women climbed to 6.3 % in 2010 from 5.9% in 2009,

the highest rate ever recorded (www.merchantcircle.com).

According to a report of theAssociated Press on April 12,2011, a single mother named

Lashanda Armstrong drove herfour kids in a minivan into the Hudson river in Newburgh,

New York, due to the unbearableburden of raising the kids. Only her 10-year-old boy survived.

Women in the US often experience discrimination, violence and sexual assault.

Ethnic minoritywomen face discrimination during pregnancy.

According to a report provided by the LAMB (TheLos Angeles Mommy and Baby Project), 32.4 percent of Asian-American mothers feltdiscriminated against during pregnancy, second only to African-American mothers amongwhom the ratio amounts to 47.9%, while the ratio

among Latin American mothers is 31.1% (The China Press, June 1, 2011).

According to statistics from the website of the LosAngeles Police Department,

more than 2 million American women are victims of domesticviolence annually.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey shows nearly one in 5 women

has been raped in her lifetime, and one in four has experienced serious physical violence

from an intimate partner at some point in her life (Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2011).

Throughout the military, sexual assault affects about 19 percent of female troops

but most of them choose to keep silent, according to a survey of sexual assault

conducted by theUS military (www.csmonitor.com).

From March to October in 2011, a string of 20 sexual assaultshappened in Bay Ridge,

Sunset Park and Park Slope and the victims were all young women

(The New York Times, Oct 19, 2011).

Reports say many of the 1 million women in prison in theUS experienced harsh treatment

and even had their arms and legs chained when they weregiving birth (www.globalissues.org).

The poverty rate for children in the US reached a record high.

According to the report releasedby the US Census Bureau, more than 1 million children

were added to the poverty populationbetween 2009 and 2010, making the total number

of children living below the poverty line reachmore than 15 million, the greatest since 2001.

The poverty rate for children in 2010 climbed to21.6 percent in 2010 from 20 percent in 2009,

with 653 counties seeing a significant increasein poverty rate for children aged 5 to 17

and about one-third of counties having school age poverty rates

above the national poverty rate (www.census.gov).

The Daily Mail reported onAug 17, 2011, that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009 and Mississippi is

the state with the highest level of 31 percent.

The US Census Bureau said that children living inpoverty, especially small children,

are more likely to develop cognitive and behavioraldifficulties and may have

a shorter education time and a longer time being unemployed whenthey grow up

(The China Press, Nov 21, 2011).

The number of homeless children has surged.

In 2010,1.6 million children in the US were livingon the street, in homeless shelters

or motels, up 33 percent from that in 2007, according to the National Center on Family

Homelessness (USA Today, Dec 15, 2011).

According to theEducation Department of New York, there are 53,503 homeless students

and children of 3 to21 years old in New York, and the Homeless Service Department’s

count also shows anaverage of 6,902 children of 6 to 17 years old a month are homeless

in the city (The New YorkTimes, Nov 14, 2011).

Nearly 17,000 children slept in the municipal shelters in New York onHalloween night in 2011.

From May 2011 to November 2011, children in shelters rose 10 percent

(The Wall Street Journal, Nov 9, 2011).

Children are severely exposed to violence and pornography.

BBC reported on Oct 17,2011,that over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children

were believed to have beenkilled by their family members.

More than 1 million children are confirmed each year as victimsof child abuse

(www.preventchildabuse.org), and one in every two families in the US is involved in domestic violence at some time (www. reverepolice.org).

The Wall Street Journal reported onNov 14, 2011, that roughly 120,000 calls

were made to the state hotline for child abuse callsadministrated by the state

Department of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania, but only about24,000 cases were investigated.

A 13-year-old boy named Christian Choate was allegedlybeaten to death in 2009 by his father.

The report said prosecutors had alleged that the boyendured beating daily and was kept locked

in a 3-foot-high dog cage, where he had little to eat and often soiled himself

(Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2011).

Campus violence and cyberbullying are growing more malicious in the US.

According to a report of the US News & WorldReport on June 3, 2011, at least 40% 

of high school students have been bullied by cyberbullies (www.usnews.com).

The Women’s eNews reported on May 23 last year, the sex-trafficking problem is acute

in the state of Georgia, with an estimated 250 to 300 underageteens and girls being sexually

exploited each month there (womensenews. org).

