Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asia. Show all posts

US Foreign Policy: Global Hegemony or Stability, Not Both

March 25, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - US foreign policy has for decades been predicated on achieving and maintaining global peace, security and stability. In reality, it has for over a century constituted an overreaching desire to achieve and maintain global hegemony.


And where US efforts focus on achieving hegemony, division and destruction follow. From the Middle East to Eastern Europe, and from Southeast Asia to the Korean Peninsula, US intervention politically or militarily all but guarantee escalating tensions, uncertain futures, socioeconomic instability and even armed conflict.

The Middle East and North Africa  

US efforts in the Middle East since the conclusion of the first World War have focused on dividing the region, cultivating sectarian animosity and pitting neighbors against one another in vicious, unending combat. During the 50s and 60s, the US pitted its regional proxy, Israel, against its Arab neighbors. In the 1980's the US armed both the Iraqis and the Iranians amid a destructive 8 year long war.

Today, the US props up Persian Gulf states who in turn are fueling regional, even global terrorism that has destabilized or entirely dismembered entire nations. And from the Middle East and North Africa, waves of refugees have reverberated outward affecting adjacent regions who have so far been spared from the chaos directly.


In Syria, the United States poses as a central player in restoring stability to the conflict stricken nation. In reality, it was the US itself that trained activists years ahead of the so called Arab Spring, as well as funneled money into the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups to serve as militant proxies after the protests were finally underway. Today, militant groups operating under the banners of Al Qaeda and its various affiliates are almost exclusively funded, armed and trained by the Persian Gulf states through which the US launders its own support to these groups through.

Thus, while the US poses as an agent of  stability in Syria, it is the central player intentionally creating and perpetuating chaos.

Likewise, the North African state of Libya has been rendered all but destroyed, fractured into competing regions ruled by ineffective warlords, former generals, proxies of ever sort and Persian Gulf sponsored terrorist networks including the Islamic State. The instability in Libya has afforded the United States, its policymakers and the special interests who sponsor their work a safe haven for the vast infrastructure required to maintain regional proxy forces including training camps and weapon depots.

This infrastructure, since 2011, has been used as a springboard to invade Syria, destabilize neighboring North African states and to fuel a divisive refugee crisis in nearby Europe.


Singapore Bigot Granted Asylum in US: A Taste of Things to Come

March 27, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Singaporean Amos Yee fits the description of virtually every foreign-backed agitator used to target and undermine political orders worldwide as part of Washington's "soft power" toolkit. 


He is a young individual who, at 18 years old, was not particularly bright in school and possesses no practical talent or skill with which to contribute to society. Incapable of achieving positive attention based on his merit, he has embarked on a life of seeking negative attention based on his ability to agitate, insult and defame. Much of his behaviour bears the hallmarks of clinical narcissism and other forms of mental illness.

It is very likely that no one at all would have even heard of Amos Yee were it not for the constant attention provided to him by US and European media outlets as well as assistance provided to him by politically motivated "rights advocates" like Amnesty International. More recently, a US court has ruled that Amos Yee qualifies for political asylum in America.

An article published by Quartz titled, "A US judge has granted a Singapore teen blogger political asylum, calling him a “young political dissident”," would report:
A United States judge has granted asylum to Amos Yee, an 18-year-old blogger from Singapore, who has been jailed on two occasions for his public views on religion and politics. Yee came to the US in December under the visa waiver program and requested asylum before an immigration judge, expressing a fear of returning to Singapore. 

Judge Samuel Cole approved his asylum, describing him as a “young political dissident” and saying that his “prosecution, detention and general maltreatment at the hands of Singapore authorities constitute persecution.”
It is perhaps ironic, however, that Amos Yee is not engaged in civilised discourse or legitimate political opposition in Singapore. Instead, he is engaged in the same sort of bigoted, divisive agitation used elsewhere around the world by Western governments to foment division, unrest and even catastrophic violence everywhere from North Africa to the Middle East, and from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. Had Amos Yee been attacking homosexuals, ethnic minorities or America's political principles, it is likely he would be labelled a bigot, be targeted by "hate speech" laws in the United States and otherwise silenced.

But because he is targeting a foreign state over which the US seeks influence, his otherwise intolerable agitations have been portrayed as "political dissidence."

Were Singapore more susceptible to such tactics and should the United States and Europe find more agitators like Amos Yee to prop up, unrest and even violence could once again take to Singapore's streets. Like yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre, the unconstructive rhetoric Amos Yee engages in serves only to divide and endanger society, not advance it in any civilised, progressive manner.


US Presence in Korea Drives Instability

March 25, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - US and European interests continue to portray the government and nation of North Korea as a perpetual security threat to both Asia and the world. Allegations regarding the nation's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs are continuously used as justification for not only a continuous US military presence on the Korean Peninsula, but as justification for a wider continued presence across all of Asia-Pacific. 


In reality, what is portrayed as an irrational and provocative posture by the North Korean government, is in fact driven by a very overt, and genuinely provocative posture by the United States and its allies within the South Korean government.

During this year's Foal Eagle joint US-South Korean military exercises, US-European and South Korean media sources intentionally made mention of  preparations for a "decapitation" strike on North Korea. Such an operation would be intended to quickly eliminate North Korean military and civilian leadership to utterly paralyze the state and any possible response to what would most certainly be the subsequent invasion, occupation and subjugation of North Korea.

