07/11/19

The Other Items Complicating a China Trade Deal

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Beyond the traditional trade talks between the U.S. Trade Representative and envoy with Beijing, there are complicating factors that enter into the debates and it is generally dealing with military aggression and espionage. So consider the following items:

1. New Delhi: China has recently leased vast tracts of land along the coast of the Koh Kong province of Cambodia to turn into a seaside resort. An area of 45,000 hectares — 20 percent of the coastline — has been leased for 40 years for a paltry annual rent of US $1 million. A Chinese private company called Union Development Group (UDG) is undertaking the project, named the Dara Sakor Seashore Resort Long Term Project.

However, there has also been increased military cooperation between Beijing and Phnom Penh, and the US has raised concerns, with Vice-President Mike Pence writing to Cambodian PM Hun Sen that these facilities could be put to military use.

Paul Chambers, professor of international affairs at the Naresuan University in Thailand, has claimed that senior Cambodian officials privately admitted that Hun Sen was considering approving a Chinese naval base at Kiri Sakor.

Hun Sen has claimed there are no foreign troops on Cambodian soil, but China has been accused of using debt traps to get its way. And according to satellite imagery accessed by ThePrint, there is a real possibility of the resort project currently under construction turning into a Chinese military base.

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07/2/19

Where Is That 8.5 Tons Of Uranium Sent From Iran To Russia?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Remember? During the Christmas holiday in 2015, so you easily could have missed the news or just forgotten it due to spiked eggnog.

Washington (AFP) – Iran sent a major shipment of low-enriched uranium materials to Russia on Monday, a key step in Tehran’s implementation of this year’s historic nuclear accord with world powers.

The United States hailed the move, which Secretary of State John Kerry said marked “significant progress” in Tehran’s fulfillment of a deal to stop it developing nuclear weapons.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the report after Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told the ISNA news agency: “The fuel exchange process has taken place.”

According to ISNA’s report, Iran had sent 8.5 tons of low-enriched nuclear material to Russia and received “around 140 tons of natural uranium in return.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner described the cargo as a 25,000-pound “combination of forms of low-enriched uranium materials” including five and 20 percent enriched uranium, scrap metal and unfinished fuel plates. More here.

Kerry said that Iran’s shipment to Russia had already tripled the amount of time it would take to produce enough fuel for a bomb from two or three months up to six or nine.

And he dubbed it “a significant step toward Iran meeting its commitment to have no more than 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium by Implementation Day.”

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07/2/19

Possible Details On Iran For Trump Briefings

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

For context, here is the background on the UN Arms Embargo on Iran.

1. The rapidly expiring “sunset provisions” – which will lift existing restrictions on Iran’s military, missiles, and nuclear programs – were a key factor in President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May last year. The first of the sunset provisions, the arms embargo under U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, will expire by October 18, 2020.

In its report, JCPOA Sunset AlertUnited Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) details the hazards once UNSCR 2231’s arms transfer provisions expire. Guns, howitzers, mortars, battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles or missile systems will proliferate throughout the region.

2. The European Union is skirting the Iran sanction architecture by launching INSTEX. Based in Paris, it is managed by Per Fischer a German banker and the UK is heading the supervisory board.

The channel, set up by Germany, France, and the UK, is called INSTEX — short for “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges.”

“We’re making clear that we didn’t just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we’re creating a possibility to conduct business transactions,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters Thursday after a meeting with European counterparts in Bucharest, Romania.

“This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn’t begin military uranium enrichment,” Maas said.

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06/24/19

More Executive Action Against Iran

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Photo: Alex Brandon AP

Due to timing, it is assumed rather than a U.S. military strike campaign against designated targets as a result of Iran shooting down a U.S. drone, Cyber Command initiated a cyber operation. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard maintains control of the rocket and missile systems and they have been disabled as the U.S. response. Iran has confirmed the cyber-attack but also says it failed. Iran expected a response by the United States and in advance shut down several radar sites.

