|Image: T. E. Lawrence played a pivotal role in building up, then betraying various Arab independence movements vis-a-vis the Ottoman Empire. It was during this period of time that the West began to co-opt and exploit Saudi Arabia's already well-developed political tool of Wahhabism.|
|Image: US-backed militants of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood attempted to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's father, Hafex Al Assad in 1982 and failed. They would try again in beginning in 2011 using the Muslim Brotherhood again, as well as Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and eventually the Islamic State (ISIS).|
|Image: US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski with Pakistani military personnel during the US-backed proxy war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. The militant groups created, armed, and funded by the US in the 1980's would eventually evolve into Al Qaeda and ISIS today.|
|Image: A wrecked Home Depot rental truck, used in the recent terror attack in Manhattan, New York. The attacker apparently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). But who in turn created and perpetuates ISIS?|
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).On clarifying who these supporting powers were, the DIA memo would state:
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.The "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State) would indeed be created precisely in eastern Syria as US policymakers and their allies had set out to do. It would be branded as the "Islamic State" and be used first to wage a more muscular proxy war against Damascus, and when that failed, to invite US military forces to intervene in the conflict directly.
|Image: It doesn't matter who your favorite US President is or who their staff were - Republican or Democrat - they all took turns coddling and using the Saudi regime.|
...we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.Despite admissions from the United States military and high-level politicians that ISIS was literally a creation of its own intentional foreign policy and perpetuated through state-sponsorship by America's closest regional allies, both the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Trump would continue signing weapon deals, maintaining diplomatic ties, and strengthening military and economic cooperation with these state-sponsors of terror.
|Image: The Syrian Arab Army and its Iranian, Russian, and Hezbollah allies are fighting the true "War on Terror," not alongside the West, but against terrorist proxies sponsored by the West.|
Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.The website also states that (our emphasis):
Chevening Awards are an important element in Britain's public diplomacy effort and bring professionals, who have already displayed outstanding leadership talents, to study in the UK. The objective of Chevening is to support foreign policy priorities and achieve FCO objectives by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers.In other, simpler and more frank terms, Chevening is a means of producing agents of British influence through the indoctrination of foreigners involved in their respective nation's media, politics, policy making and analysis.
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets.And perhaps the most striking observation of all made by Tacitus was as follows:
The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilization', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.Centuries later, Chevening alumni boast openly about their scholarships and fellowships. It is included in their bios on social media and prominently featured in biographies and résumés that accompany editorials and job applications.
|Image: Pravit Rojanaphruk (right of centre with striped tie) stands shoulder-to-shoulder with foreign embassy staff as he faces sedition charges in Bangkok, Thailand.|
We've been spending hundreds of millions of [dollars] to clean them up and [President] Obama just doubled [our] annual [contribution].Western establishment journal, The Diplomat, in an article titled, "Obama in Laos: Cleaning up After the Secret War," would try and explain this increased "contribution," claiming (emphasis added):
In recent years, U.S. support for UXO clearance and victim assistance in Laos has dramatically increased. In response to steady pressure from NGOs like Legacies of War and their allies in Congress, U.S. funding for this work increased from $5 million in 2010 to a record $19.5 million this year. These resources, disbursed by the State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, are used to support clearance efforts that destroy up to 100,000 pieces of lethal ordnance in Laos annually, employing 3,000 workers in the commercial and humanitarian sectors.
"How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?" It was this mindset that led to the creation of features such as the "like" button that would give users "a little dopamine hit" to encourage them to upload more content.
"It's a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."
Pravit Rojanaphruk is one of Thailand's most prominent critical reporters and a long-time advocate for press freedom. He is currently a columnist and senior staff writer for Khaosod English (Fresh News), a website established in 2013 that publishes critical coverage of Thailand's junta. Before that, he worked for more than 20 years with the local English-language newspaper The Nation.CPJ and Rojanaphruk himself intentionally and repeatedly omit that his opposition to Thailand's current government under the guise of promoting democracy and freedom of expression is entirely one-sided and dishonest.
|Image: Shinawatra supporters walks off with weapons seized from the Thai military in 2010 after ambushing and killing dozens of soldiers and bystanders. Rojanaphruk often condemns the Thai military for ousting the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra claiming it is an attack on democracy and human rights, but intentionally omits the violations of human rights the Shinawatra regime is guilty of that prompted the 2006 and 2014 coups respectively.|
The FCCT moved into a penthouse floor with access from a corridor already filling up with foreign media offices. The Maneeya today houses AsiaWorks, the BBC, ABC, ITN Channel 4, NBC, InFocus, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times, among others. This guarantees the FCCT constant journalist traffic, imbuing it with the feel of a genuine press club. It has a good bar and decent enough kitchen but makes no pretensions to emulating the grandeur of its counterparts in Hong Kong or Tokyo - nor the fakeness of the "FCC" in Cambodia, a bar and restaurant with one of the best views in Asia but no hacks.In reality, it is a regional hub where US and European lobbyists and agitators, posing a journalists, coordinate events, programmes and propaganda campaigns targeting not only Thailand itself, but Thailand's Southeast Asian neighbours.
