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The Politics Behind the Philippines vs China Court Case

An analysis of the case the Philippines has brought against China to the International Court of Justice shows it is the US that is really behind it and which stands to benefit from it.

Anthony Carlucci

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This article was submitted by New Eastern Outlook

The United States, as part of its stated agenda of raising tensions in the South China Sea to encourage cooperation across Southeast Asia with the US in encircling and containing Beijing’s regional and global rise, has included several high-profile naval and aviation incidents. However, there is a legal battle lurking just behind these more spectacular headlines, and once again the United Nations is being brought in and undermined in the process.

The Associated Press in their article, “Beijing to ignore South China Sea ruling,” reported that:

China said on Saturday that it would ignore the decision of an international arbitration panel in a Philippine lawsuit against Beijing’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea. 

“To put it simply, the arbitration case actually has gone beyond the jurisdiction” of a UN arbitration panel, said Rear Adm Guan Youfei, director of the foreign affairs office of China’s National Defence Ministry. 

The Philippines has filed a case in the United Nations under the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, questioning China’s territorial claim. An arbitration panel is expected to rule on the case soon. The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled last year that it has jurisdiction over the case despite China’s rejection.

While the Associated Press portrays the lawsuit as “Philippine,” it is in reality headed not by the Philippines, but by a US legal team led by Paul S. Reichler of the Boston-based law firm Foley Hoag. Inquirer.net in an article titled, “US lawyer for PH expert in maritime boundary cases,” would reveal that not a single lawyer representing the Philippines is actually Filipino:

The lawyer leading the Philippine team in its fierce legal battle against China belongs to a select group of elite lawyers with extensive experience in representing sovereign states before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos) in Hamburg, Germany, according to Chambers Global, which ranks law firms and lawyers across the world. 

Paul Reichler of the Boston-based law firm Foley Hoag has specialized for more than 25 years in land and maritime boundary disputes, the law firm said on its website. 

Reichler works with four other lawyers from the United States and the United Kingdom, in arguing the country’s case before the UN arbitral tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands.  

Foley Hoag represents the most powerful corporate-financier interests on Earth, and is an integral part of expanding their power and influence across the globe. That Foley Hoag is involved in Washington’s goal of encircling and containing one of the greatest threats to Washington and Wall Street’s hegemony not only in Asia, but globally, is no surprise.

Part of America’s agenda in the South  China Sea is to provoke and then portray tensions in the region as being solely between China and its neighbors, with the United States feigning the role as peacekeeper – thus justifying its continued military, political, and economic “primacy” over Asia.

Such an appraisal is hardly conjecture. The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published a paper titled, “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,” penned by Robert Blackwill – a Bush-era administrator and lobbyist who has directly participated in Washington’s attempts to maintain hegemony over Asia.

Blackwill’s paper states (emphasis added):

Because the American effort to ‘integrate’ China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.

Indeed, a US policymaker openly admits that the US perceives itself as possessing  and seeking to maintain “primacy in Asia,” primacy being defined by Merriam-Webster as“the state of being most important or strongest.”

The United States then, literally an ocean away from Asia, presumes “primacy” over an entire region of the planet, and is openly seeking to deny the very nations within that region “primacy” over their own destiny, peoples, and resources.

It is an open, modern proclamation of imperialism.

It is also the true reality that underlines US foreign policy in the South China Sea and explains why an American and British, not a Philippine legal team has spent years trying to exact a ruling from the UN and other “international” organizations regarding Beijing.

In this context, it is quite clear why Beijing plans to ignore the ruling.

However, China’s ignoring the ruling was already considered by US policymakers and the US law firm “representing” the Philippines.

In a Wall Street Journal article titled, “Q&A: Taking China to Court Over the South China Sea,” Paul Reichler of Foley Hoag would respond to the question of, “what if China simply ignores a judgment that goes against it?” by stating (emphasis added):

In more than 95% of international cases — litigation and arbitration before various international courts and tribunals — the states comply with the judgment, even if they are unhappy with it. There are at least two reasons for this. First is reputation and the influence that comes with it. The second reason is that many states understand it is to their advantage, and the advantage of others, to live in a rules-based system. Now, in the case of China, we see a country that is a great power that wishes to project its influence across the international community. China also advertises itself as the anti-imperialist great power, in contrast to the U.S., Russia and others. Think of the economic advantages that will accrue to the richest and most powerful nation in the region if these disputes are resolved and investment in resource extraction from the South China Sea begins.

Unfortunately for Reichler, Foley Hoag, and the US-dominated “rules-based system” China is expected to comply with, too many examples of this system’s abuse in recent years has preceded the ruling against China. The UN’s role in the invasion, occupation, and destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are perhaps the most extreme examples, with the UN’s complicity (either directly or through inaction) in the destruction of Syria and Ukraine, and sanctions leveled against Iran and others other examples of the UN simply being used to enable Western geopolitical ambitions and justify Western military, socioeconomic, and political aggression across the globe.

