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Qatar quits OPEC ahead of meeting

Global Times, Asia Time, agencies

QATAR announced on December 3 that it will leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to shift focus to natural gas, which accounts for a much larger share of the country’s exports than does crude oil.
The decision comes amid deteriorating ties with Saudi Arabia, but the country’s oil minister said that the move to leave the bloc had nothing to do with efforts by the Saudis to isolate Qatar, according to The Financial Times.
OPEC is set to meet this week as oil-producing countries look to address falling oil prices, which jumped on Monday. Many analysts attributed the rally to the trade war truce between the US and China.
While Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, it is one of OPEC’s smallest producers of crude oil.
Qatar is one of the first members of OPEC and the first Middle Eastern nation ever to leave the group.
“This is a political move that serves us also economically,” one Qatari official was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying. “We don’t need OPEC or Riyadh or Russia to tell us what should or should not be done in the market.” He added that the country was banking its future on natural gas.
Qatar is to leave OPEC next month in order for the Gulf state to focus on gas production, the country’s new Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi announced in a surprise move on Monday.
Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961, and the decision to pull out comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics, with Doha under a boycott by former neighboring allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” Kaabi said at a Doha press conference.

Riyadh- Doha relations
Relations between Riyadh and Doha are at an all-time low as a result of the crisis, which has seen Saudi-led countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.
Qatar refutes the allegations and claims rivals want to overthrow its government.
Kaabi, who also heads state-owned Qatar Petroleum, denied the move was linked to the feud with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
The decision was “technical and strategic” and had “nothing to do with the blockade,” he said.
Qatar would continue to produce oil and seek deals in countries including Latin America’s top oil producer Brazil, said Kaabi.
But gas production would remain the top priority for Qatar, which is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“We don’t have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic,” said Kaabi, who described himself as “Mr Gas” during the conference. “Our potential is gas.
“I think it’s inefficient to focus on something that’s not your core business and something that’s not going to benefit you long-term.”

Plan to boost gas production
In September Qatar announced that it planned to boost gas production to 110 million tons per year by 2024.
Qatar’s oil production is around 600,000 barrels per day and it is the world’s 17th largest producer of crude oil, according to specialist website, world data.info.
It also only holds around two percent of the world’s global oil reserves, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Kaabi said OPEC had been informed of the decision ahead of the announcement and that he would still attend the organization’s Vienna meeting, his “first and last” as energy minister.
That meeting is expected to set a policy for 2019 and despite Qatar’s announcement, oil prices soared on Monday after Russia and Saudi Arabia renewed a pact to cap output.
OPEC is dominated by oil-rich Saudi, which along with its allies has had no ties with Qatar since June 2017.

Frustration of small crude producers
Meanwhile, Iran says Qatar’s decision to quit the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows frustration of small crude producers with the dominant role of Saudi Arabia in OPEC, a senior Iranian energy official said.
“This Qatar’s decision is very regretful and we understand their frustration,’’ Iran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, was quoted as saying by Press TV.
Mr Ardebili said the decision by Doha reflects a growing anger by producers against what he described as the unilateral approach adopted by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC).
JMMC is a committee led by OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia and the global major crude producer, Russia, to decide over the oil production cuts.
“There are also many other OPEC members that are frustrated with the JMMC’s unilateral decisions on crude production without the required prior consensus of OPEC member states,’’ Mr Ardebili said.

Comment

Global Times, Asia Time, agencies

QATAR announced on December 3 that it will leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to shift focus to natural gas, which accounts for a much larger share of the country’s exports than does crude oil.
The decision comes amid deteriorating ties with Saudi Arabia, but the country’s oil minister said that the move to leave the bloc had nothing to do with efforts by the Saudis to isolate Qatar, according to The Financial Times.
OPEC is set to meet this week as oil-producing countries look to address falling oil prices, which jumped on Monday. Many analysts attributed the rally to the trade war truce between the US and China.
While Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, it is one of OPEC’s smallest producers of crude oil.
Qatar is one of the first members of OPEC and the first Middle Eastern nation ever to leave the group.
“This is a political move that serves us also economically,” one Qatari official was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying. “We don’t need OPEC or Riyadh or Russia to tell us what should or should not be done in the market.” He added that the country was banking its future on natural gas.
Qatar is to leave OPEC next month in order for the Gulf state to focus on gas production, the country’s new Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi announced in a surprise move on Monday.
Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961, and the decision to pull out comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics, with Doha under a boycott by former neighboring allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” Kaabi said at a Doha press conference.