|Image: FCCT aiding in political stunt on behalf of ousted regime.|
...discuss the overall human rights situation in Vietnam, the imprisonment of at least 165 prisoners of conscience with heavy sentences, and the recent launch of the NOW! Campaign, an initiative by 15 human rights organisations around the world, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of these men and women.The FCCT claims that the event was cancelled after several meetings with the police and military.
|Image: Boat People SOS is based in the US, funded by the US government, and serves the single purpose of pressuring the Vietnamese to heed to US interests.|
The decline of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the advent of ISIS-linked violence in South East Asia evince the possibility of a new era of transnational jihadist terrorism in the region.While ICG claims that "to date" there is no evidence that ISIS has made inroads in southern Thailand, it warns:
Recurring, albeit unsubstantiated, reports about ISIS activity in Thailand have prompted questions about the vulnerability of the country's Muslim-majority deep south and, in particular, its longstanding Malay-Muslim insurgency to jihadist influence.
But the conflict and a series of ISIS scares in Thailand are fanning fears of a new terrorist threat. Such fears are not irrational, though they are largely misplaced and should not obscure the calamity of the insurgency and the need to end it.In essence, ICG is warning of a crisis it itself admits is unlikely, then recommends that Bangkok pursue a course of action it already is taking - talking with militant leaders in its southern most provinces.
Direct talks between insurgent leaders and the government are a priority; a decentralised political system could help address the principal grievances in the south while preserving the unitary Thai state.
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).Thus, if ISIS is a geopolitical tool first designed and deployed by the US and its allies to subvert, isolate, and overthrow the government of Syria, it follows that ISIS' expansion into other regions of the world US foreign policy is facing increasingly insurmountable challenges is also very much planned and fueled by US policymakers and the special interests that sponsor them.
Crisis Group aspires to be the preeminent organisation providing independent analysis and advice on how to prevent, resolve or better manage deadly conflict. We combine expert field research, analysis and engagement with policymakers across the world in order to effect change in the crisis situations on which we work. We endeavour to talk to all sides and in doing so to build on our role as a trusted source of field-centred information, fresh perspectives and advice for conflict parties and external actors.Yet a look at its sponsors and membership reveals a Westerners-only club of corporate-financier special interests, lobbying groups, lawyers, and politicians linked directly to the US State Department, the UK Foreign Office, or governments beholden to either or both.
|Image: Networks linked to US-backed ousted dictator Thaksin Shinawatra have switched from class warfare to Islamophobia in a bid to divide, destroy, and co-opt the Thai state.|
|Image: Thai-Muslims have constructively contributed to the Thai state both in past and in the present and lived, worked, and played side-by-side Buddhists and the secular without incident for generations.|
Russia has raised its concerns over attempts by the U.S. military to collect DNA samples from Russian nationals, noting the potential use of such biological samples for the purpose of creating new genetic warfare weaponry.The report would also state that:
The U.S. Air Force has sought to calm the Kremlin's concerns, noting that the samples would only be used for so-called "research" purposes rather than for bioterrorism.
Addressing Russian reports, U.S. Air Education and Training Command spokesperson Captain Beau Downey said that his center randomly selected the Russian people as a source of genetic material in its ongoing research of the musculoskeletal system.
However, the usage of Russian tissue samples in the USAF study fed the long-brewing suspicion that the Pentagon is continuing in its hopes to develop an alleged "biological weapon" targeting specifically Russians.Russian President Vladimir Putin would be quoted as stating:
Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is -- why is it being done? It's being done purposefully and professionally.And while the US military attempted to brush off the notion that any sort of ethnic-specific bioweapon was being researched, the notion of such a weapon is not far fetched at all.
The proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will make it much easier to project military power around the globe. Munitions themselves will become increasingly accurate, while new methods of attack -- electronic, "non-lethal," biological -- will be more widely available. (p.71 of .pdf)
Although it may take several decade for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and "combat" likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, "cyber-space," and perhaps the world of microbes. (p.72 of .pdf)And finally:
And advanced forms of biological warfare that can "target" specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool. (p.72 of .pdf)More recently - in 2010 - the US Air Force in a counterproliferation paper titled, "Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens" (PDF), would list multiple ways such weapons could be deployed (emphasis added):
The JASON group, composed of academic scientists, served as technical advisers to the U. S. government. Their study generated six broad classes of genetically engineered pathogens that could pose serious threats to society. These include but are not limited to binary biological weapons, designer genes, gene therapy as a weapon, stealth viruses, host-swapping diseases, and designer diseases.The paper discusses the possibility of a "disease that could wipe out the whole population or a certain ethnic group." While the paper claims its purpose is to study such weapons as a means of developing defenses against them, America's history as a global military aggressor and the sole nation on Earth to have ever wielded nuclear weapons against another nation-state suggests a high likelihood that if such weapons can be produced, the US has already stockpiled them - if not already deployed them.
