Archive for August, 2010

PSYWAR:BLOCKING NORTH KOREAN PROPAGANDA

August 31, 2010

A North Korean propaganda website is run from a bank in Shenyang, China, for Facebook, You Tube and Twitter. From here the United States, South Korea and Japan are regularly attacked.

South Korea has according to Wall Street Journal (August 30, 2010) controlled mail, phone and other communication with the North for decades. It has now extended the surveillance to the Chinese based North Korean site. Pyongyang has complained. Its own censorship inside the country is of course total. No information outside the North Korean communist party is not allowed.

Since nearly all of the content on the Web site is in the Korean language, officials in South Korea believe it is mainly targeted at South Koreans.

The Korea Communications Commission in Soeul regards the content as “illegal information” according to the National Security Law.

Psywar was the subject of a South Korean exhibition at Cheonggyecheon Museum, which was open until August 22, 2010 (“The Unseen War: Flyers”).

During the war (1950-53) North Korean psychological warfare (psywar for short) was used against Americans, South Koreans and other troops to spread disinformation and confusion. This was done through radio broadcasts, loudspeakers, or word of mouth. The most common method was dropping leaflets or flyers from airplanes in specially modified bomb casings, or shot from heavy artillery on the ground.

The Communist side dropped 300 million flyers. At the exhibition over 400 leaflets are shown provided by the Republic of Korea Military Academy and the Republic of Korea Army museum.

Some of the leaflets from the communist side are addressed to UN soldiers by the Chinese or North Koreans in an attempt to deflate morale or turn the soldiers against the politicians back home who sent them to Korea.

Often simple cartoons were provided to catch the eye of a passer-by so that they would pick them up and read the text.

Even after the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, North Korea and PRC continued the war of leaflets in the millions. Now flyers were sent over the DMZ by balloons, in packages designed to scatter over different areas at different times, so as to maximize dispersal. In South Korea schoolchildren were encouraged to collect the leaflets and turn them in, as the flyers were banned as seditious literature. The sending of propaganda this way was stopped by an intra-Korean agreement in 2004. In 2010 the war of leaflets has started again as the Korean conflict once more is heating up.

INCREASING NORTH KOREAN THREAT

August 31, 2010

North Korea continues to be a threat to the West. It helped build Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and is selling arms to countries like Iran, Syria and others. A North Korean arms chief and a former ambassador to the United Nation’s nuclear agency are in the forefront in the arms trade network according to Wall Street Journal (August 30, 2010).

Components for long-range missiles, nuclear reactors and conventional arms have been sent to Iran, Syria and Myanmar. The U.S. Treasure Department is naming the two North Korean officials in further sanctions against the Asian tyranny. It points to the Second Economic Committee of North Korea’s communist party and its Office 99. The proceeds of the arms sales of this office go directly to the dictator Kim Jong Il:

It is broadly believed that the Second Economic Committee…plays the largest and most prominent role in nuclear, other WMD and missile-related development programs, as well as arranging and conducting arms-related exports” for North Korea, says a report issued in May by the U.N. committee tasked with enforcing international sanctions on Pyongyang.

The arms shipment from the regime in Pyongyang move through Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and the South China Sea. A leading North Korean arms company is Namchongang Trading Co.

There are other North Korean front companies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and these are cooperating with Asian criminal syndicates for movement of cash. Chinese covers are used and the North Korean companies are openly trading in Chinese cities.

U.S. officials say that the present operations of the regime in Pyongyang are similar to those of Pakistan’s Abdul Quadeer Khan. The present worldwide flow of North Korean arms may be a sign that the dictator Kim Jong Il is in desperate need of more cash to prop up his regime.