Riyadh- Doha relations
Relations between Riyadh and Doha are at an all-time low as a result of the crisis, which has seen Saudi-led countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.
Qatar refutes the allegations and claims rivals want to overthrow its government.
Kaabi, who also heads state-owned Qatar Petroleum, denied the move was linked to the feud with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
The decision was “technical and strategic” and had “nothing to do with the blockade,” he said.
Qatar would continue to produce oil and seek deals in countries including Latin America’s top oil producer Brazil, said Kaabi.
But gas production would remain the top priority for Qatar, which is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“We don’t have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic,” said Kaabi, who described himself as “Mr Gas” during the conference. “Our potential is gas.
“I think it’s inefficient to focus on something that’s not your core business and something that’s not going to benefit you long-term.”

Plan to boost gas production
In September Qatar announced that it planned to boost gas production to 110 million tons per year by 2024.
Qatar’s oil production is around 600,000 barrels per day and it is the world’s 17th largest producer of crude oil, according to specialist website, world data.info.
It also only holds around two percent of the world’s global oil reserves, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Kaabi said OPEC had been informed of the decision ahead of the announcement and that he would still attend the organization’s Vienna meeting, his “first and last” as energy minister.
That meeting is expected to set a policy for 2019 and despite Qatar’s announcement, oil prices soared on Monday after Russia and Saudi Arabia renewed a pact to cap output.
OPEC is dominated by oil-rich Saudi, which along with its allies has had no ties with Qatar since June 2017.

Frustration of small crude producers
Meanwhile, Iran says Qatar’s decision to quit the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows frustration of small crude producers with the dominant role of Saudi Arabia in OPEC, a senior Iranian energy official said.
“This Qatar’s decision is very regretful and we understand their frustration,’’ Iran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, was quoted as saying by Press TV.
Mr Ardebili said the decision by Doha reflects a growing anger by producers against what he described as the unilateral approach adopted by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC).
JMMC is a committee led by OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia and the global major crude producer, Russia, to decide over the oil production cuts.
“There are also many other OPEC members that are frustrated with the JMMC’s unilateral decisions on crude production without the required prior consensus of OPEC member states,’’ Mr Ardebili said.


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Rajapakse-aligned MPs boycott Sri Lankan parliament