There was some interaction between Roodeplaat Research Laboratories (RRL) and Delta G [biological and chemical weapon laboratories respectively], with Delta G taking on some of RRL's biochemistry projects and RRL doing animal testing of some Delta G products. One example of this interaction involved anti-fertility work. According to documents from RRL [Roodeplaat Research Laboratories], the facility had a number of registered projects aimed at developing an anti-fertility vaccine. This was a personal project of the first managing director of RRL, Dr Daniel Goosen. Goosen, who had done research into embryo transplants, told the TRC that he and Basson had discussed the possibility of developing an anti-fertility vaccine which could be selectively administered—without the knowledge of the recipient. The intention, he said, was to administer it to black South African women without their knowledge.At the time, the technology appears not to have been sufficiently mature enough to realize the Apartheid regime's ambitions. However, the technology not only exists today, there are examples of it being used to spectacular effect - so far for good - but could just as easily be used for bad.
Gene therapy might just be the silver bullet for the treatment of human genetic diseases. This process involves replacing a bad gene with a good gene to normalize the condition of the recipient. Transfer of the "healthy" gene requires a vector to reach its target. Vectors commonly used are "viruses that have been genetically altered to carry normal human DNA" such as "retroviruses, adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, and herpes simplex viruses."
Doctors in Europe used gene therapy to grow sheets of healthy skin that saved the life of a boy with a genetic disease that had destroyed most of his skin, the team reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature. This was not the first use of the treatment, which adds gene therapy to a technique developed to grow skin grafts for burn victims. But it was by far the most body surface ever covered in a patient with a genetic disorder: nine square feet.One could imagine a malicious weapon used in reverse to knock out the genes that maintain healthy skin, causing a victim's skin to blister and fall off.
Gene therapy is expected to gain in popularity. It will continue to be improved upon and could unquestionably be chosen as a bioweapon. The rapid growth in biotechnology could trigger more opportunities to find new ways to fight diseases or create new ones. Nations who are equipped to handle biotechnology are likely to consider gene therapy a viable bioweapon. Groups or individuals without the resources or funding will find it difficult to produce this bioweapon.Regarding "stealth viruses," a variation of the weaponized gene therapy technique, the report states:
The basic concept of this potential bioweapon is to "produce a tightly regulated, cryptic viral infection that can enter and spread in human cells using vectors" (similar to the gene therapy) and then stay dormant for a period of time until triggered by an internal or external signal. The signal then could stimulate the virus to cause severe damage to the system. Stealth viruses could also be tailored to secretly infect a targeted population for an extended period using the threat of activation to blackmail the target.With gene therapies already approved for sale in the European Union and the United States, and with more on the way, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that covert, weaponized gene therapies are also either already developed and waiting, or already deployed as "stealth viruses."
AFRIMS is the largest of a global network of US Defense Department Overseas Medical Research Laboratories—with sister laboratories in Peru, Kenya, Egypt, and the Republics of Georgia and Singapore. USAMD-AFRIMS has nearly 460 staff members (predominantly Thai and US) and an annual research budget of approximately $30-35 million.With labs in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia - and through the use of subcontractors - the US military has access to a variety of genetic materials and facilities to conduct research and develop all of the weapons its own policy papers have described.
Biological warfare attacks may resemble a natural disease outbreak phenomenon and it would be very difficult to trace back to the source, thereby discounting the perpetrator's actions.And indeed, nations without the ability to independently sequence, detect, and react to ethnic-specific genetic bioweapons could already have been targeted, or could be targeted at any moment without any means of even knowing, let alone reacting.
Plants are among many eukaryotes that can 'turn off' one or more of their genes by using a process called RNA interference to block protein translation. Researchers are now weaponizing this by engineering crops to produce specific RNA fragments that, upon ingestion by insects, initiate RNA interference to shut down a target gene essential for life or reproduction, killing or sterilizing the insects.Studies are still ongoing to determine what harm genetically modified organisms (GMOs) - in their current state - are doing to human health. Spotting and reacting to subtle, weaponized GMOs will be even harder.
Vladimir Putin spoke with students about science in an open lesson on September 1, the start of the school year in Russia. He told them that "the future belongs to artificial intelligence," and whoever masters it first will rule the world.
"Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
China unveiled a national artificial intelligence (AI) development plan on Thursday, aiming to build an AI technologically world-leading domestic industry by 2030.Russia and China's recognition of the importance of AI in both economic and national defense terms has been noted by US policymakers and industry leaders who seek to maintain what is, for now, a primarily American dominated industry.
Released by the State Council, the plan formulates the key strategy for the development of China's AI industry.
KAMANDAG, which will run until October 11, is an acronym for the Filipino phrase "Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat," or "Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea," emphasizing the close partnership between the Philippine and United States militaries. KAMANDAG will increase overall U.S. and Philippine readiness, improve bilateral responsiveness to crises in the region, and further reinforce our illustrious decades-long alliance. Leading up to the commencement of KAMANDAG, AFP and U.S. forces completed bilateral humanitarian and civic assistance projects at schools earlier this month in Casiguran, Aurora.The embassy also made particular note that the exercise would "increase counterterrorism capabilities," which is particularly convenient considering the current crisis Manila faces on its southern island of Mindanao, where parts of the city of Marawi are still being held by militants linked to the Islamic State.
The battle for Marawi has raised concern that ISIS, on a back foot in Syria and Iraq, is building a regional base on the Philippine island of Mindanao that could pose a threat to neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore too.With militants in Syria and Iraq clearly the recipients of extensive state sponsorship, particularly from the United States and its closest regional allies, it stands to reason that their ambitions thousands of miles away in the Philippines are likewise state-sponsored.