The activities of North Korea in the field of arms sales go back to the 1960s and 1970s when it provided Egypt and Syria with fighters. A senior North Korean defector says, according to Wall Street Journal, that he was dispatched to Iran by the Second Economic Committee in 1987 with the task of constructing missile batteries on the Iranian island of Kish to help Tehran better control the movement of ships through the Straits of Hormuz. His main partners was Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

A North Korean high-level defector, Hwang Jang-yop, states that the same North Koreans as now traded earlier with Pakistan to advance the nuclear capacity of North Korea. Mr. Khan was to send centrifuge equipment to North Korea in return for parts for long-range missiles. Namchongang Trading used offices in Beijing and Shenyang, China, to place orders in Europe for equipment critical to building centrifuges needed to enrich uranium:

“Anything that has to do with the imports and exports of weapons is flowing through Office 99,” says Oh Kongdan, a North Korea expert at Virginia’s Institute of Defense Analyses, a Pentagon-funded think tank.

One indication of the intense activities of North Korean arms dealers was the facility in eastern Syria bombed in 2007 by the Israelis. It was a nearly operational replica of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor. As many as 10 North Koreans are said to have died in the Israeli attack, according to U.S. officials. Namchongang Trading is believed to have played a central role in this transaction.

The West is placed at grave risk through the dealings of North Korean arms dealers. It seems impossible to stop the arms trade with sanctions. There may soon only be time for using other, more direct options against the aggressive North Korean regime.

CONSERVATIVE REVIVAL IN THE WEST

August 30, 2010

In a recent article in Wall Street Journal Hoover Institution Professor Peter Berkowitz (August 28, 2010) pointed out that believing conservatism was dead was premature. A revival, instead, was on the way. Conservatives have been protested against Obama’s social democratic costly health-care reform. Instead President Obama and the Democratic should cut the deficit and rein in spending.

Leading lights of the left predicted the fall of conservatism. The revival, instead, started already in 2009. In October 2008 the New Yorker predicted that there would be complete collapse of the four-decade project that had brought conservatism to power in America:

Two weeks later, the day after Mr. Obama’s election, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne proclaimed “the end of a conservative era” that had begun with the rise of Ronald Reagan.

And in February 2009, New York Times Book Review and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, writing in The New Republic, declared that “movement conservatism is exhausted and quite possibly dead.” Mr. Tanenhaus even purported to discern in the new president “the emergence of a president who seems more thoroughly steeped in the principles of Burkean conservatism than any significant thinker or political figure on the right.”

To portray President Obama as a Burkean conservative was of course close to a scandal. No American president has been closer to European social democracy in his thinking than Obama.

Pundits on the left like to believe that conservatism’s task is exclusively negative—resisting the centralizing and expansionist tendency of democratic government. That is of course an important mission but there is so much more to conservatism in America.

In her book Going Rogue – An American Life (2009) Governor Sarah Palin explained why she is a Commonsense Conservative. At its basic level conservatism is respect for history and tradition, including traditional moral principles:

There are a few timeless and unchanging truths. Chief among them is that man is fallen. This world is not perfect, and politicians will never make it so.

“The left-wing” believes that human nature is changeable (therefore perfectible) and that society’s problems can all be solved if only the poor is told what to do and rational plans are enacted.

Conservatives believe in a “constrained” political vision because we know that human nature is flawed and there is limitations to what politicians can do to “fix” society’s problems. We see the world as it is – imperfect but filled with beauty. People can change for the better but conservatives do not ignore history’s lessons and waste time chasing utopia.

Berkowitz points out that Western liberal democracies have been increasingly forced to come to grips with their propensity to live beyond their means. This is important and a number of economically failing states in Europe such as Greece and Spain demonstrate what will happen if we spend much more than we earn.

Conservatives, increasingly popular both in America and Europe, “insist that money does not grow on trees, that government programs must be paid for, and that promising unaffordable benefits is reckless, unjust and a long-term threat to maintaining free institutions.”

Furthermore in the words of Professor Berkowitz “conservatives also combat government expansion and centralization because it can undermine the virtues upon which a free society depends. Big government tends to crowd out self-government—producing sluggish, selfish and small-minded citizens, depriving individuals of opportunities to manage their private lives and discouraging them from cooperating with fellow citizens to govern their neighborhoods, towns, cities and states”.