W.A. Sunil

MEMBERS of Parliament supporting Mahinda Rajapakse boycotted parliament on 28 November. Rajapakse was appointed prime minister on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena in an unconstitutional political coup, which dismissed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister.
Last Friday, parliament resumed after several days of turmoil and angry clashes, in order to elect a select committee on parliamentary business. But Rajapakse’s supporters walked out of the session when they were unable to secure a majority on the committee.
Since his appointment as prime minister, Rajapakse has been unable to win a confidence vote in the parliament, despite strenuous attempts to win over rival MPs with cabinet ministries, ready cash and other perks.
Yesterday, MPs from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP)-led United National Front, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) used the parliament to hurl demagogic accusations against Rajapakse’s faction. Apart from journalists, the parliamentary galleries were closed to the public and large numbers of security personnel deployed around the parliament building.
The ongoing factional warfare and political crisis has shattered the carefully cultivated image of parliament as an august and democratic assembly, engaging in serious discussion on issues of public interest. Parliament has been revealed as an empty shell and talk shop, which is used to cover up the dictatorial nature of the capitalist state.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times on November 25, Sirisena declared: “If it is proven that Mr. Rajapakse does not have a majority I believe he will take a decision.” He then added, “I have no possibility of re-appointing Mr. Wickremesinghe. I will stick to that principle.”
In other words, Sirisena takes no responsibility for his decision to appoint a prime minister who did not have a parliamentary majority. Moreover, his so-called “principle” is one that constitutes a violation of the constitution, and of specific amendments that he and Wickremesinghe had previously proposed and adopted.
The escalating factional warfare has not only exposed the right-wing turn of the ruling class, but the desperate and reactionary attempts by the pseudo-left organisations and the trade unions to proclaim parliament as the best form of rule.
Sirisena is desperately attempting to distance himself from the former “unity” government, and thus his role in the IMF-dictated attacks on the social conditions and democratic rights of working people. He is now cynically promising to appoint a presidential commission of inquiry into corruption under Wickremesinghe’s premiership.
The Sirisena-Rajapakse faction is placing its hopes on a general election early next year, calculating that, as the so-called caretaker government, it will be able to use state resources, including the police and the military, to secure a parliamentary majority.
Rajapakse also expects to use Sinhala-Buddhist extremists to whip up a national security scare campaign, using claims of a resurgence of the Tamil separatist movement. He will also posture as the defender of Colombo’s military “war heroes” that slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in the final months of the island’s protracted civil war.
This chauvinist campaign will be used to try and divert attention from the Rajapakse government’s record of suppressing democratic rights and attacking living standards through price hikes, wage freezes and cuts to social subsidies. Rajapakse told the media that a new government under his leadership would keep state expenditure under “strict control.”
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe and the UNF are using various judicial and parliamentary manoeuvres to secure government. The UNF has filed several petitions in the Supreme Court, against Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament, which are scheduled to be heard in early December. Two additional petitions have been filed in the court of appeal: one opposing the appointment of Rajapakse as prime minister and the other arguing that Rajapakse and his ministers are illegally holding office.
Wickremesinghe told a November 24 meeting in Kandy that any government that “does not have a majority should resign. They cannot hold on to office like leaches. If they do not resign, even after November 29, when the next vote is taken in parliament, we will have to take to the streets.”
Wickremesinghe is placing his hopes on support from the US and other world powers, which backed the January 2015 regime-change operation that ousted Rajapakse as president and installed Sirisena. Rajapakse was removed in order to shift Colombo’s foreign policy away from Beijing and bring it into line with the US-led preparations for war against China.
The US and other imperialist powers are closely monitoring Sri Lankan developments and stepping up political pressure on Sirisena.
Last week, US Senator Chris Van Hollen wrote to Sirisena expressing deep concern about the political crisis. “The actions taken during the last few weeks,” Van Hollen declared, “put at risk the rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka. The decision to oust the sitting Prime Minister, suspend the Parliament, attempt to hold snap elections, and reject the votes of Sri Lanka’s democratically-elected representatives, could also threaten the progress made in strengthening our bilateral relationship.”
A political comment last week in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times reported that “some countries are mulling [over whether to] take punitive actions,” such as placing sanctions on “politicians and their immediate families who were, in their view, directly responsible for alleged violations of the Constitution.”
Key sections of local big business and industry have voiced their displeasure over the political crisis and Sri Lanka’s deteriorating economic situation.
Last week, the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), the country’s fifth-largest and highest value-adding exporter, called for a “swift and constitutional settlement” to the governmental crisis.
SLASSCOM Chairman Jeevan Gnanam said the industry body was “disappointed to see the current state of indecision.” He warned, “Unless this is done immediately, Sri Lanka will not be viewed as a compelling or competitive destination to attract foreign investment.”
Over recent months, more than 100,000 public and private sector workers, including from the plantations, have taken industrial action and held demonstrations demanding the government and other employers increase pay and improve working conditions.
On Monday, tens of thousands of upcountry plantation workers took industrial action and protested to demand a minimum wage of 1,000 rupees per day. The strike attracted strong support from workers in other sectors and small shop owners in the area.
Working people, however, must understand that serious dangers are posed by the sharp rightward turn by every faction of the ruling class. None of these parties—or their “left” henchmen—defends democracy. Behind all their democratic posturing, Sri Lanka’s ruling elite is preparing to step up its class war attacks through the establishment of police state forms of rule.
The working class must develop new action committees in the workplaces, large estates and neighbourhoods and intervene with its own independent political perspective. Such committees will become critical to the struggle against the profit system, and for a workers’ and peasants’ government, based on a socialist and internationalist programme. — WSWS