Officials have said that, among the several hundred militants who seized the town, there were about 40 foreigners from Indonesia and Malaysia but also fighters from India, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Chechnya.
The strike on Marawi City suggested to many that pro-Islamic State factions wanted to establish it as a Southeast Asian "wilayat" -- or governorate - for the radical group, a view reinforced by video footage the military found last week showing the fighters plotting to cut the town off completely.
EDCA allows the expansion of rotational deployment of U.S. ships, aircraft and troops at five bases in the Philippines as well as the storage of equipment for humanitarian and maritime security operations.The article also made mention of strained relations between Washington and Manila as well as the inroads Beijing was making in terms of defence cooperation with the Philippines.
Lorenzana said Washington had committed to build warehouses, barracks and runways in the five agreed locations and Duterte was aware of projects and had promised to honor all existing agreements with the United States.
US special forces are helping the Philippine military retake the southern city of Marawi from IS-linked militants, the Philippine army says.The US military was threatened with eviction, US-allied state sponsored terrorism appeared suddenly on the Philippines' shores and now the US finds itself with a new purpose for its otherwise unwelcome, unwarranted military presence within the Southeast Asian archipelago nation state.
The forces are providing technical help and are not fighting, it said.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier threatened to throw out US troops amid strained relations since taking office.
|Image: The campaign sign reads in Thai: Thaksin Kit, Pheua Thai Tom" which translates to Thaksin Thinks, Pheua Thai [Party] Does - an open admission that a convicted criminal hiding abroad runs Thailand's largest opposition party and contested the 2011 elections.|
|Foreign embassies have funded and directed a number of events to breath new life into the political proxies of ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shianwatra in pursuit of regime change in Thailand.|
The 8th Annual Isaan Human Rights Festival brought together 17 communities from across the region, activists, scholars, and international and Thai students. Ambassadors from Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom were in attendance, as well as political officers from Canada, the European Union and the United States. National Human Rights Commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit also attend the event.While the US-funded media outfit mentioned funding provided by the Germany-based Heinrich Böll Foundation, it failed to mention other sponsors whose logos were clearly visible in media used throughout the event.
Hosted by Mahasarakham University's College of Politics and Governance, the festival opened a rare space to discuss the human rights situation in the Northeast.
|Shinawatra supporters have been banned from gathering in Thailand for good reason. They are used by Shinawatra's political proxies to incite unrest, violence and substantial bloodshed in pursuit of regime change.|
|Shinawatra supporters engaged in armed violence in 2010. Nearly 100 would perish in gun battles over several weeks, ending in citywide arson.|
The festival kicked off with a panel on human rights in the Northeast. Representatives of five regional non-governmental organizations voiced their concerns about the shrinking space for popular representation and the military regime's repression of community voices.It also claims:
After taking power in a coup in May 2014, the military junta had banned gatherings of more than five people. Violation of the ban a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a fine of 10,000 baht (about $300 US). Several northeastern activists have been prosecuted for exercising their right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech between May 2014 and September 2015, according to a report from Thai Lawyers For Human Rights.
|Foreign diplomats quite literally hold the hands of political agitators they fund in Thailand. Pictured centre is Sirikan Choroensiri of the US State Department created and funded front, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, flanked by European and Canadian diplomats and staff.|
In Kuala Lumpur, more than 1,000 protesters led by Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin marched from a nearby mosque after Friday prayers to the U.S. Embassy, halting traffic as they chanted "Long live Islam" and "Destroy Zionists." Many carried banners, some of which said "Free Palestine" and "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine."
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, more than 300 protesters shouted "Go to hell Israel!" and called on Trump to stop "blind support" for the Jewish state. Neither Malaysia nor Indonesia has diplomatic ties with Israel and both are strong supporters of Palestinians.No protests of significance were organised elsewhere in the region.
A stronger, more stable Iraq will be much better positioned to resist domination by Iran. Given the stakes, and America's previous investment, aid levels comparable to those given Afghanistan or Egypt are in order. Engaging in this way can also enable the United States to help Baghdad keep an eye on the Iran-backed Shia militias as they are partially disbanded and partially worked into Iraqi Security Forces in coming months.In reality, the US is neither capable of creating a "stronger, more stable Iraq," nor does it genuinely seek to do so. It will use its continued presence in Iraq to undermine and roll back progress made by Baghdad and its Iranian allies against militant groups including ISIS and Al Qaeda as well as US-backed Kurds in the nation's north.
Still, the United States and like-minded states—as well as global-aid agencies—need to help provide security and economic assistance to regions free of Assad's rule as well as the Islamic State. Some of these regions should be treated as temporary autonomous zones and help govern themselves as well. Additionally, more western and GCC military strength and support for moderate insurgents is needed in northwest parts of the country, such as in and around Idlib, where the Al Qaeda affiliate, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, is still active. Otherwise, either the latter group or Assad's forces backed by Russia and Iran will be the likely victor.Essentially, the US seeks to Balkanize Syria and continue its proxy war against Damascus.