The Business Insider in an article titled, "SEAL Team 6 is reportedly training for a decapitation strike against North Korea's Kim regime," would report:
The annual Foal Eagle military drills between the US and South Korea will include some heavy hitters this year — the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and F-35s — South Korea's Joon Gang Daily reports. 

South Korean news outlets report that the SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a "decapitation attack," or a strike to remove North Korea's leadership.
To introduce an element of plausible deniability to South Korean reports, the article would continue by stating:
Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross later told Business Insider that the US military "does not train for decapitation missions" of any kind. 
Yet this is a categorically false statement. Throughout the entirety of the Cold War, US policymakers, military planners and operational preparations focused almost solely on devising methods of "decapitating" the Soviet Union's political and military leadership.

In more recent years, policy papers and the wars inspired by them have lead to documented instances of attempted "decapitation" operations, including the 2011 US-NATO assault on Libya in which the government of Muammar Qaddafi was targeted by airstrikes aimed at crippling the Libyan state and assassinating both members of the Qaddafi family as well as members of the then ruling government.

Similar operations were aimed at Iraq earlier during the 2003 invasion and occupation by US-led forces.

Regarding North Korea more specifically, entire policy papers have been produced by prominent US policy think tanks including the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) devising plans to decimate North Korea's military and civilian leadership, invade and occupy the nation and confound North Korea's capacity to resist what would inevitably be its integration with its southern neighbor.


Hong Kong: Anglo-America's Struggling Foothold in China

March 22, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Prominent American propagandist Howard French recently published a lengthy editorial in the Guardian titled, "Is it too late to save Hong Kong from Beijing’s authoritarian grasp?," in which he attempts to buttress an otherwise categorically false narrative surrounding an alleged indigenous struggle for democracy and independence within Hong Kong.


French attempts to hold China accountable for backtracking on an agreement made with Britain over the return of its own territory taken from it by force in 1841. He also attempts to portray Beijing's crackdown on US-UK subversion in Hong Kong as "authoritarian," never making mention of the extensive funding and meddling both the United States and the United Kingdom are engaged in within Chinese territory.

The article documents only one side of the so-called "independence" movement in Hong Kong, sidestepping any critical analysis of the colonial background of the ongoing political crisis or the neo-colonial aspects that shape current events even now.

The lengthy piece was paid for by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a Washington D.C.-based front that collaborates with the New York Times, PBS, NPR, Time Magazine and other mainstays of US propaganda. These are the same media outlets that helped sell the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as US-led attacks on Libya and US meddling in Syria beginning in 2011. By supporting French's work, they now help sell to the public a narrative that undermines Chinese sovereignty an ocean away from American shores.

The entire editorial, its contents, author and the special interests that paid for it as well as its placement in the Guardian, represent a continued and concerted effort to maintain an Anglo-American foothold in Hong Kong, part of the last vestiges of Western hegemony within Chinese territory.

The Truth About Hong Kong 

Had Howard French penned an honest account of Hong Kong's recent political crisis, he would have included the extensive, some may say exclusive, control the United States and the United Kingdom exercised over an otherwise fictitious and impossible pro-independence movement.  Quite literally every leader of the so-called "Umbrella Revolution" is either directly funded and directed by the US and/or UK government, or possesses membership within an organisation, institution or front funded by Anglo-American money.

The notion that a teen-aged Joshua Wong was single-handedly defying Beijing is preposterous even at face value. He was but one cog of a much larger, well-documented foreign-funded machine aimed at stirring up conflict within Hong Kong, undermine Beijing's control of the territory and infect Chinese society as a whole with notions of Western-style "democracy."


Just months before the 2014 "Umbrella Revolution," one of its leaders, Martin Lee, was literally in Washington D.C., before members of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), pleading for material and political support for upcoming demonstrations. Toward the end of that same year, and despite NED denying Lee was a protest leader, Lee would find himself in the streets of Hong Kong leading the protests from the front shoulder-to-shoulder with Benny Tai and Joshua Wong.


Singapore's Total Defence Policy Provides a Regional Model

March 21, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen reiterated the importance of the city-state's policy of Total Defence. In his statement coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the British surrender of the island to Japanese forces in 1942, he spoke specifically about the 5 pillars of Total Defence.



He emphasised that Singapore cannot depend on other nations for its defence, and warned that "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

According to Singapore's Ministry of Defence website, the 5 pillars of Total Defence include military, civil, economic, social and psychological defence. The policy specifically includes the entirety of Singaporean society as part of Total Defence. While clearly the military and other state institutions play larger roles in each of the above mentioned pillars, the policy assigns clear examples all Singaporeans can follow to contribute.

Singapore's Defence Minister and his ministry's 5 pillars reflect an often overlooked realism to geopolitics. It is realism in which "alliances" and "treaties" ultimately amount to nothing and that a nation can only depend on itself to truly ensure self-preservation.

Singapore's defence policy, in turn, reflects on the global transition from American and European unipolar hegemony, toward a more equitable balance of power within a multipolar world where national sovereignty once again holds primacy, as does a nation's responsibility to uphold its own sovereignty.


Amnesty's Abuse of Rights Advocacy

March 11, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Alleged human rights advocacy organisation, Amnesty International, has had several of its recent reports called into question regarding the very real possibility that its "advocacy" work is nothing more than politically-motivated attacks on nations targeted by its Western sponsors.


One report published under the titled, "Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria," has been revealed to consist of nothing more than opposition accusations and fabricated evidence created on computers in the United Kingdom.

Despite Amnesty International's report concluding that the Syrian government committed "crimes against humanity," the report admits it lacked any sort of physical evidence, including access to the facility in which Amnesty claims between "5,000-13,000" people were systematically tortured and executed.