Comment

W.A. Sunil

MEMBERS of Parliament supporting Mahinda Rajapakse boycotted parliament on 28 November. Rajapakse was appointed prime minister on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena in an unconstitutional political coup, which dismissed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister.
Last Friday, parliament resumed after several days of turmoil and angry clashes, in order to elect a select committee on parliamentary business. But Rajapakse’s supporters walked out of the session when they were unable to secure a majority on the committee.
Since his appointment as prime minister, Rajapakse has been unable to win a confidence vote in the parliament, despite strenuous attempts to win over rival MPs with cabinet ministries, ready cash and other perks.
Yesterday, MPs from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP)-led United National Front, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) used the parliament to hurl demagogic accusations against Rajapakse’s faction. Apart from journalists, the parliamentary galleries were closed to the public and large numbers of security personnel deployed around the parliament building.
The ongoing factional warfare and political crisis has shattered the carefully cultivated image of parliament as an august and democratic assembly, engaging in serious discussion on issues of public interest. Parliament has been revealed as an empty shell and talk shop, which is used to cover up the dictatorial nature of the capitalist state.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times on November 25, Sirisena declared: “If it is proven that Mr. Rajapakse does not have a majority I believe he will take a decision.” He then added, “I have no possibility of re-appointing Mr. Wickremesinghe. I will stick to that principle.”
In other words, Sirisena takes no responsibility for his decision to appoint a prime minister who did not have a parliamentary majority. Moreover, his so-called “principle” is one that constitutes a violation of the constitution, and of specific amendments that he and Wickremesinghe had previously proposed and adopted.
The escalating factional warfare has not only exposed the right-wing turn of the ruling class, but the desperate and reactionary attempts by the pseudo-left organisations and the trade unions to proclaim parliament as the best form of rule.
Sirisena is desperately attempting to distance himself from the former “unity” government, and thus his role in the IMF-dictated attacks on the social conditions and democratic rights of working people. He is now cynically promising to appoint a presidential commission of inquiry into corruption under Wickremesinghe’s premiership.
The Sirisena-Rajapakse faction is placing its hopes on a general election early next year, calculating that, as the so-called caretaker government, it will be able to use state resources, including the police and the military, to secure a parliamentary majority.
Rajapakse also expects to use Sinhala-Buddhist extremists to whip up a national security scare campaign, using claims of a resurgence of the Tamil separatist movement. He will also posture as the defender of Colombo’s military “war heroes” that slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in the final months of the island’s protracted civil war.
This chauvinist campaign will be used to try and divert attention from the Rajapakse government’s record of suppressing democratic rights and attacking living standards through price hikes, wage freezes and cuts to social subsidies. Rajapakse told the media that a new government under his leadership would keep state expenditure under “strict control.”
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe and the UNF are using various judicial and parliamentary manoeuvres to secure government. The UNF has filed several petitions in the Supreme Court, against Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament, which are scheduled to be heard in early December. Two additional petitions have been filed in the court of appeal: one opposing the appointment of Rajapakse as prime minister and the other arguing that Rajapakse and his ministers are illegally holding office.
Wickremesinghe told a November 24 meeting in Kandy that any government that “does not have a majority should resign. They cannot hold on to office like leaches. If they do not resign, even after November 29, when the next vote is taken in parliament, we will have to take to the streets.”
Wickremesinghe is placing his hopes on support from the US and other world powers, which backed the January 2015 regime-change operation that ousted Rajapakse as president and installed Sirisena. Rajapakse was removed in order to shift Colombo’s foreign policy away from Beijing and bring it into line with the US-led preparations for war against China.
The US and other imperialist powers are closely monitoring Sri Lankan developments and stepping up political pressure on Sirisena.
Last week, US Senator Chris Van Hollen wrote to Sirisena expressing deep concern about the political crisis. “The actions taken during the last few weeks,” Van Hollen declared, “put at risk the rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka. The decision to oust the sitting Prime Minister, suspend the Parliament, attempt to hold snap elections, and reject the votes of Sri Lanka’s democratically-elected representatives, could also threaten the progress made in strengthening our bilateral relationship.”
A political comment last week in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times reported that “some countries are mulling [over whether to] take punitive actions,” such as placing sanctions on “politicians and their immediate families who were, in their view, directly responsible for alleged violations of the Constitution.”
Key sections of local big business and industry have voiced their displeasure over the political crisis and Sri Lanka’s deteriorating economic situation.
Last week, the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), the country’s fifth-largest and highest value-adding exporter, called for a “swift and constitutional settlement” to the governmental crisis.
SLASSCOM Chairman Jeevan Gnanam said the industry body was “disappointed to see the current state of indecision.” He warned, “Unless this is done immediately, Sri Lanka will not be viewed as a compelling or competitive destination to attract foreign investment.”
Over recent months, more than 100,000 public and private sector workers, including from the plantations, have taken industrial action and held demonstrations demanding the government and other employers increase pay and improve working conditions.
On Monday, tens of thousands of upcountry plantation workers took industrial action and protested to demand a minimum wage of 1,000 rupees per day. The strike attracted strong support from workers in other sectors and small shop owners in the area.
Working people, however, must understand that serious dangers are posed by the sharp rightward turn by every faction of the ruling class. None of these parties—or their “left” henchmen—defends democracy. Behind all their democratic posturing, Sri Lanka’s ruling elite is preparing to step up its class war attacks through the establishment of police state forms of rule.
The working class must develop new action committees in the workplaces, large estates and neighbourhoods and intervene with its own independent political perspective. Such committees will become critical to the struggle against the profit system, and for a workers’ and peasants’ government, based on a socialist and internationalist programme. — WSWS