The bloc said developments in Thailand this year, including the adoption of a new constitution and a pledge by junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to hold elections in November 2018, meant it was "appropriate" to resume ties.The announcement however, was conditional. AFP also reports:
But the European Union repeated its call for the restoration of full democracy and said it was still concerned about harassment of human rights activists and the curtailing of free speech in Thailand.What the AFP article and the EU statement both fail to mention was the context of the 2014 coup, the nature of the government it ousted from power and precisely which groups have been subjected to the so-called "curtailing of free speech."
|US-EU diplomats regularly organise events to foment opposition to Thailand's government, right in the heart of Shinawatra's former political stronghold of "Isaan," or northeastern Thailand. The EU has demonstrated zero respect for Thai sovereignty and its offer to "restore ties" to the nation are loaded with preconditions undermining Thailand's national interests.|
|Growing Thai-Chinese ties include the signing of extensive infrastructure projects including those surrounding mass transportation.|
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED -- see Appendix 1, page 27) has been at the forefront of our program efforts to promote democracy and improved human rights in Burma since 1996. We are providing $2,500,000 in FY 2003 funding from the Burma earmark in the Foreign Operations legislation. The NED will use these funds to support Burmese and ethnic minority democracy-promoting organizations through a sub-grant program. The projects funded are designed to disseminate information inside Burma supportive of Burma's democratic development, to create democratic infrastructures and institutions, to improve the collection of information on human rights abuses by the Burmese military and to build capacity to support the restoration of democracy when the appropriate political openings occur and the exiles/refugees return.The document also admits that all prominent opposition media in Myanmar is funded by the US government, stating:
The NED sub-grant program also has fostered the development of three well-known Burmese media organizations. The New Era Journal, the Irrawaddy, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) radio have become critical sources of independent news and information on the struggle for democracy in Burma. These organizations also serve as training ground for the development of professional Burmese journalists.Illustrating the emphasis on placing Suu Kyi into power rather than merely "promoting democracy" and allowing the people decide themselves, the report blatantly admits (emphasis added):
Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA) have Burmese services. VOA broadcasts a 30-minute mix of international news and information three times a day. RFA broadcasts news and information about Burma two hours a day. VOA and RFA websites also contain audio and text material in Burmese and English. For example, VOA's October 10, 2003 editorial, "Release Aung San Suu Kyi" is prominently featured in the Burmese section of VOAnews.com. RFA's website makes available audio versions of 16 Aung San Suu Kyi's speeches from May 27 and 29, 2003. U.S. international broadcasting provides crucial information to a population denied the benefits of freedom of information by its government. Broadcasts reach a broad spectrum of society and a broad swathe of the country, influencing Burmese decision-makers and offering support to future democratic leaders. Anecdotal evidence indicates that government officials listen to these broadcasts frequently.
The State Department provided $150,000 in FY 2001/02 funds to provide scholarships to young Burmese through Prospect Burma, a partner organization with close ties to Aung San Suu Kyi.
A group of NATO allies are considering a more muscular response to state-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyber attacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said.Reuters would also report:
The doctrine could shift NATO's approach from being defensive to confronting hackers that officials say Russia, China and North Korea use to try to undermine Western governments and steal technology.The article also noted that the United States and its allies already possess and have threatened to use cyberweapons offensively, citing the 2010 Sutxnet virus deployed against Iranian nuclear infrastructure as a possible example. Other examples cited of possible applications included shutting down power plants with malware rather than bombing them.
|Image: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has sealed several pivotal economic, infrastructure, and military deals with China since ousting the US-backed government of Yingluck Shinawatra from power in 2014.|
|Image: Terrorism sponsored by Washington's closest Middle Eastern allies showed up just in time to justify the United States' military's continued and otherwise unwanted presence in the Philippines.|
The new strategy to confront China head on with a unified front underscored a growing regional competition between Beijing and Washington. The Quad meeting came as the US appeared to be shifting strategic focus. As Trump was visiting East Asia, he too referred to the region as the "Indo-Pacific" rather than the "Asia-Pacific" -- a clear shot at Beijing.The Diplomat in its piece titled, "US, Japan, India, and Australia Hold Working-Level Quadrilateral Meeting on Regional Cooperation," would note regarding the statements produced from the dialogue, that:
The Australian and the U.S. statements touched on all seven of the issues highlighted above under the aegis of a "free and open Indo-Pacific." Japan's statement omitted any mention of enhancing "connectivity," which, for India and the United States, has come to mean offering an alternative vision to China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
Meanwhile, India's statement on Saturday's meeting omitted any explicit reference to freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for international law, and maritime security. Delhi has however, in various bilateral statements and declarations with each of the other quadrilateral participants, voiced support for these principles.The Diplomat would conclude by noting much work would be required to offer the rest of Asia incentives to uphold "the status quo regional architecture and a rules-based order," (read: US primacy in the region) "versus China's competing vision." Considering that fact and that even among the Quad, there is an obvious disconnect between each members' agenda and with reality in regards to containing China, Washington faces a difficult, uphill battle in doing this.