Also government must effectively create social, political and technological change, but not the type of change President Obama calls for. Instead people have to be put to work the economy be reigned in.

Many leading conservatives in the United States have since 2009 contributed to the revival of conservatism but so have President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They have sought to introduce a vast liberal transformation of American society. This, as in 1994, has contributed to reinvigorate conservative spirit.

The Gingrich revolution in the end failed but Newt Gingrich is still playing an important role when it comes to create a new 1994 in 2010.

The West is in danger this time from crippling government expansion and Islamic jihadism. From country to country conservatism in the West is back. There is hope in 2010 that it will change also the United States.

SWEDEN MOVING AWAY FROM SOCIALIST “ONE-PARTY SYSTEM”

August 29, 2010

The social democrats (SAP) and their communist-green allies are in trouble in Sweden. The Conservatives are leading with almost 7 percent in the opinion polls ahead of the September 19 election in 2010. The election result in 2006 was the worst for the socialists since 1914.

The reasons for the socialist low are many. Europe is slowly moving to the right and there are few socialist governments left. Among the few are those of Spain and Greece, both financially troubled. In Sweden ahead of the September election confidence in Socialist party leader Mona Sahlin is low. Should the socialists win higher taxes can be expected. Left wing school reform could threaten the school system, which the Conservatives and allies have changed for the better. The Left Party of former communists is a close ally of the socialists and will most likely scare away a number of voters.

The trade unions (LO) in Sweden are branches on the socialist tree. Over the past decade the socialist unions have lost over 500 000 members. And the negative trend is continuing. During the first half of 2010 more than 19,000 members left. This year LO is for instance financing advertising with harsh personal attacks against Conservative government ministers. The voters are asked to vote for SAP, the one and only party.

Although LO is a socialist party organization not all members are of course socialists but their membership fees are used anyway for socialist party propaganda. With sinking membership now only 52 percent of the members are socialists.
Finally after decades of socialist rule Sweden seems to be moving away from large-scale collectivism turning to a growing belief in free enterprise, industry and local government. Gone are the days of massive SAP/LO influence. Small industry is growing and blue collar vote is becoming smaller and smaller.

The pro-Soviet policies of SAP during the Cold War made Sweden infamous in the West. Democratic anticommunists were blacklisted by the Swedish counter-intelligence (SAPO) and discriminated against. In the 1970s SAP supported North Vietnam and leading socialists stood behind Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Thus Sweden was a haven for anti-American propaganda. This should be remembered when finally Swedish voters are letting go of the long time grip of the Social Democratic party.

ASSANGE CASE NEWS: LAWYER APPEALS PROSECUTOR DECISION

August 27, 2010

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be a suspect in two rape cases according to the lawyer of the two women he had sex with. He must be served on suspicion of rape in both cases .

On August 27, 2010, lawyer Borgstroem appealed against the prosecutor’s decision that Assange was only a suspect in one case and only of molestation. On behalf of the two women he is asking for a review of the decision by the Stockholm prosecutor. His appeal will be handled by the Gothenburg prosecutor’s office.

Lawyer Borgstroem said in a comment that he requested that the rape investigation be reopened and that Assange must be a suspect in two rape cases.

Borgstroem has according to newspaper Expressen (Stockholm) restudied the questioning of the two women carefully and found reasons to suspect Julian Assange of rape in one case and of rape and sexual assault in the second case . Both cases were clearly of a sexual nature, he stated.

The two women, who do not know each other, say Assange had sex with them against their will. Borgstroem’s interpretation is quite different from that of the local Stockholm prosecutor.