According to areport published by Stanford University, the number of reports of sexual assaults

received in itscampus in 2010 rose by 75 percent over that in 2009 (CBS, Sept 30, 2011).

Infant mortality rate remains high in the US.

According to a report of The New York Times onOct 15, 2011, the infant mortality rate in the US is 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The rate among AfricanAmericans is 13.3 deaths per thousand, while the rates among whites,

Hispanics and Asian-Americans are respectively 5.6, 5.5 and 4.8 per thousand.

In Pittsburgh, the infant mortality rate for black residents of Allegheny County

was 20.7 per thousand in 2009, while therate among whites in the county was only

4 per thousand in the same period.

Nationally, blackbabies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die before the age of 1.

VI. On US violations of human rights against other nations

The US has been pursuing hegemony in the world, grossly trampling upon the sovereignty

of other countries and capriciously violating human rights against other nations.

It “appears moreand more to be contributing to international disorder”

(After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order, by Emmanuel Todd).

The revelation of the history of human experiments conducted in the US is yet another

scandal sparking public outcry around the world after the prisoner abuse scandal.

The Britishnewspaper The Telegraph reported on Aug 30, 2011, that from 1946 1948, a US government-paid medical experiment program had made

nearly 5,500 people in Guatemala subjected todiagnostic testing, and the researchers

deliberately exposed more than 1,300 people, includingsoldiers, prostitutes, prisoners

and mental patients, to syphilis and other venereal diseases.

Seven women with epilepsy were injected with syphilis below the back of the skull,

and a femalesyphilis patient with a terminal illness was infected with gonorrhea in her eyes

and elsewhere.

These experiments had caused over 80 deaths.

An article on a USbased journalistic websitesaid that “these revelations are only the latest

in an ongoing series of scandals regardinggovernment illegal and unethical experimentation”

and that “there are plenty of other underreported and important stories out there on the

terrible scandal that has been US illegal experimentation. “The article said that the list of such illegal experiments is quite long, including

government radiation experiments, human mind control (also known as MKULTRA)

experiments and the CIA and DoD (Department of Defense) experiments on

“enemy combatants” in the “waron terror” (Pubrecord.org).

Newspaper The Hindu reported on Aug 30,2011, that in 1932, the US public health

service agency started a study of untreated syphilis in the human body inAlabama.

The researchers told the subjects that they were being treated for some ailments,

and nearly 400 African-American men were infected with syphilis without informed consent.

Infact, the men infected did not receive proper treatment needed.

The study lasted until 1972after media disclosures.

Austrian national TV commented that this was a disgraceful event inthe US history

and a dark period in US medical ethics.

The US-led wars, albeit alleged to be “humanitarian intervention” efforts and for “the rise of a

new democratic nation”, created humanitarian disasters instead.

For Iraqis, the death toll in theUS-initiated Iraq war stands at 655,000 (Tribune Business News, Dec 15, 2011).

According to figures released by the Iraq Body Count, at least 103,536 civilians were killed 

in the Iraq war(Reuters, Dec 18, 2011).

In 2011, there were an average of 6.5 deaths per day from suicide attacks and

vehicle bombs (www.iraqbodycount.org).

It is estimated that civilian casualties inthe military campaign in Afghanistan could

exceed 31,000 (Tribune Business News, Oct 17, 2011).

According to a news report, on May 28, 2011, a US-led NATO airstrike killed 14 civilians

and wounded six others in the southern region of Afghanistan (The New York Times, May 29, 2011).

Separately, on May 25, a total of 18 Afghan civilians and 20 police were killed

in a NATO airstrike in the province of Nuristan (BBC News, May 29, 2011).

The British newspaper TheGuardian reported on March 11, 2012, that an American soldier

stationed in Afghanistan burst into three civilian homes in two villages in the small

hours of March 11, shot dead 16 sleeping Afghan villagers, injured five others and

burned the dead bodies.

The victims included ninechildren and three women.

According to a Reuters report, witness accounts said there wereseveral US soldiers

involved (Reuters, March 11, 2012).

Another Deutsche Presse Agent report quoted a member of the Afghan parliamentary

investigative team as saying that therewere 15 to 20 soldiers who had conducted

the night raid operation in several areas in thevillage.

The source also told DPA that some of the Afghan women who were killed were

sexually assaulted, according to the findings (DPA, March 18, 2012).

Such “American style massacre” against innocent civilians has once again pierced

the veil of the US proclaiming itself “a country under the rule of law” and

“a human rights defender.”