The true foundation of Wall Street and Washington’s “international order” is clearly, “might makes right.” For Beijing and its expanding military presence in the South China Sea and its attempts to circumvent “international” arbiters in favor of bilateral talks with nations being pressured by the West to confront Beijing, appears not only to be China’s strategy of choice, but a strategy that is incrementally drawing out Washington’s true agenda in the region and making it increasingly complicated for complicit governments in Asia to continue their cooperation with the West.

Whether or not Washington’s necessity to exert increasing pressure on governments across the region to toe the line in America’s proxy war against Beijing will finally force Asian governments to abandon this risky and costly game remains to be seen. But Beijing is playing a game with home-field advantage – building military capabilities that are backed by logistical networks leading back to the mainland that will match and inevitably exceed US capabilities in the region.

Avoiding a rush to conflict with the United States as Japan mistakenly did in the lead up to World War II will ensure China sustainably creates and expands a deterrence that will first ward off US attempts to maintain or expand primacy across the region before finally rolling US primacy back altogether. For the rest of Asia, it is paramount that they themselves create a regional balance of power predicated on military deterrence coupled with economic cooperation, that excludes attempts by the US to create conflict that will cost the entire region peace, stability, and most importantly, prosperity.

Anthony Carlucci is Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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Terrorism

Possible terror attack at California mall thwarted by anti-jihad activist

Angry Muslim women and a shady Muslim man’s carefully-placed backpack were all part of the terrorism scene at the LA shopping mall on July 7.

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Los Cerritos Center, Los Angeles. Photo: losangeles.cbslocal.com

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office and the Los Cerritos Shopping Center are hush hush for now. It’s not yet clear if it was an attempted terror attack or just a dry run, but what is clear enough is that an observant anti-jihad activist thwarted the plans of some ill-intentioned Muslims on Saturday, July 7.

According to Big League Politics, Steve Amundson, the founder of the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC), trained to detect security threats, noticed several alarming clues that led him to believe a terror attack was underway.

The last straw was when an angry Muslim carefully placed his backpack under the CJC’s table outside the Los Cerritos Shopping Center and walked away, later refusing to retrieve it.

Amundson was on the street that day with a pastor colleague, passing out literature about Islam and the threat it poses to America and other Western nations. An unidentified Muslim man wearing a backpack approached the pastor and began furiously arguing with him.

“Before leaving the table, Amundson says he witnessed the Muslim man strategically place his backpack underneath the CJC booth and walk away,” Laura Loomer writes for Big League Politics.

Amundson asked the pastor if he knew the Muslim man. When he said no, Amundson immediately reported the incident to mall security.

Loomer lays out the events and “red flags” leading up to mall security being called:

The events that unfolded next are shocking, and quite disturbing. Amundson told Big League Politics that after he alerted mall security, they approached the man and asked him if the backpack was his. The man said the backpack did belong to him, but he then refused to retrieve his backpack that he had placed underneath the CJC booth before walking away.

After a discussion with security, the Muslim man walked away with security, and security carefully took the backpack.

Over the past six months that Amundson and his colleagues have been tabling, he has experienced an increase in physical attacks against himself and his booth. For this reason, Amundson says he and his colleagues are trained to detect security threats and what they call “red flags”. While passing out literature on Saturday, Amundson says he witnessed and documented several red flags at the Los Cerritos Shopping Center.

The first red flag occurred when two Muslim men inside the mall began snapping pictures of the CJC booth and making phone calls shortly after. Amundson witnessed this and recognized it as “red flag one.”

bigleaguepolitics.com

The second red flag occurred when two Muslim women approached the booth and began cursing at the CJC’s booth operators, calling them liars. Mall security observed the hostile interaction and began speaking to the two women. It was at that moment when the two Muslim women distracted security that a white haired Muslim male walked over to the booth and slid his backpack under that table.

Mall security has thus far declined to confirm if the Muslim man was arrested or if the bomb squad had been called. Thus, it remains unclear if this was a dry run or the real deal.

The report continues:

Amundson’s experience at the shopping center is disturbing and concerning for many reasons, primarily because it appears as though the mall security and Sheriff’s Office are actively working to keep the public and Amundson in the dark about what appears to be a dry run of a jihadi attack. What happened to Amundson at the shopping center is a very serious incident the needs to be further investigated and disclosed to the public to ensure that people are aware of the threat that is clearly present within their own community.

Amundson applied to have another CJC booth at the same mall on July 21, which mall security rejected, citing safety concerns: “While we understand your organization’s right to engage in free speech subject to reasonable time, place and manner rules, we must consider the safety of the Center’s patrons.”