 Amnesty International, a long-established and internationally recognised rights advocacy organisation, must certainly know better than to draw such conclusions and levelling such serious accusations against another nation without any actual evidence.

Assuming Amnesty knew better, it then appears that the organisation deliberately used its reputation and credibility, along with techniques designed to prey on the emotions of the public, to create a politically hostile climate toward the Damascus government on behalf of the US-European and Persian Gulf state coalition aimed at its removal from power.

While Amnesty's report on Syria is perhaps the most transparent and egregious abuse of human rights advocacy, Amnesty has produced other reports recently exhibiting a similar pattern of deception and lies of omission, preying on public ignorance and emotions, often at the cost of human rights advocacy rather than in defence of it.

Thailand's Turn 

Despite claims that America is posed to pursue a different tack regarding policy in Asia Pacific, the organisations and agencies arrayed by Wall Street and Washington against the region remain in place and very active.

Assisting these networks are organisations precisely like Amnesty International.

In their report titled, "Thailand: "They Cannot Keep Us Quiet": The Criminalization of Activists, Human Rights Defenders, And Others in Thailand," attempts to paint a picture of a draconian dictatorship silencing defenders of democracy and human rights.


Saudi Arabia's Southeast Asia Terror Tour

March 5, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Saudi Arabia's king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has recently undertaken a sweeping tour of Southeast Asia in what the media and analysts are claiming is a bid to firm up economic and political ties with Muslim-majority nations in the region.


However, both the media and analysts are sidestepping or entirely omitting the role Saudi Arabia has played in fueling global terrorism, extraterritorial geopolitical meddling, and even divisive and terroristic activities the notorious state sponsor of terrorism has been implicated in across the planet including within Southeast Asia itself.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) in an article titled, "Saudi King Salman's Southeast Asia trip affirms Muslim friendship," would report:
The Saudi monarch's rare month-long trip takes him to strategically important nations in the economically fast-growing region, with which Riyadh wants to deepen commercial engagement and socio-political ties.
DW would also report that:
Salman's visit to the Southeast Asian countries also underscores cooperative and mutually reinforcing ties between Muslim-majority countries and affirms the Islamic credentials as well as image of the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia...
However, Saudi Arabia indisputably represents perhaps the greatest danger to Islam on Earth. The brand of politicized religion propagated by Saudi Arabia both within its borders and well beyond them known as Wahhabism was initially created and is still used today to establish, maintain, and expand Saudi political influence behind a tenuous veil of religion.

Saudi Arabia Exports More Than Just Oil and for More Than Just Petrodollars 

Saudi Arabia as a protectorate of the United States, the United Kingdom, and other special interests across Europe, grants these nations a vector for power and influence through the use of Wahhabism in any nation it is allowed to take root and flourish.

In Southeast Asia specifically, Saudi-funded Wahhabi madrases dot Malaysia, Indonesia, and to a lesser extent elsewhere fueling extremism that often manifests itself politically against parties and political leaders the West seeks to coerce or replace.

In Myanmar, Saudi-funded terrorists are attempting to infiltrate the nation's Rohingya minority, turning the group's persecution into a regional security crisis and a pretext for greater US involvement, including US political and military expansion.


In reality, the United States and its Saudi proxies have no interest in the Rohingya beyond leveraging the crisis - nor does the US genuinely believe extremist infiltrators constitute a genuine security risk, The US does however seek to place a further wedge between Myanmar and China, and placing US military advisers in Myanmar to deal with a manufactured security risk Saudi Arabia is engineering serves that objective well.

US Never Respected the One China Policy and Never Will

March 3, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The US has reiterated its alleged commitment to honoring the "One China" policy under which it is recognized there is only one Chinese government. The policy exists in direct reference to Taiwan and its status as a break-away province from Beijing's authority.


The BBC's article, "Trump agrees to honour 'One China' policy despite threats," would report that:
US President Donald Trump has climbed down on past threats and agreed to honour the so-called "One China" policy. 

He backed the long-standing agreement during a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House said. 

The One China policy states that there is only one Chinese government. 

Mr Trump broke with diplomatic norms in December, by accepting a call from the president of Taiwan, considered a breakaway province by China.
Despite US assurances that it still honors this policy, the policy itself is a result of direct US meddling in China's internal affairs before, during and following World War 2. Taiwan's break-away status, bolstered by military forces consisting of almost exclusively US weaponry, is just one part of a much larger strategy maintained by Washington for decades aimed at encircling, containing and ultimately controlling China in a bid to maintain US hegemony across all of Asia-Pacific.

Target Taiwan

As early as the 19th century, collusion between American commercial interests and the US government sought to annex Taiwan outright. During and directly after World War 2, the US used both sides of China's simmering civil war to wage war on Japan, only to betray the Communists in favor of the inept, corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek. The nationalists' loss to the Communists led to their exodus from the mainland to Taiwan where the US has sheltered them and successive regimes ever since.

Together with US-European subversion carried out through US organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy in Tibet, Hong Kong and China's western province of Xinjiang, Taiwan serves a constant point of pressure and contention exerted against Beijing by the West.

In other words, not only does the United States seek to undermine the "One China" policy regarding Taiwan itself, it is actively seeking to create other break-away regions through political upheaval, separatist movements and even armed terrorism.

It stands to reason then, that a policy created as a direct result of US meddling, and clearly necessitated by obvious and continuous US collusion with the regime in Taiwan, is in no way honored by Washington no matter how many times the media or US politicians claim otherwise.

