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The lack of prosecution of US bankers responsible for the great financial crisis has been a much debated topic over the years, leading to the coinage of such terms as “Too Big To Prosecute”, the termination of at least one corrupt DOJ official, the revelation that Eric Holder is the most useless Attorney General in history, and of course billions in cash kickbacks between Wall Street and D.C. And, naturally, the lack of incentives that punish cheating and fraud, is one of the main reasons why such fraud will not only continue but get bigger until once again, the entire system crashes under the weight of accumulated theft, corruption and Fed-driven malinvestment. But what can be done? In this case, Vietnam may have just shown the way – sentence embezzling bankers to death. Because if one wants to promptly stop an end to all financial crime, few things motivate as efficiently as a firing squad.
According to the BBC, the former head of a major Vietnamese bank has been sentenced to death for his role in a fraud case involving some 800 billion dong (which sounds like a lot of dong, but equals roughly $35 million) of illegal loans. Nguyen Xuan Son, who served as general director of OceanBank, was convicted of embezzlement, abuse of power and economic mismanagement. Bank founder, tycoon Ha Van Tham, and dozens of other banking officials are also on trial, accused of lending violations.
The Vietnamese government has officially announced a ban on Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly hazardous pesticide (HHP) and Dow Chemicals’ 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), an organic compound found in Agent Orange, which was heavily used during the Vietnam War.
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As Washington turns up the anti-Russian rhetoric to ’11’, it appears Vladimir Putin is not waiting around for the next move. As Reuters reports, Russia is considering plans to restore military bases in Vietnam and Cuba that had served as pivots of Soviet global military power during the Cold War.
In 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to pull back from Cuba and Vietnam as he sought to bolster ties with the United States.
The U.S.-Russian relations now have plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War times amid strain over Syria and Ukraine, and with John Kerry exclaiming “war crimes” and every neoconned American lining up behind Hillbama proclaiming Putin (and Assad) ‘satan’, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday, that the Russian military is considering the possibility of regaining its Soviet-era bases.
The Korean war is often called the forgotten war. Of course there are many more wars far more forgotten, for example the massive U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic that smashed the new democracy there from 1965-1966. However, what has been forgotten is the massive bloodbath that resulted from the Korean War, during which 3.5 million Koreans died. The Vietnam war is far more well known because it awakened a generation to the vicious nature of American imperialism. Growing up (I was born a couple years after it ended) it was the last major war the U.S. had waged; since then, America’s overt wars were kept brief specifically to avoid another Vietnam. The brief wars of the ’80s and ’90s: Grenada, Libya, Panama, and Iraq. The long wars were the covert wars: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Angola.
Vietnam was chiefly known to my generation through Hollywood movies like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. Thus like most back then I never really even thought to ask, why did the war begin in the first place? What was it all about? Never once in these films did they ever have a Viet Cong explain what they were fighting for. Actually, in fairness to Platoon director Oliver Stone, I should mention that he did eventually make the brilliant Heaven and Earth, which attempted to tell the story of the war from the perspective of a Vietnamese woman. Of course, not even this film is told from the perspective of the NLF, the National Liberation Front. Instead the protagonist survives by collaborating with the Americans, eventually marrying an American soldier who turns out to be a war criminal, a special forces soldier who committed all manner of atrocities as part of America’s psychological operations against the Vietnamese. Sorry for the early tangent but I can’t help but mention this forgotten classic. My point is that while the Vietnam war used to receive a great deal of attention, the actual reasons for the war have been less discussed.
H/t reader I.G.
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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be horrible for Americans and the people of the world.
But most politicians are thoroughly corrupt. Neither the Democratic or Republican parties represent the interests of the American people. Both parties ignore the desires of their own bases.
So today, 12 countries – Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States and Vietnam – signed the TPP.