ASSANGE CASE NEWS: WIKILEAKS FOUNDER TO BE QUESTIONED BY SWEDISH POLICE

August 25, 2010

A Swedish prosecutor today (August 25, 2010) decided to initiate further criminal investigation against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, in one case of sexual molestation. In the other case (initially rape) further investigation concerning sexual molestation was dropped by the prosecutor. She said that she could not say when the questioning would take place and that in the former rape case it was not that she did not believe the woman but the decision was based on her belief that she would not be able to prove the case.

Commentary: Had the suspicion against Assange been an ordinary case of a foreign national in Sweden the questioning would have taken place at once. Legal experts in Sweden have expressed surprise at the delay even calling it “corruption”.

In the case of the published stolen classified reports published by WikiLeaks Daniel Yates, a former British military intelligence officer, has stated that Julian Assange has gravely jeopardized the lives of numerous Afghan civilians for having published classified American reports:

As more detail of the information contained in the ‘Afghan war logs’ emerges it appears clear to me that, despite his protests otherwise, Julian Assange has seriously endangered the lives of Afghan civilians. The logs contain detailed personal information regarding Afghan civilians who have approached NATO soldiers with information. It is inevitable that the Taliban will now seek violent retribution on those who have co-operated with NATO. Their families and tribes will also be in danger. That danger should not be underestimated.

Assange might in the future face charges by US authorities with inducing, or conspiring in, violations of the American Espionage Act. This would likely not be in the United States but possibly in his home country.

ASSANGE CASE: LAWYER SAYS WOMEN CAN BE TRUSTED

August 24, 2010

The lawyer, Claes Borgstroem, of the two women, who accuse Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, says in a Swedish radio interview on August 24, 2010, that the women have no reason to defame the suspect.

Borgstroem’s view is that the two, seperately, and independantely have been sexually molested by Assange. In both cases he has committed at least a crime of molestation. He could go to prison for two years if he is convicted.

The two women met the WikiLeaks founder during his present lecture tour in Sweden. Assange reportedly will be represented by Swedish high profile lawyer Leif Silbersky.

Borgstroem says that there is no conspiracy against Assange whatsoever. The claim of the suspect has been made in an attempt to divert focus of attention away from himself. The lawyer of the two injured women has studied the police protocol and has met them. There can, so Borgstroem, be no plot against Assange.

The suspect must now be questioned, he says, before he leaves Sweden. If he gets away there will be no chance that he can be put on trial. There are rules that demand immediate police questioning of foreign nationals, if they are suspected of a crime.

Commentary: It seems so far as if the prosecutors might be afraid to question Assange because he is an internet celebrity. Borgstroem is correct. It is time for Assange to be questioned as soon as possible and swiftly put on trial as a suspect in at least two cases of sexual molestation of two women.

FREEDOM FOR NORTH KOREA

August 23, 2010

North Korea Freedom Week was first held in 2004 as a single day event to establish support in the United States for the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004. It was then expanded to a week long event in 2005. Since that it has been organized every year. The result is that North Korean defectors and abductees have met with the American President. Furthermore it has exposed the involvement of the North Korean regime in for instance counterfeiting and drug trafficking.

This year’s freedom week included the dispatch of huge helium balloons over the demilitarized zone to North Korea. They contained leaflets, DVDs and tiny AM/FM radios inside bags attached to the balloons.

Organizer of this event in South Korea was among others Park Sang Hak, who runs Free North Korea Radio from Seoul for listeners in the north. The main message was that the tyranny of Kim Jong Il was lying to its people. The North Korean defector organization Fighters for Free North Korea, sponsoring the event, wants to lessen the hold of the dictator over his country.

South Korea had for decades been involved in psychological warfare against North Korea. It was however stopped in 2004 when a reconciliation pact was signed. After the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March 2010 the propaganda war has started again. The sinking of Cheonan has shown that negotiations are not working. The North Koreans have to be reached directly across the demilitarized zone.

The balloons were launched on February 16, 2010, which happened to be Kim Jong Il’s 68th birthday. Text messages on the balloons read:

“Overthrow Kim Jong Il’s dictatorship”.

“Set North Koreans free”.