In light of this, it is clear that China's apparent "aggression" toward Taiwan, or its actions in Hong Kong, Tibet or Xinjiang, are direct reactions to US provocations rather than provocative expansionism on Beijing's own part.


Regime Change and Continuity of Agenda: Trump Adviser Now Chairs NED

March 1, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - While supporters of recently elected US President Donald Trump believe steadfastly that among other things, his administration will role back what has been essentially a century of American expansionism worldwide through overt wars and more "covert" methods toward achieving "regime change," by all metrics it appears such methods will only expand.

Image: Dr. Judy Shelton, now Chairperson of the NED and Trump adviser, presides over an award ceremony in 2010 for US CIA asset, the Dali Lama, a decades-long integral component of American policy to encircle, contain and divide China.

Not only do observers note continued subversive activities coordinated through local US embassies around the world since Trump's presidency began, including across Southeast Asia as part of America's continued attempts to isolate and contain China, but also movement within US agencies charged with organising and financing this subversion, such as the US State Department's National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Recently, NED announced its new chairperson, Dr. Judy Shelton. The announcement, published on NED's website includes the following background information on Dr. Shelton:
 Dr. Judy Shelton was elected the new Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) by NED’s Board of Directors at its January 10, 2017 meeting. An economist who has written widely on issues of international finance and monetary policy, she has also been consulted on international economic and financial issues by the Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon. Shelton previously served on the NED Board from 2005-2014, and was Vice Chairman from 2010-2014.
In other words, not only is Dr. Shelton now the new chairperson of NED, she has been directly involved with NED since at least 2005, long before, and all during NED's role in training, funding and backing the armies of regime change that swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) beginning in 2011. She also served on NED's board during the US-backed coup in Ukraine between 2013-2014.

Before that, between 2009-2010, NED-backed mobs took to the streets in Bangkok, Thailand in attempts to overthrow both the sitting government at the time, and also the Thai military and Thailand's head of state.

While these events have been assigned to the Obama administration for political convenience and compartmentalisation, it is actually organisations like NED that serve as the working mechanics that make such events possible.

In other words, Dr. Judy Shelton has been directly involved in NED through the entirety of America's most recent chapters of expansionism and regime change worldwide. She has also served on the board of directors for Hilton Hotels and Atlantic Coast Airlines, providing another example within NED of corporate and financial special interests driving the organisation's agenda rather than actual "democracy promotion."

An example of Dr. Shelton's activities within NED can be gleamed from a 2012 NED news letter under a headline titled, "Democracy Service Medal Presented in Cuba," in which it claims:
NED Vice-Chair Judy Shelton (second from right) presented it in person to Berta Soler, the leader of the Damas de Blanco movement founded by Laura Pollán; Héctor Maseda Guitiérrez, Pollán's widower and a journalist who spent eight years imprisoned by the Cuban government; and Laura Labrada Pollán, Pollán's daughter and a member of the Damas de Blanco.
Here, Dr. Shelton is directly involved in lending legitimacy to US-backed subversion in Cuba as part of a decades-long attempt to overthrow the government in Havana and expand US hegemony over the Caribbean.


US Navy's Own Report Indicates Washington is Looking for a Pacific Fight

February 27, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The Pacific Ocean is large. Since World War II, weapon systems operating in this theater have required special provisions regarding extensive range, long duration performance and relative self-sufficiency during operations.


From America's Gato-class submarines and PBY Catalina flying boats used to fight the Japanese and reassert American hegemony across Asia-Pacific during WWII, to America's continued presence in Japan, South Korea and islands throughout the region, it is clear the lengths the US has gone through then and now to remain "engaged" in the Pacific.

More recently, a report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), commissioned by the US Navy titled, "Restoring American Seapower: A New Fleet Architecture for the United States Navy," obsesses over not how to defend American shores, but how to remain involved in Asia-Pacific despite the immense distances between there, and America.

The report's introduction includes:

Great power competitors such as China and Russia increased their military capabilities over the last two decades and now appear willing to challenge the international order. 
However, the report never addresses Chinese or Russian forces landing on American shores, or even threatening to do so. Rather, the report revolves around maintaining hegemony within spheres of influence much more appropriately (and likely inevitably) Chinese or Russian.

The report coins a term, "deny-and-punish" to describe the use of US power abroad to "stop aggression," not in defense of America itself, but in "adjacent theaters." Ironically, the report cites Iraq as an example, a nation the US, not China nor Russia, invaded, occupied and destroyed with considerable, unchallenged "aggression."

A more specific point in the 162-page report picked out by The National Interest in an article titled, "How to Guarantee America's Aircraft Carriers Can Fight China in a War," involves long-range air sorties of up to 2,000 miles.

The article elaborates:
...a 2000-mile mission would strain human endurance and an unrefueled range of more than 10 hours would require an enormous aircraft that might not fit on a carrier flight deck. Thus, the CSBA proposal calls for a smaller aircraft that would be supported by a tanker.
In other words, in order for the US to project considerable force beyond its own borders, across the Pacific Ocean, and within China's logical, proximal sphere of influence, it needs not only drone aircraft capable of 10 hour sorties, it needs drone tankers to refuel them.


Defense contractors surely welcome the report's findings, since it will require the development of not one new aircraft carrier-based vehicle, but two, including the tanker.