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From 1945 until today, 20 million people killed by the USA worldwide

Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke of “countless barbarous crimes” committed by the US during the Vietnam War.

Manlio Dinucci

IN the summary of its last strategic document – 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (of which the entire text is classified) – the Pentagon claims that “after the Second World War, the United States and their allies installed a “free and open international order in order to safeguard the freedom of the people from aggression and coercion”, but that “this order is presently undermined by Russia and China, who are violating the principles and rules of international relations”. This is a total reversal of historical reality.
Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization, reminds us that these two countries, listed today as enemies, are those which, when they were allied with the United States during the Second World War, paid the victory over the Nazi-fascist Axis Berlin-Rome-Tokyo with the greatest price in human lives – approximately 26 million from the Soviet Union and 20 million from China, compared with a little more than 400,000 from the United States.
With this preliminary, Chossudovsky introduces to Global Research a documented study by James A. Lucas on the number of people killed by the uninterrupted series of wars, coups d’État and other subversive operations executed by the United States from the end of the War in 1945 until now – a number estimated at 20 to 30 million victims. Approximately twice the number of deaths from the First World War, the centenary of the end of which has just been celebrated in Paris with a Peace Forum.
Apart from the deaths, there are the wounded, who very often find themselves crippled for life – some experts calculate that for every person killed in war, ten others are wounded. This means that the number of people wounded by US wars should be counted in the hundreds of millions.
To this estimation in the study we must add a non-quantified number of dead, probably hundreds of millions, which have been caused, from 1945 until today, by the indirect effects of  wars – famine, epidemics, forced migrations, slavery and exploitation, environmental damage, subtraction of resources from vital needs in order to cover military expenditure.
The study documents the wars and coups d’État executed by the United States in 30 Asian, African, European and Latin-American countries. It reveals that US military forces are directly responsible for between 10 and 15 million deaths, caused by the major wars – those against Korea and Vietnam and the two wars against Iraq.