Incomplete statistics revealed that the US has launched more than 60 drone attacks

in Pakistan in 2011, killing at least 378 people (USAToday, Jan 11, 2012; Newamerica.net).

The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan increased15 percent in the first half

of 2011 over the same period of 2010 (The New York Times, Aug 6, 2011).

According to media reports, on the night of Feb 20,2012, some American soldiers

of the NATO troops at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan transported copies of Koran

and other religious books to a rubbish pit and burned them (BBC News, Feb 23, 2012).

The acts ofdesecration of the Quran have sparked strong protests and large-scale demonstration

activities among the people across Afghanistan as well as in the countries of Pakistan

and Bengal (www.pakistantoday.com.pk; www.firstpost.com).

The US does not support the right to development, which is a concern of most of the

developing countries. In September 2011, the 18th session of the United Nations Human Rights

Council adopted a resolution on “the right to development.”

Except for an abstention vote fromthe US, all the HRC members voted for the resolution.

The US continues its conduct that seriously violates the right of subsistence and right

of development of Cuban people. On Oct 26, 2011, the 66th session of the UN General Assembly

overwhelmingly adopted a resolution titled “Necessity of ending the economic,

commercial andfinancial embargo imposed by the United States of America

against Cuba,” the 20th suchresolution in a row.

A total of 186 countries voted in favor of the resolution, three countries abstained,

and only the US and Israel voted against the resolution.

The resolution urged theUS to repeal or invalidate the almost 50-year-long economic,

commercial and financial embargoagainst Cuba as soon as possible (www.un.org).

The US, however, continues to defy theresolution.

The blockade imposed by the US against Cuba qualifies as an act of genocide under

Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,

which was adopted in 1948.

The above mentioned facts are but a small yet illustrative enough fraction of the

US’ dismal record on its human rights situation.

The US’ own tarnished human rights record has made it inno condition, on a moral,

political or legal basis, to act as the world’s “human rights justice,”

to place itself above other countries and release the Country Reports on Human Rights

Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries.

We hereby advise the US government once again to look squarely at its own grave

human rights problems, to stop the unpopular practices of taking

human rights as a political instrument for interference in other countries

‘internal affairs, smearing other nations’ images and seeking its own strategic interests,

and to cease using double standards on human rights and pursuing hegemony under

the pretext of human rights.” End of Report

It would be great for a researcher comparing the Human Rights violations between the two reports (USA and China) to divide by the rate of the populations in the two countries. There are the other two difficulties, the kinds of sources that the US relied upon, and that China got out of the wilderness in 1980…

Note: The text published by China Daily 05/26/2012 was not amenable to editing. I did my best at several cuts.  If you can adequately edit this article, please send me a link and will post your version instead.

China and India are vast continent-size States, in the magnitude of the billion in population, and with the fastest and steadiest economic growth rates.  Comparisons stop here, before it degenerates to the ridiculous. China is the first economic country in all kinds of production and exports; India maybe the leading among the economically emerging nations such as Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia,Turkey, Iran…However, in human development indicators, India has to look up to other developing States for comparison.  India is worse than one of the poorest countries such as Bangladesh in human development indicators. You may refer to my article https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/development-is-in-human-rights-indicators-comparing-india-and-bangladesh/ For example:

Life expectancy in China is 74 compared to 64 in India.

Rate of infantile mortality in China is 17 per 1,000 persons compared to 50 in India.

Rate of infantile-juvenile mortality, or children below age of 5,  is 19 per 1,000 individuals in China compared to 66 in India.

Adult literacy in China is 94% compared to 65% in India.

Average formal schooling in China is 7.5 years compared to 4.5 in India.

Girls between 15 to 24 of age are literate 99% in China compared to 80% in India.

Communist China managed to keep up policies for reducing inequalities among the citizens, economic, health, and social development while India could not even dismantle the caste divide due to religious ideology within Hinduism and among the other religious sects.

Although China GNP quadrupled in the last two decades, the inequalities among citizens grew drastically, and the pollution of rivers and environment has shot exponentially.  Indeed, China is becoming as polluting as the US.  It is good that the last parliamentary session in China decided to decrease growth to only 7% instead of 10% in order to tending to the growing demands of the citizens for equitable, and better development of human indicators in health, safety in workplaces, raw mineral mines, and redistribution of opportunities to all provinces.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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