The CSBA report concludes by stating:
To be deterred in the 2030s, aggressors must be presented with the possibility that their goals will be denied or that the immediate costs to pursue them will be prohibitively high.
In reality, the "aggression" the United States fears is not the unjust encroachment on other, innocent nations, but rather the undoing of every aspect of its own global order, put together piece by piece through just such aggression. It is an order constructed not within any rational US sphere of influence, rather, one spanning the globe, so far from American shores combat pilots lack the endurance to fly the sorties required to "deter" other nations from reversing America's grip upon it.


National Security Adviser General McMaster: The War Complex' Resident Parrot

February 22, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - It was recently announced that US President Donald Trump selected US Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his National Security Adviser.


The New York Times in their article, "Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser," would report:
President Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security adviser on Monday, picking a widely respected military strategist known for challenging conventional thinking and helping to turn around the Iraq war in its darkest days.
In reality, what President Trump has done, is select a man who will bring very little of his own thoughts with him to the position. Instead, he will - verbatim - repeat the talking points, reflect the agenda of, and serve the interests driving the collection of corporate-financier funded think tanks that devise - and have devised for decades - US-European foreign policy.

What General McMaster Represents

In a talk given at one such think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies - funded by corporations such as ExxonMobil, Hess, Chevron, and Boeing and chaired by individuals including President Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and representatives from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Betchel - General McMaster provides a well-rehearsed pitch collectively reflecting the worldview hashed out by not only the CSIS itself, but admittedly the worldview and objectives of the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, and a myriad of other special-interest driven policy think tanks.

The talk, published on CSIS' YouTube channel in May of 2016, features General McMaster in his military uniform accusing Russia of "invading Ukraine" and China of  "challenging US interests at the far reaches of American power." When describing China's "challenging" of US interests, he presents a map of China itself and the surrounding South China Sea - quite decidedly nowhere near the United States or any logical or legitimately proximal sphere of influence Washington could justify in maintaining.


General McMaster predicates allegations that Russia and China pose a threat to "US interest" abroad - not US national security itself - by challenging the post World War 2 international order - an order admittedly created by and for the US and its European allies, granting them military, sociopolitical, and financial unipolar hegemony over the planet.


North Korean Paranoia is Well-Founded

February 15, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - North Korea is depicted across US and European media as a backward nation run by a despotic, delusional leader encircled by advisers suffering from irrational, militant paranoia. The nation is also depicted as a prominent security threat in Asia-Pacific despite North Korea waging no wars in the region since an armistice in 1953 effectively ended the Korean War.


A despotic, delusional leadership, however, most likely would not possess nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and a large conventional army and yet restrain its use regardless of decades of provocations engineered along its borders by the United States and its allies within the South Korean government. Likewise, a nation governed by the entirely irrational would be incapable of maintaining, even expanding ties with neighboring states like China.

Yet in reality, North Korea has done all of this.

Much of the US and Europe's accusations are predicated on the continued development of North Korea's defense programs including advances in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles. Strategically omitted from US and European rhetoric are the provocations the West itself is guilty of, spurring along North Korea's expanding militarization.

What if, then, North Korea's allegedly irrational paranoia was well-founded?

As former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's health deteriorated, the United States and its regional allies began planning quite openly for an opportunity to overturn the North Korean state.  US-based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), would publish a 2009, 60-page report titled, "Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea," in which scenarios for the full-scale invasion, occupation and subjugation of North Korea were laid out.

The report included recommendations for an invasion and occupation force it called a "stabilization force," of up to 460,000 US and allied troops.

Considering that, by 2009, the United States had already successfully invaded, occupied and destroyed the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan, it would not be "irrational" at all for North Korean paranoia to reach new heights.

The missing ingredients Iraq and Afghanistan had in facing US invasion were substantial defense programs that could deter US aggression. North Korea's possession of increasingly sophisticated nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles means that the price, each year, rises for any attempted implementation of the plans included in the CFR's 2009 report.


US Set to Expand South China Sea Conflict

February 5, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Triumphalism followed the election of US President Donald Trump, particularly among those opposed to US foreign policy under US President Barack Obama. In particular, hope was rekindled that America would withdraw from the many, provocative conflicts it was cultivating, ranging from the Middle East to East Asia.


However, triumphalism and hope are now dashed, as the new US administration moves clearly and in earnest to not only continue on with these confrontations, but expand them.

For students of history, particularly those following events in Asia Pacific, the prospect of the US moving its confrontation with China forward for control over the region is hardly a surprise.

A Quick History Lesson of US Imperialism in Asia 

The United States had occupied the Philippines, declaring it a US territory from 1898-1946. It had also been involved in the military occupation and several armed clashes in China with Chinese forces, including during the Second Opium War and the Boxer Rebellion. Such conflicts saw Chinese fighters attempt to remove by force foreign influence, including supposedly Christian missionaries used to impose US and European sociopolitical control over China.


During this period of overt American colonisation throughout Asia Pacific, the annexation of Taiwan was also considered, as an American analogue of Britain's annexation of Hong Kong.

In Thomas Cox' 1973 book, "Harbingers of Change: American Merchants and the Formosa [Taiwan] Annexation Scheme," published by the University of California Press, Cox wrote:
Since it appeared unlikely that Taiwan would long remain a part of the Chinese empire and there was ample justification for action by the United States, [US Commissioner in China, Peter] Parker argued that the United States should move quickly. "I believe Formosa and the world will be better for the former coming under a civilized power," he wrote.
It should be noted that Parker's advocacy of the US annexation of Taiwan was backed not by political ideology, though it was certainly presented as such publicly, but by US business interests at the time, particularly those of the Nye Brothers, merchants involved heavily in US-Chinese trade, including the movement of opium across the region.