The United States has been inside several cyber operations in Iran for a very long time and was ready for a go order. Meanwhile, The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is warning that Iran has been advancing their own cyber operations against select US targets. It is unclear what those targets are.

President Trump spent the weekend at Camp David while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia and to Abu Dhabi while NSC John Bolton is in Israel. Bolton has on his calendar meetings with the Israeli national security and atomic energy officials as the introduction of the coming peace plan proposal dealing with the Palestinians will be introduced in Bahrain.

Trump has signed yet another addition to the sanctions architecture on Iran. There is talk of sanctions relief if Iran is willing to negotiate on key topics including escalating uranium enrichment. So far, Iran has said they will not meet with the United States and will shoot down other aircraft if they impede Iran airspace. The FAA has ordered all U.S. commercial aircraft to reroute outside of the existing Iran airspace buffer zone.

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06/13/19

Acts Of War: Two Oil Tankers Attacked In The Gulf Of Oman… Iran Suspected

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Yesterday, I heard that gas was going to drop sixteen cents a gallon over the next couple of weeks and I thought that was odd. This morning that was nullified because Iran decided to torpedo two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and you can bet that Russia and China were in the wings egging them on. The United States is saying the acts of war are ‘highly likely’ to be from Iran. Ya think? Oil prices immediately spiked four percent.

This is surely an opening salvo in an attempt at shutting down the Straights of Hormuz and to cut off international oil flow. As I understand from close friends, the US will probably not attack Iran directly over this… opting instead to attack them covertly to take out the subs that did this, etc. It’s a good thing it wasn’t left up to me. I would have counseled them to attack Iran right now and take out whatever facilities they could while having special ops teams eliminate their leadership – or at least those they could get at. Hit them hard when they least expect it because believe me we are now in a hot war and many will die if we fail to act.

The Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair had a fireball explode from their decks as they were torpedoed. It caused three explosions and the crew was forced to abandon ship. The Taiwanese oil refiner which chartered the Marshall Islands-flagged Altair said the ship was ‘suspected of being hit by a torpedo’. Sailors on the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous also had to jump ship after it was hit by another explosion. The owner says the ship was hit twice over a three-hour period. A limpet mine is suspected. The attacks have left the Middle East on high alert and on the precipice of WWIII.

This happened just weeks after Saudi tankers were attacked in a mysterious act of sabotage off the UAE coast which Washington believes was the work of Iran. Iran admitted those attacks and it doesn’t take a military genius to see they are behind these escalated attacks as well. Warning that the Gulf’s waters are ‘becoming unsafe’, tanker industry chief Paolo d’Amico stated that “the oil supply to the entire Western world could be at risk” as 30 percent of the world’s crude oil passes through the area.

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06/11/19

Is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization the New Evil Empire?

By: Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times

Chinese soldiers stand at attention during Peace Mission-2016 joint military exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Edelweiss training area in Balykchy some 200 km from Bishkek on September 19, 2016. The joint anti-terrorism drill involves more than 1,100 troops of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. / AFP / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia and China formed an international power bloc in 2001 that puts the old Soviet-led military alliance—the Warsaw Pact—to shame. It’s called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Most Westerners have never heard of it, yet it’s rapidly becoming one of the most powerful forces on the planet.

In fact, most Western leaders operate under the delusional belief that Russia and China are antagonists and can at times be played against each other. The idea that Russia and China are allies and are jointly working to destroy the West is just too much for most Western leaders to contemplate.

The “Russia and China are enemies” disinformation campaign led former President Richard Nixon to open diplomatic and trade relations with Beijing in the mid-1970s. Nixon believed he could play communist China against the communist Soviet Union. Nixon’s massive blunder undermined the United States’ industrial base while building up a new powerful enemy. Today, the United States faces two world-class enemies rather than one.

Worse, Russia and China are now open allies.

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05/29/19

Historic Navy Ships Rotting at the Docks

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Reclaiming parts from grounded aircraft has allowed an estimated 3200 aircraft to continue flying. But what about historic navy ships with long histories? Photo essay

There has to be several more options to preserve these mighty ships. Your comments are encouraged.