“Stop military provocations”.

This year’s North Korea Freedom Week started on April 25 in Seoul, South Korea. North Korean defectors and South Korean leaders and activists organized exhibits, a major rally, seminars, press conferences, prayer vigils and other events to highlight the misery Kim Jong Il’s regime has inflicted on the people of North Korea and other Asian citizens.

North Koreans are increasingly finding out that their misery is a direct result of the dictator’s regime, not South Korea and America as they were brainwashed from birth to believe.

North Korea is the world’s coldest land and the world’s largest gulag. It should be regarded as close to a crime to remain silent in the face of one of the world’s worst human rights violations in history.

SECRET WIKI LEAKS FUNDING

August 23, 2010

Wall Street Journal on August 23, 2010, reveals some details on the secret funding of the short lived WikiLeaks groups. There seems, according to WSJ, be a global financial network created for the group.

WikiLeaks is already under pressure and there are ongoing court cases initiated by governments and corporations. A natural step would be for opponents to target finances and infrastructure.

There is a complex system for collecting and spreading donations to obscure their origin, accordingt to Julian Assange. The financial base is a foundation in Germany, the Wau Holland Foundation.

The economy of the site seems insecure. The founders claim that one million US dollars have been raised since the start. In contrast to the transparency WikiLeaks seeks from governments and corporations it targets, there is great secrecy concerning the finances of the group itself.

The Swiss bank Julius Baer & Co. in 2008 sued for damages in federal court in California, alleging that the site had published stolen bank documents. The court ordered the disabling of the wikileaks.org domain name. In the end the case was dropped by the bank.

Though Mr. Assange has declined to name donors or certain companies through which donations flow, he provided some insight into the funding structure that allows the group to operate.

In Australia WikiLeaks is registered as a library but then in France it is a foundation while in Sweden it is a newspaper. There are two tax-exempt charitable organizations in the United States that act “as a front” for the website. Assange has refused to reveal their names

WikiLeaks is seeking to hide the names of the companies it is doing business with. Thus it has created a network of foundations for bills that are sent to Wau Holland Foundation.

Contributions to the group is made to Wau Holland Foundation, which by law in Germany can refuse to disclose the names of donors. There is a global network to protect the financial operations. Especially important to WikiLeaks seems to be to avoid attacks on the basic infrastructure of the group. The German foundation has sent around 64,000 US dollars to an account in Germany. WikiLeaks claims that the average donation is around 30 US dollars. The largest donation is said to have been around 15,000 dollars received from a German donor.

The total sum given for yearly operating expenses is 200,000 US dollars for network fees, rent and storage costs for the sites where the servers are as well as hardware and travel expenses. To pay salaries to the five staff members would mean a much bigger budget.

PayPal is a banking partner to the Wau Holland Foundation but there are other payment options: Flattr.com based in Sweden and Moneybookers based in the United Kingdom. In a comment Moneybookers said that they had terminated the agreement with WikiLeaks.

ASSANGE CASE: WOMAN SAYS HE WENT TOO FAR

August 22, 2010

The Swedish tabloid Expressen (Stockholm) on August 22, 2010, revealed that Assange met with two women during his stay in the Swedish capital. One of them said she had sex with the LeakiWiks founder and that the last time “he went to far”. She is from Enkoping outside Stockholm.

When she learned that Assange would visit Sweden she offered to help. She joined him for lunch and they spent the afternoon together and later went to the movies.

After meeting again in Stockholm they went together to the woman’s apartment in Enkoping, where she had voluntary sex with Assange. They agreed strictly on the boundaries but according to the woman the WikiLeaks founder ignored the rules they had set. The day after abused her.

She went to the police the next day with another woman and the case was turned over to the prosecutor on call. She decided that Assange was to be arrested as a rape suspect. On Saturday August 21, 2010, another prosecutor withdraw the rape charge but the WikiLeaks founder is still a suspect of sexual molestation.
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