Both the Indian and Japanese omissions aren't a statement of disinterest, but rather intended to assuage concerns in Beijing that the reconvened quadrilateral will explicitly attempt to contain China.
|Image: While Washington seeks to use Australia as a proxy against China's rise, Australian coal exports fuel both Australia's economy and China's energy needs as it grows.|
"The Quad is not an alternative for ASEAN to turn to instead of Beijing, it is an alternative for ASEAN to turn to as a means of escaping US coercion and subversion."In essence, the US plans to continue all of the activities it has pursued during its "pivot to Asia" - including political subversion, confrontation with Beijing, and even terrorism. The Quad is not an alternative for ASEAN to turn to instead of Beijing, it is an alternative for ASEAN to turn to as a means of escaping US coercion and subversion.
|Image: One of two British aircraft carries the UK seeks to send to the South China Sea to aid Washington in provoking China off its own shores.|
The target was not an oppressive Soviet puppet but a democratically elected government whose populist ideology and nationalist fervor threatened Western economic and geopolitical interests. The CIA's covert intervention—codenamed TPAJAX—preserved the Shah's power and protected Western control of a hugely lucrative oil infrastructure. It also transformed a turbulent constitutional monarchy into an absolutist kingship and induced a succession of unintended consequences at least as far ahead as the Islamic revolution of 1979—and, Kinzer argues in his breezily written, well-researched popular history, perhaps to today.The article - a review by the CIA's own history staff of a book regarding Operation AJAX - admits that US policy regarding Iran merely picked up where the British Empire left off in an effort to reassert rapidly-slipping Western control over the globe. In no way was US efforts to undermine and control the government of Iran described in terms of protecting US national security or promoting democracy - and in fact was characterized instead as undermining Iranian self-determination.
Because the Iranian regime is widely disliked by many Iranians, the most obvious and palatable method of bringing about its demise would be to help foster a popular revolution along the lines of the "velvet revolutions" that toppled many communist governments in Eastern Europe beginning in 1989. For many proponents of regime change, it seems self-evident that the United States should encourage the Iranian people to take power in their own name, and that this would be the most legitimate method of regime change. After all, what Iranian or foreigner could object to helping the Iranian people fulfill their own desires?The paper then admits:
The true objective of this policy option is to overthrow the clerical regime in Tehran and see it replaced, hopefully, by one whose views would be more compatible with U.S. interests in the region.In essence, Brookings quickly admits that its "velvet revolution" would be the fulfillment of Washington's desires, not the Iranian people's - pursued merely under the guise of helping Iranians fulfill their own desires. As the CIA itself admits in its own historical records that US "interests in the region" are based on economic exploitation and the enrichment of Wall Street and Washington, not lifting up, empowering, or enriching the Iranian people.
The United States could play multiple roles in facilitating a revolution. By funding and helping organize domestic rivals of the regime, the United States could create an alternative leadership to seize power. As Raymond Tanter of the Iran Policy Committee argues, students and other groups "need covert backing for their demonstrations. They need fax machines. They need Internet access, funds to duplicate materials, and funds to keep vigilantes from beating them up." Beyond this, U.S.-backed media outlets could highlight regime shortcomings and make otherwise obscure critics more prominent. The United States already supports Persian language satellite television (Voice of America Persian) and radio (Radio Farda) that bring unfiltered news to Iranians (in recent years, these have taken the lion's share of overt U.S. funding for promoting democracy in Iran). U.S. economic pressure (and perhaps military pressure as well) can discredit the regime, making the population hungry for a rival leadership.It should be noted that economic and military pressure were both cited by the BBC and other Western news sources as "grievances" by the so-called "opposition" amid Iran's most recent protests.
...if the United States ever succeeds in sparking a revolt against the clerical regime, Washington may have to consider whether to provide it with some form of military support to prevent Tehran from crushing it.The report continues by stating:
...if the United States is to pursue this policy, Washington must take this possibility into consideration. It adds some very important requirements to the list: either the policy must include ways to weaken the Iranian military or weaken the willingness of the regime's leaders to call on the military, or else the United States must be ready to intervene to defeat it.Armed with this knowledge, Iranian protests quickly turning violent due to mysterious gunmen and nebulous armed groups that suddenly appear can be viewed instead through the more realistic prism of pre-positioned US-armed gangs rolled out to expand unrest and hinder security operations aimed at pacifying US-organized mobs.
As much as many Americans might like to help the Iranian people rise up and take their destiny in their own hands, the evidence suggests that its likelihood is low—and that American assistance could well make it less likely rather than more. Consequently, some who favor fomenting regime change in Iran argue that it is utopian to hold out hope for a velvet revolution; instead, they contend that the United States should turn to Iranian opposition groups that already exist, that already have demonstrated a desire to fight the regime, and who appear willing to accept U.S. assistance.Among the groups considered, Brookings admits:
Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq).Of the MEK, Brookings admits (emphasis added):
...the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take American hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread. Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK's advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership's main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.It was no coincidence that while Brookings penned its 2009 report, efforts were already well underway to remove MEK from the US State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations - and was fully removed from the list by 2012, according to the US State Department itself.
|Image: Many of President Donald Trump's political supporters played a direct role in lobbying to get terrorist organization MEK off the US State Department's FTO list. Their work began under Bush and continued under Obama. It was in fact under Obama's administration when MEK was finally delisted.|
Of equal importance (and potential difficulty) will be finding a neighboring country willing to serve as the conduit for U.S. aid to the insurgent group, as well as to provide a safe haven where the group can train, plan, organize, heal, and resupply...