Thanks to Chris Woodyard:

LOS ANGELES – The Lane Victory is one of the last of hundreds of hastily built cargo ships that helped win World War II, a testament to Rosie the Riveter and thousands of workers – women and men – who toiled on the homefront.

Today, the retired armed Merchant Marine freighter fights age, rust and deterioration.

Around the country, many naval memorials – proud decommissioned naval ships that played a key role in America’s 20th-century wars – languish in increasingly desperate shape, eaten away by corrosion that their volunteers do their best to keep out of sight of tourists, such as the throngs expected this Memorial Day weekend.

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05/13/19

Oil Tankers Sabotaged Using Limpets (UAE)

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

So far, this is what we know: We know it’s 4 Vessels, one Norwegian, and 2 Saudi. So, we are waiting on the EOD teams’ reports. Limpets are not really meant to sink a ship but rather interrupt maritime traffic either by causing leaks or destroying the rudder system(s).

• US Aiding #UAE w Investigation • Coast Guard: Exercise Caution • State Dept & UAE gov tight-lipped •Fmr US Amb.: Extremely Worrisome • @Ryan_Bohl : Could beef up US presence in region.

Iran?

The landing platform dock amphibious ship USS Arlington has also been dispatched to the region along with at least one Patriot missile battery. F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath also showed up in the area late last week, although we still don’t know if their arrival was long-planned. Then again, it seems most of this was already scheduled to some degree, but portions of it were pushed forward due to the intelligence about potential pending Iranian aggression which remains nebulous at best, at least in terms of what the public has been told.

As for the attacks on the tankers, the New York Times states that Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the two tankers suffered “significant damage” from the incidents, but they did not result in a major release of oil into the sea. One of the ships was supposedly on its way to pick up oil from Saudi Arabia and deliver it to the United States. The attacks occurred off of UAE’s Fujairah Emirate, one of the biggest bunkering locales for ships in the entire region.

04/29/19

Zarif/Iran Making War Noise, Pentagon Ready

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Iran, of course, is angry the United States declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp a terror organization. Well, it is. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is making the media rounds and he is throwing out words like war, military intervention, and conflict. Reinforcing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s stance, Zarif warned: “If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences.” He did not give specifics.

Kerry, Zarif named candidates for 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Zarif is even making noise about prisoner swaps as this shows some desperation including blocking the Strait of Hormuz from maritime oil tanker traffic. Stop the oil sanctions and we can pursue a prisoner swap… hmmm. Zarif has also suggested possible cooperation with the United States to bring stability to Iraq and Afghanistan, a priority for both Tehran and Washington, but did not mention Syria.

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04/20/19

Foul Play to Silence Patton

By: Janet Levy | American Thinker

U.S. Army General George S. Patton, renowned for strategic military prowess and leadership, led World War II troops into Casablanca, Sicily, and France; relieved Allied forces at the Battle of the Bulge, and drove deep into Nazi Germany.  Patton was equally renowned for his no-holds-barred opinions, colorful attire, profanity-laced speeches, and disregard for orders he thought ineffective, all of which did not sit well with the Allied high command.

The new “must see” film, Silence Patton, suggests that the general’s premature death in a mysterious auto accident may have been orchestrated to silence this oversized, historic personality.  Written and directed by Robert Orlando, the film uses documentary footage, direct quotes, and interviews with historians to ask whether Patton’s forthrightness, outspoken judgments, and criticism of battlefield leadership may have led to assassination.  Robert Wilcox, an investigative and military reporter, voiced the same theory in this 2008 book, Target Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton.  

In Silence Patton, Orlando presents a non-lionized, realistic portrayal of a consummate yet flawed warrior, whose personal qualities often hindered him from obtaining the necessary orders to execute his desired military strategies.  The film opens with a re-enactment of the accident in which an Army truck struck the car Patton was riding in, leaving him paralyzed and near death.  The image of a dying Patton looms large throughout the film, which examines his impressive yet controversial military career and the suspicions surrounding his end.

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