Between 10 and 14 million other deaths have been caused by the proxy wars waged by the allied armed forces trained and commanded by the USA in Afghanistan, Angola, Congo, Sudan, Guatemala and other countries.

Vietnam War: 7.8 million killed
Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke of “countless barbarous crimes” committed by the US during the Vietnam War. Speaking on 30 April 2015 in front of the former Presidential Palace Mr Dung said: “The US committed countless barbarous crimes, caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country”.
Some in Vietnam are still suffering from deformities and the lasting effects of the dioxin Agent Orange, sprayed by the US Air Force into the thick jungle used as cover by northern guerrilla forces.
The Vietnam War, which spread to Cambodia and Laos, caused a number of deaths estimated at 7.8 million (plus a huge number of wounded, and genetic damage affecting generations due to the dioxin sprayed by US aircraft).
The proxy war of the 1980’s in Afghanistan was organised by the CIA, which trained and armed – with the collaboration of Osama bin Laden and Pakistan – more than 100,000 mujahideen to fight the Soviet troops who had fallen into the “Afghan trap” (as it was later described by Zbigniew Brzezinski, specifying that the training of the mujahideen had begun in July 1979, five months before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan).
The bloodiest coup d’État was organised in 1965 in Indonesia by the CIA – it handed over the list of the first 5,000 Communists and others marked for death to the Indonesian murder squads. The number of people assassinated is estimated at between 500,000 and 3 million.
According to Monthly Review.org, “The savagery and scale of the killings” in Indonesia, the Australian embassy observed in 1966, “is probably unique.” Estimates of the death toll from the massacres vary widely, ranging from the 78,000 cited by Sukarno in December 1965, well before the killings had ended, to 1 million, the conclusion of a survey conducted by “university graduates” at the behest of KOPKAMTIB in 1966. At least 1 million more were arrested, with many tens of thousands kept in prison well into the 1970s. U.S. and British officials were certainly aware by early 1966 that hundreds of thousands had been killed. In mid-January, armed forces liaison Colonel Stamboul told British military attaches attending a briefing at army headquarters that half a million people had been killed. Australian officials claimed to have an Indonesian police report putting the death toll “in Bali alone at 28,000.”
Ambassador Gilchrist told Marshall Green a month later he thought the total toll was closer to 400,000, a figure that the Swedish ambassador found “quite incredible” and a serious underestimate based on his recent travels in the countryside.
Walt Rostow cited even lower figures of 300,000 dead in briefings for President Johnson. Journalist Stanley Karnow, after a tour of Central and East Java and Bali, told political consul Edward Masters that press estimates based on Western diplomatic sources were “way too low” and that he thought 400,000 a minimum figure. Appropriately, Masters had just met with an assistant to Adam Malik—who also thought U.S.-cited figures of 300,000 were far too conservative—to discuss “the desirability of downplaying the extent of the carnage,” remarking that “we believe it wiser to err on the side of lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press.” 
That is the “free and open international order” that the United States, independently of the White House, persists in pursuing in order to “safeguard the people from aggression and coercion”. — Global Research

Comment

Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke of “countless barbarous crimes” committed by the US during the Vietnam War.