Regional dynamics would change just before, during, and immediately after World War 2, with a resurgence of localised power and independence movements ousting Western colonial powers. This included the ousting of British and French holdings across the region such as in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and across Indochina which included Laos, Cambodia and of course Vietnam.

Myanmar Mass Murder Made in America

January 31, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The Southeast Asian state of Myanmar has recently become the epicentre of an expanding humanitarian crisis. But because the current government of Myanmar is headed by a regime favoured by American and European interests, little attention and even less action has been given to the conflict. 


A January 10, 2017 Guardian article titled, "65,000 Rohingya flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh following crackdown: UN," reports that:
At least 65,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar – a third of them over the past week – since the army launched a crackdown in the north of Rakhine state. 

The figure, released by the UN, marks a sharp escalation in the numbers fleeing a military campaign which rights groups say has been marred by abuses so severe they could amount to crimes against humanity.
The same article claims:
The stories have cast a pall over the young government of Aung San Suu Kyi, with mainly Muslim Malaysia being especially critical. 

Myanmar’s government has said the claims of abuse are fabricated and launched a special commission to investigate the allegations.
However, anyone at all familiar with Myanmar's recent history and the nature of the current government's support base knows that the unfolding tragedy among the Rohingya minority was not only predictable, but with Aung San Suu Kyi coming to power, inevitable.


The fact that Suu Kyi's political party came to power on a decades-long tsunami of US and European cash and political support, despite US-European knowledge of Suu Kyi's supporters harbouring racist, even genocidal intentions toward the Rohingya, makes the West at the very least partially responsible for the current crisis.

The Warning Signs Were There For Years 

The Guardian would also link the violence against the Rohingya to what it calls, "hardline Buddhist monk Wirathu," in the very last paragraph of its article, giving readers little explanation as to just how prominent a role both Wirathu and his saffron-clad followers have played both in bringing Suu Kyi to power and persecuting the Rohingya with genocidal violence.

Such lies of omission are common throughout the Western media indicating a systematic attempt to conceal the true nature of Suu Kyi and her followers. In fact, so contradictory is the image the Western media has built up for Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and the reality of her political movement's violence, that many are unable to accept the truth even when evidence finally becomes widely known.

In 2007, the Western media eagerly reported on what it dubbed the "Saffron Revolution," a political protest led by Suu Kyi's political allies, including thousands of monks wearing their saffron-coloured robes.

But these same activist groups, including various monk "associations" have systematically been involved in the persecution of and violence against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Occasional articles like the UK Independent's 2012 report titled, "Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned," reveal both Myanmar's "hardline Buddhists" and even activist groups celebrated in the West for "promoting democracy" are involved in persecuting the Rohingya.

The report would state:
Monks who played a vital role in Burma's recent struggle for democracy have been accused of fuelling ethnic tensions in the country by calling on people to shun a Muslim community that has suffered decades of abuse. 

In a move that has shocked many observers, some monks' organisations have issued pamphlets telling people not to associate with the Rohingya community, and have blocked humanitarian assistance from reaching them. One leaflet described the Rohingya as "cruel by nature" and claimed it had "plans to exterminate" other ethnic groups.
The Independent would also admit that:
Ko Ko Gyi, a democracy activist with the 88 Generation Students group and a former political prisoner, said: "The Rohingya are not a Burmese ethnic group. The root cause of the violence… comes from across the border."

It is difficult to discern what then, the Western media means by "democracy activist" when such "activists" openly display racism, bigotry, discrimination, and support a growing conflict that involves both calls for genocide, and violence aimed at carrying out genocide. The 88 Generation Students group has for years repeatedly weighed in on the Rohingya conflict, backing calls to deny them citizenship, voting rights and even basic human rights.


China is Building a Navy to Displace, Not Defeat the US in Asia

January 24, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - In many ways, China's socioeconomic and military influence in Asia has already balanced a long-lopsided equation of geopolitical power in the region. The social and economic stability brought by the rise of China along with the rest of Asia has helped eliminate many of the "dark alleys" the US and its European allies have often used to create division, destruction and opportunities to then intervene, even overturn entire governments.


China's naval ambitions in particular have been disparaged by Western political and military analysts who believe (correctly) China's growing naval capabilities will never be on par with the United States' global-spanning naval forces.

But that is precisely the point.

China's naval capabilities are not meant to take and hold global hegemony by defeating the United States as a nation, but rather in displacing the United States as a regional hegemon in Asia where the US presence and its decades of influence have chaffed at, and at times trampled, Westphalian sovereignty.

Western analysts have pointed out that China's blue ocean naval capabilities fall far behind America's, and that it will be many years if and when China is able to compete on equal terms. For instance, analysts point out China's single operational aircraft carrier, Liaoning, faces America's 10 aircraft carriers.

However, if China's ambitions are not to overwhelm or compete with America's global fleet, and merely deter and ultimately displace America's presence in Asia Pacific, its current fleet is already adequate.  Analysts point out that when China's naval assets are operated near Chinese shores, land-based weapon systems including land-based aircraft significantly tip the balance of military power in Beijing's favour.

China's decision to establish what are essentially unsinkable aircraft carriers in the South China Sea amid its island-building frenzy have angered waning Western hegemons specifically for this same reason. From these islands, should China choose or be forced to, military power can be exerted against Western naval assets in ways even the West's formidable military would struggle to counter.