...without such a partner, it would be far more difficult for the United States to support an insurgency. One thing that the United States would have in its favor when searching for a state to play this role is that many of Iran's neighbors dislike and fear the Islamic Republic.Since 2009, the US has secured for itself multiple conduits and safe havens - which has been the primary reason Iran has been involved so deeply in Syria since the 2011 war erupted. Western Syria now hosts multiple US military bases as well as a large proxy contingent made up of Kurdish militias and extremists from Al Qaeda/ISIS being retrained by the US for redeployment in continued proxy wars across the region.
Properly executed, covert support to an insurgency would provide the United States with "plausible deniability." As a result, the diplomatic and political backlash would likely be much less than if the United States were to mount a direct military action.Of course, Brookings' own publicly-published conspiracy coupled together with the US' demonstrated use of proxies in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and now Iran, lays bare this strategy and mitigates whatever "plausible deniability" Washington hoped to maintain.
...even if U.S. support for an insurgency failed to produce the overthrow of the regime, it could still place Tehran under considerable pressure, which might either prevent the regime from making mischief abroad or persuade it to make concessions on issues of importance to the United States (such as its nuclear program and support to Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban). Indeed, Washington might decide that this second objective is a more compelling rationale for supporting an insurgency than the (much less likely) goal of actually overthrowing the regime.In other words, US regime change again is openly admitted as an act of geopolitical coercion, not self-defense. The strategy laid out by Brookings is more than mere "suggestions." It is an enumerated list of prescribed actions that have demonstrably been executed since in Syria, Libya, and Yemen and are now manifesting themselves in nearby Iran.
Despite many of its services being blocked in China, Google has chosen Beijing as the location for its first artificial intelligence research center in Asia.The purpose of the center, according to CNN, citing China's desire to become a global leader in AI technology, will be to:
...help China pursue its aim to become the global leader. The facility will employ a team of researchers who will be supported by engineers the company already has in China.Considering Google's services being banned, blocked and otherwise unwelcomed in China, the question remains as to why exactly Google would seek to aid China in becoming a leader in AI technology Google itself seeks to position itself as a leader in.
Let's talk about immigration. Shockingly, some of the very best people are in countries that we won't let in to America. Would you rather have them building AI somewhere else or having them build it here? I'll give you a specific example: Iran produces some of the smartest and top computer scientists in the world. I want them here! And to be clear I want them working for Alphabet and Google. I'm very, very clear on this. It's crazy not to let these people in. So I could go on.An alternative to having exceptional computer scientists brought into the United States would be poaching them at centers precisely like the one opened in China. The center not only allows Google, and by extension, the US access to Chinese computer scientists, it also creates a node within China's own research and development network, providing immense insight and intelligence regarding China's progress in this pivotal technological field.
Focused on basic AI research, the Center will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by Google China's strong engineering teams. We've already hired some top experts, and will be working to build the team in the months ahead (check our jobs site for open roles!). Along with Dr. Jia Li, Head of Research and Development at Google Cloud AI, I'll be leading and coordinating the research. Besides publishing its own work, the Google AI China Center will also support the AI research community by funding and sponsoring AI conferences and workshops, and working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community.
...the U.K. could revive the old trick of acting as a "fleet in being;" its ability to steam where and when it pleased while possessing no major territory would throw off regional rivals' military calculus and force them to commit precious reconnaissance assets to monitoring the United Kingdom.In other words, a European military would be deployed in and harass "rivals" across Asia alongside US warships already engaged in regional meddling. This, the author concludes, "would be a great benefit to stabilising the security troubles of the region."
|Image: US State Department officials threaten Cambodia with sanctions for uprooting US-funded organizations openly engaged in political interference in Cambodia's upcoming elections.|
Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday ordered foreign staff members of an American nonprofit that gets support from the United States government to leave the country within a week, part of an apparent attempt to silence opposition voices before national elections next year.The NYT would elaborate, reporting:
The nonprofit, the National Democratic Institute [a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)], is loosely affiliated with the Democratic Party in the United States, and has provided training to various Cambodian political parties, including those from the opposition. Local news media organizations with ties to Mr. Hun Sen's party have accused the nonprofit of conspiring against him.Unsurprisingly, the NYT attempts to portray Cambodia's uprooting of US government-funded fronts, media, and opposition directly and openly manipulating its political affairs as undemocratic. Such a narrative concurrently takes shape in the NYT's pages side-by-side an entire section titled, "Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election."
|Image: Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha being arrested for treason. Kem Sokha has spent over a decade openly conspiring with the United States government to overthrow the Cambodian government and install himself and his political party into power.|
And, the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can changed the dictator Slobodan Milosevic," he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes.
"You know Milosevic had a huge numbers of tanks. But they changed things by using this strategy, and they take this experience for me to implement in Cambodia. But no one knew about this."Kem Sokha is referring to the openly admitted US-engineered regime change mechanism known as "color revolutions" and in particular the successful use of such "revolutions" in the overthrow of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.
|Image: Kem Sokha's daughter, Kem Monovithya, in Washington DC appealing for more US interference in Cambodia's internal affairs as her father resides in jail for treason associated with seeking US interference in Cambodia's internal affairs.|
Visiting US State Department official W Patrick Murphy yesterday warned that further punitive action could be forthcoming in response to the government's recent crackdown on the main opposition, while repeatedly pointing to the US's warm relationship with the people of Cambodia -- if not their leaders.The article would also report (emphasis added):
In diplomatic but firm remarks made at a press roundtable yesterday, Deputy Assistant Secretary Murphy noted recent "negative developments with regards to democracy", and implied that the US would be unable to recognise the legitimacy of an election that took place without the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.