Manlio Dinucci

IN the summary of its last strategic document – 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (of which the entire text is classified) – the Pentagon claims that “after the Second World War, the United States and their allies installed a “free and open international order in order to safeguard the freedom of the people from aggression and coercion”, but that “this order is presently undermined by Russia and China, who are violating the principles and rules of international relations”. This is a total reversal of historical reality.
Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization, reminds us that these two countries, listed today as enemies, are those which, when they were allied with the United States during the Second World War, paid the victory over the Nazi-fascist Axis Berlin-Rome-Tokyo with the greatest price in human lives – approximately 26 million from the Soviet Union and 20 million from China, compared with a little more than 400,000 from the United States.
With this preliminary, Chossudovsky introduces to Global Research a documented study by James A. Lucas on the number of people killed by the uninterrupted series of wars, coups d’État and other subversive operations executed by the United States from the end of the War in 1945 until now – a number estimated at 20 to 30 million victims. Approximately twice the number of deaths from the First World War, the centenary of the end of which has just been celebrated in Paris with a Peace Forum.
Apart from the deaths, there are the wounded, who very often find themselves crippled for life – some experts calculate that for every person killed in war, ten others are wounded. This means that the number of people wounded by US wars should be counted in the hundreds of millions.
To this estimation in the study we must add a non-quantified number of dead, probably hundreds of millions, which have been caused, from 1945 until today, by the indirect effects of  wars – famine, epidemics, forced migrations, slavery and exploitation, environmental damage, subtraction of resources from vital needs in order to cover military expenditure.
The study documents the wars and coups d’État executed by the United States in 30 Asian, African, European and Latin-American countries. It reveals that US military forces are directly responsible for between 10 and 15 million deaths, caused by the major wars – those against Korea and Vietnam and the two wars against Iraq.

Between 10 and 14 million other deaths have been caused by the proxy wars waged by the allied armed forces trained and commanded by the USA in Afghanistan, Angola, Congo, Sudan, Guatemala and other countries.

Vietnam War: 7.8 million killed
Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke of “countless barbarous crimes” committed by the US during the Vietnam War. Speaking on 30 April 2015 in front of the former Presidential Palace Mr Dung said: “The US committed countless barbarous crimes, caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country”.
Some in Vietnam are still suffering from deformities and the lasting effects of the dioxin Agent Orange, sprayed by the US Air Force into the thick jungle used as cover by northern guerrilla forces.
The Vietnam War, which spread to Cambodia and Laos, caused a number of deaths estimated at 7.8 million (plus a huge number of wounded, and genetic damage affecting generations due to the dioxin sprayed by US aircraft).
The proxy war of the 1980’s in Afghanistan was organised by the CIA, which trained and armed – with the collaboration of Osama bin Laden and Pakistan – more than 100,000 mujahideen to fight the Soviet troops who had fallen into the “Afghan trap” (as it was later described by Zbigniew Brzezinski, specifying that the training of the mujahideen had begun in July 1979, five months before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan).
The bloodiest coup d’État was organised in 1965 in Indonesia by the CIA – it handed over the list of the first 5,000 Communists and others marked for death to the Indonesian murder squads. The number of people assassinated is estimated at between 500,000 and 3 million.
According to Monthly Review.org, “The savagery and scale of the killings” in Indonesia, the Australian embassy observed in 1966, “is probably unique.” Estimates of the death toll from the massacres vary widely, ranging from the 78,000 cited by Sukarno in December 1965, well before the killings had ended, to 1 million, the conclusion of a survey conducted by “university graduates” at the behest of KOPKAMTIB in 1966. At least 1 million more were arrested, with many tens of thousands kept in prison well into the 1970s. U.S. and British officials were certainly aware by early 1966 that hundreds of thousands had been killed. In mid-January, armed forces liaison Colonel Stamboul told British military attaches attending a briefing at army headquarters that half a million people had been killed. Australian officials claimed to have an Indonesian police report putting the death toll “in Bali alone at 28,000.”
Ambassador Gilchrist told Marshall Green a month later he thought the total toll was closer to 400,000, a figure that the Swedish ambassador found “quite incredible” and a serious underestimate based on his recent travels in the countryside.
Walt Rostow cited even lower figures of 300,000 dead in briefings for President Johnson. Journalist Stanley Karnow, after a tour of Central and East Java and Bali, told political consul Edward Masters that press estimates based on Western diplomatic sources were “way too low” and that he thought 400,000 a minimum figure. Appropriately, Masters had just met with an assistant to Adam Malik—who also thought U.S.-cited figures of 300,000 were far too conservative—to discuss “the desirability of downplaying the extent of the carnage,” remarking that “we believe it wiser to err on the side of lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press.” 
That is the “free and open international order” that the United States, independently of the White House, persists in pursuing in order to “safeguard the people from aggression and coercion”. — Global Research


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