Rex Tillerson, Biggest Gator in the Swamp

January 18, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - When US business tycoon-turned-politician Donald Trump ran for office, "drain the swamp" became a popular campaign cry. Trump likely was implying that he would "drain" corrupt and redundant features of Washington's establishment and distance Washington's leadership from the suffocating corruption of special interests on Wall Street.


Yet since winning the election, almost overnight (and in many cases, all during his campaign even), Trump has surrounded himself with precisely the sort of flora and fauna found in the deepest, dankest swamps.

And perhaps the largest specimen Trump is stocking the swamp he now presides over with, is his pick for US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson is not only at face value the embodiment of both Wall Street and Big-Oil as a lifetime oilman joining Exxon in 1975, becoming president of Exxon Yemen in 1995 and serving as chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil from 2006-2016, but also epitomizes the conflicts of interest and unwarranted influence Wall Street and Big-Oil are notorious for.

Most ironic of all, the abuses Tillerson played part in almost up until the day he was recruited by Trump, exercising unwarranted power and influence through the United States government and the very State Department he now stands poised to lead, was done during, and more importantly, with the administration of President Barack Obama.



The Intercept's article, "Rex Tillerson’s ExxonMobil Frequently Sought State Department Assistance, New Documents Show," would report:
The requests for help — documented in diplomatic cables obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from DeSmogBlog as well as some previously released by Wikileaks — raise a whole new series of conflict-of-interest concerns about Tillerson, who retired as ExxonMobil CEO soon after being nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next secretary of state.
In particular, The Intercept would reveal:
ExxonMobil sent State Department officials a request to help overcome local opposition to fracking in Germany; in Indonesia, the State Department acted as a advocate for ExxonMobil during contentious negotiations between the firm and the Indonesian government over a major gas field in the South China Sea; and in Russia, ExxonMobil asked the U.S. ambassador to press the Russians to approve a major drilling program, noting that a “warming of U.S.-Russian relations” overall would also help the company.
Those optimistic for rapprochement between the US and Russia, however, should understand that from ExxonMobil's point of view, rapprochement with Russia is more desirable the weaker Russia is when it finally occurs, thus giving ExxonMobil and other US special interests the upper-hand in negotiations, and if possible, a free hand as was the case in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse and the wholesale looting of Russia's economy by the US and Europe that  followed.


Is the US Positioning Itself for Military Presence in Myanmar?

January 12, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The governments of the United States and United Kingdom have spent decades and millions of dollars creating the political opposition fronts that constitute support for Myanmar's new (and first ever) State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. This support includes backing Suu Kyi's saffron-clad street fronts who make up a nationwide network of "monk" alliances and associations.


And it is these alliances and associations that have served at the forefront of persecution against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Also for years, this violent persecution has unfolded in what was otherwise a media blackout across North America and Europe. When violence reaches fevered pitches, American and European media organisations intentionally introduce ambiguity as to who precisely is leading anti-Rohingya violence.

The conflict carries with it all the hallmarks of an intentional strategy of tension; used within Myanmar to galvanise Suu Kyi's otherwise morally and politically bankrupt opposition fronts and now, it appears to be ready for use within Washington's wider strategy of "pivoting to Asia."

Myanmar's "New Rohingya Insurgency" 

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based foreign policy think tank funded by some of the largest corporations on the planet, poses as a conflict management organisation. In reality, it introduces manufactured narratives that are then picked up and eagerly promoted across American and European media outlets, to shift public perception and pave the way for shifts in Western geopolitical aspirations.



Their most recent manufactured narrative involves what it calls a "Rohingya insurgency." Their narrative is already circulating across American and European media, including the Wall Street Journal whose article, "Asia’s New Insurgency Burma’s abuse of the Rohingya Muslims creates violent backlash." claims (our emphasis):
Now this immoral policy has created a violent backlash. The world’s newest Muslim insurgency pits Saudi-backed Rohingya militants against Burmese security forces. As government troops take revenge on civilians, they risk inspiring more Rohingya to join the fight.
The article also admits:
Called Harakah al-Yaqin, Arabic for “the Faith Movement,” the group answers to a committee of Rohingya emigres in Mecca and a cadre of local commanders with experience fighting as guerrillas overseas. Its recent campaign—which continued into November with IED attacks and raids that killed several more security agents—has been endorsed by fatwas from clerics in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Emirates and elsewhere. 

Rohingyas have “never been a radicalized population,” ICG notes, “and the majority of the community, its elders and religious leaders have previously eschewed violence as counterproductive.” But that is changing fast. Harakah al-Yaqin was established in 2012 after ethnic riots in Rakhine killed some 200 Rohingyas and is now estimated to have hundreds of trained fighters.
The Wall Street Journal and ICG both apparently expect readers to believe that Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants in Myanmar simply to "fight back" against Aung San Suu Kyi, her government and her followers' collective brutality against the Rohingya.

In reality, Saudi Arabia and its sponsors in Washington, London and Brussels, only intervene when geopolitically advantageous. Just as Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants everywhere from Yemen to Syria to advance a joint US-European-Gulf campaign to reassert primacy across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Saudi Arabia's support of supposed militants in Myanmar is driven by similar hegemonic ambitions.


Trump's Taiwan Phone Call Gaff No "Accident"

January 6, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - President-elect Donald Trump's "accidental" phone conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was neither a gaff nor a decision Trump and his advisers unilaterally made.


It is merely the latest evolution of US foreign policy in Asia Pacific amid the collapsing "Pivot to Asia" policy pursued under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.