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Maria Butina, her crime: A love of the NRA and being Russian (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has communicated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russian national Maria Butina must be set free and allowed to return to Russia, after she was arrested by US officials on dubious spy charges.

Lavrov said that the US should immediately release the Russian gun activist, who is being held in the US on espionage charges, after a phone conversation with his US counterpart.

Lavrov called the charges levied against Butina “fabricated.”

In his conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, “Lavrov stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable.”

In an official statement the Russian Foreign Ministry called for her “immediate release.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the oddly timed, out of the blue arrest of Maria Butina, who is being held by US authorities for what they claim to be a violation of the FARA act.

In reality Maria Butina’s crime is much more troubling than simply failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria made the double mistake of being in the United States of America as a Russian citizens who loves guns, at a time when racism and bigotry against Russians and NRA supporters is surpassing McCarthyite levels.

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Via RT

The Foreign minister raised the issue during phone conversations that were made at the request of the US and aimed at “further normalization of the US-Russian relations” following the summit between the US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria.

The 29-year-old Russian student and a gun activist was arrested in the US about a week ago and charged with acting as a foreign agent without registering her activities with the authorities. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 16, a DC Federal Court rejected Butina’s bail plea and ordered her to be placed in custody pending trial over fears that she could flee or contact Russian intelligence officials. Her lawyer says the trial is being politicized and Russian embassy staff were only allowed to visit her in jail on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina’s arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. On Thursday, the ministry also launched a campaign hashtagged #FreeMariaButina on Twitter to raise awareness of her case.

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Ugly breakup at FBI: Lisa Page throws ex-lover, Peter Strzok, under the bus (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 60.

Alex Christoforou

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While Peter Strzok’s testimony put a face on the deceptive and secretive Deep State, GOP lawmakers who were present at Lisa Page’s closed-door deposition said they learned a lot of new information from the ex-FBI lawyer, and ex-lover of Peter Strzok.

Lisa Page confirmed to GOP lawmakers that the text messages sent between her and her lover Strzok “meant exactly what they said,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony.

According to The Gateway Pundit, one damning text message in particular sent from Strzok on May 19th, 2017, just two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, intrigued investigators and the public alike.

“There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

According to investigative reporter, John Solomon, Lisa Page confirmed that text from Peter Strzok did indeed refer to the Trump-Russia case.

Strzok knew it was a nothing-burger yet he forged ahead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou, RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Peter Strzok’s testimony has undoubtedly contradicted Lisa Page’s cooperative deposition, as the ex-FBI lawyer is preparing to save herself, while throwing her ex-lover under the bus.

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Via The Epoch Times

Representatives John Ratcliffe and Louie Gohmert of Texas recently shared their observations of the closed-door testimony of former high-ranking FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which concluded on July 16.

One of the major questions regarding the testimony was whether it would match the one given by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.

But while Ratcliffe said he found a mismatch, Gohmert wouldn’t go so far.

Page and Strzok played major roles in the investigations on both 2016 presidential candidates: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. During the same period, Page and Strzok had an affair and exchanged thousands of text messages expressing a strong bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

“When I questioned Lisa Page on Friday about the anti-Trump text messages that were sent between herself and Peter Strzok, there were significant differences in her testimony and Strzok’s as it relates to what she thought some of these text messages meant,” Ratcliffe said in a July 16 tweet, shortly before the second round of questioning.

“Page gave us new information that Strzok either wouldn’t or couldn’t, confirming some of the concerns we had about these investigations and the people involved in running them,” he wrote.

On July 17, Ratcliffe expanded on his further statements about Page’s testimony. Radcliffe told Fox News…

“There are differences in their testimony.”

“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”

Via The Epoch Times

In one of the texts, Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In another, the two discussed having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump would win the election.

Strzok, who gave a closed-door testimony on June 27 and a public one on July 12, said the first message meant he and the American people would stop Trump. The second, he said previously, meant he wanted to pursue the Russia investigation aggressively, in case Trump won.

GOP lawmakers were furious with Strzok’s attitude and unwillingness to answer questions. In a scathing monologue, Gohmert even linked Strzok’s credibility to the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called Strzok’s testimony a “disgrace.”

The lawmakers said Page was comparatively more cooperative.

“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching to the button to mute her comment, and she would answer before they could mute her comment,” Gohmert told Fox News.

He said Page didn’t contradict Strzok “so much,” but “has given us insights into who was involved in what.”

“I think she’ll be a good witness,” he said.

Page ditched her first testimony appointment on July 11, prompting GOP lawmakers to threaten her with contempt of Congress. She then agreed to appear on July 13, which gave her the opportunity to review Strzok’s public testimony before giving hers.

The lawmakers are probing the FBI’s and Justice Department’s decisions before the election, suspecting they were influenced by political considerations.

Texts between Strzok and Page suggest that the FBI initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

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