Looking from an even wider perspective, both Trump and Obama's policies are merely the latest iterations of US policy over the last century aimed at encircling, containing and dominating not only China's rise upon the international stage, but in achieving, maintaining and even expanding American primacy over Asia.

The Washington Post in an op-ed titled, "Trump's Taiwan call wasn't a mistake. It was brilliant," would admit:
The phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen was reportedly carefully planned, and Trump was fully briefed before the call, according to The Washington Post. It's not that Trump was unfamiliar with the "Three Communiques" or unaware of the fiction that there is "One China." Trump knew precisely what he was doing in taking the call. He was serving notice on Beijing that it is dealing with a different kind of president — an outsider who will not be encumbered by the same Lilliputian diplomatic threads that tied down previous administrations. The message, as John Bolton correctly put it, was that "the president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it's in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to."
Use of the term "brilliant" here is, however, inappropriate.

US policy in Asia Pacific is predicated on decades of Washington presumptions that it, not any actual nation residing in Asia Pacific, should take and hold what US policymakers themselves refer to as "primacy" over the region. However, gradually over time, China as well as many nations described as "allies" of the United States, have incrementally moved out from under the long shadow cast from North America across the Pacific.


US Concerns Over "Election Interference" May Backfire

January 5, 2017 (Joseph Thomas -NEO) - The United States has recently claimed the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from US territory as well as additional sanctions against the Russian state are in retaliation for what the Washington Post claims is "2016 election interference."


In the Post's article, "Obama administration announces measures to punish Russia for 2016 election interference," it's stated that:
The response, unveiled just weeks before President Obama leaves office, culminates months of internal debate over how to react to Russia’s election-year provocations. In recent months, the FBI and CIA have concluded that Russia intervened repeatedly in the 2016 election, leaking damaging information in an attempt to undermine the electoral process and help Donald Trump take the White House.
The "damaging information" that was leaked, however, was disseminated by Wikileaks, and likely the result of an internal whistle-blower, not Russian operatives. Questions surrounding the veracity of America's claims are owed to a substantial lack of evidence provided by US departments and agencies involved in both the investigation and the punitive measures applied in its wake.

However, the US' reaction to what it claims is "2016 election interference" could significantly backfire, since the US itself is engaged in very real, overt election interference globally, and for decades. In fact, even as the US berated Russia for allegedly interfering in America's internal politics, its own organisations, including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funded by the US government, openly admitted they were leaking information regarding China's internal politics in efforts to undermine Beijing.


In fact, NED and its subsidiaries (including the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House) as well as myriad fronts around the world these organisations fund, support and direct, are openly dedicated to manipulating foreign elections, creating US-friendly opposition movements and even overthrowing governments that impede US interests worldwide.

The New York Times, in fact, would admit in 2011 in an article titled, "U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings," that:
A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
US interference across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2011 would eventually lead to regional war, the complete destruction of Libya and near destruction of Syria as well as regime change in a number of nations including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.


2017: A Year of Transition and Trouble

December 24, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Predictions aside, there are obvious trends, plots, and paradigm shifts that will continue onward into the new year, that geopolitical observers should be distinctively aware of.

1. The War in Syria is Not Over 

The United States conspired as early as 2007 to overthrow the government of Syria through the use of armed militants - particularly those aligned to Al Qaeda and who enjoy state sponsorship from America's Persian Gulf allies.


The goal of eliminating the Syrian government was not an isolated objective, but rather fits into a much larger geopolitical agenda - including the overthrow of the Iranian government and the movement of militant proxies back into southern Russia and even into western China.

Russia's involvement in the Syrian conflict, and the duration of the conflict itself complicates, even sets back US efforts toward these ends, but Washington and Wall Street's desire for global hegemony will simply see these plans attempt to adapt and overcome current setbacks.

According to the Brookings  Institution's 2009 policy paper, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran," one option proposed includes the US arranging with Israel for Israeli forces to conduct what would appear to be a unilateral attack on Iran.

The paper states:
...the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran. It could allow Washington to have its cake (delay Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon) and eat it, too (avoid undermining many other U.S. regional diplomatic initiatives).
For this to be convincing, the US and Israel would need to feign a diplomatic fallout, one the current administration of US President Barack Obama has been performing and just recently ratcheted up at the UN Security Council. With President-elect Donald Trump - undeniably and very publicly pro-Israel - coming into office in January, the window is closing for this option to be convincing.


One aspect of a covertly US-backed Israeli attack on Iran includes an opportunity for the US to subsequently intervene militarily if Iran were to retaliate. It is essentially a trap baited for Tehran. The trap could be sprung before President Obama leaves office, and US military intervention executed as President-elect Trump enters office.

Of course, Iran now possesses Russian S-300 anti-air defense systems, has a more formidable army today than when Brookings and other US policymakers first concocted war plans against Tehran, and the dynamics in the region have changed considerably as well. However, President-elect Trump has surrounded himself both during his campaign for president and amongst his incoming cabinet, with men who have promoted war with Iran for years.

This is perhaps one of the first, and greatest dangers that will need to be navigated around in 2017.

2. Economic Paradigm Shift, Driven by Technology 

It could be easily said that alternative energy and electric cars are already creating shifting trends in global economics and the geopolitical power derived from it. The cost and proliferation of solar power continues to favor its use against traditional forms of power production, and electric cars are finally being taken seriously by traditional manufacturers in the face of stiff competition from newcomers like Tesla Motors.