...in Washington, a panel of "witnesses" convened by the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- including Kem Sokha's daughter, Kem Monovithya -- called for additional action in response to the political crackdown. In a statement, Monovithya urged targeted financial sanctions against government officials responsible for undermining democracy. She also called on the US to suspend "any and all assistance for the central Cambodian Government", while "continuing democracy assistance programs for civil society, particularly those engaged in election-related matters".
Monovithya also asked America to review "Cambodia's eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences", a program which gives favourable trade treatment to Cambodia's garment exports.
|Image: The announcement of anti-color revolution measures by Prime Minister Hun Sen's son, Hun Manith.|
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the creation of a school to train spies to combat "colour revolution" and terrorism in Cambodia yesterday, tapping his son and Ministry of Defence Intelligence Director Hun Manith to lead it.The article would also cite Human Rights Watch - a US-European government and corporate-financier-funded front posing as a rights advocate - attempting to dismiss the threat of color revolutions as "non-existent." Human Rights Watch would claim:
In front of an audience of hundreds of military and police officials, Manith said the facility will train soldiers and police in intelligence-gathering and maintaining "covert identities".
The government has excelled in manufacturing non-existent threats, like a colour revolution, to justify its crackdown on human rights and civil society. And now it's going a couple steps further by creating permanent intelligence training facilities to combat these and other threats, like Islamic terrorism, which has also yet to appear in Cambodia.And yet, there is nothing at all "non-existent" about the threat of color revolutions. Kem Sokha himself openly admitted he was conspiring with the US to organize one. The same Western media dismissing Cambodia's concerns as a pretext for an otherwise unwarranted crackdown, has openly admitted that the US organized and executed color revolutions from Eastern Europe to North Africa and the Middle East.
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.The article would also add, regarding the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - a key component in US subversion in Cambodia, that:
The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.In essence, the very same organizations admittedly responsible for plunging the Middle East and North Africa into chaos are the very same organizations Cambodia has targeted and expelled - while arresting and charging their Cambodian accomplices with treason. Considering the toll in human suffering, loss of life, and economic devastation nations targeted by US-sponsored color revolutions have suffered elsewhere, Cambodia's moves are far from unwarranted - and instead constitute measures a responsible nation would take in defending peace and stability.
|Image: The ruins of Aleppo after years of war, shortly before the Syrian government liberated it from US-sponsored terrorists. The threats of US-backed color revolution are real, devastating, and the responsible of every government to protect their nation against by any means necessary.|
Turkish television channels have been reporting from the Syrian border every top of the hour with pictures showing the deployment of troops, tanks and armoured vehicles.
"The countdown has begun for Turkey's operation against Afrin," said one pro-government channel.
Its correspondent underlined that the troops on the border were already pointing at what the authorities term terrorist targets within Syria. There were also reports of Turkish artillery shelling the area.
A State Department official on Thursday suggested the U.S. military's role in Syria post-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be focused on Iranian activities.
David Satterfield, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, was responding to a question from Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about what function U.S. troops serve in Syria besides fighting ISIS, as Satterfield and other U.S. officials have indicated the military will be staying the country past the terrorist group's defeat.
Satterfield then offered: "We are deeply concerned with the activities of Iran, with the ability of Iran to enhance those activities through a greater ability to move materiel into Syria. And I would rather leave the discussion at that point."Washington's apparently shape-shifting Syrian policy should come as no surprise. The entire proxy war against Syria the US has waged since 2011 was always intended to eventually involve Iran. The abortive US-backed "protests" in Iran in late December 2017 marked what is likely only the first of many attempts to come in which Iran itself is directly targeted.
The CIA Tibetan program, parts of which were initiated in 1956 with the cognizance of the Committee, is based on U.S. Government commitments made to the Dalai Lama in 1951 and 1956. The program consists of political action, propaganda, paramilitary and intelligence operations, appropriately coordinated with and supported by [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].The report also states that:
In the political action and propaganda field, Tibetan program objectives are aimed toward lessening the influence and capabilities of the Chinese regime through support, among Tibetans and among foreign nations, of the concept of an autonomous Tibet under the leadership of the Dalai Lama; toward the creation of a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Tibet; and the containment of Chinese Communist expansion—in pursuance of U.S. policy objectives stated initially in NSC 5913/1.2 [6 lines of source text not declassified].It should be noted that the document specifically mentions "the containment of Chinese Communist expansion."
1. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.
2. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.Yet, now as the US finds its influence in Asia Pacific waning, there have been attempts to pressure the Japanese government to amend its constitution and help augment US military aggression across the region.
Efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to normalize Japan's security posture and bolster its US alliance against China hit an obstacle when the Lower House Commission on the Constitution declared Abe's moves unconstitutional. Still, Japan is expected to pass legislation around August to expand the nation's ability to better support the US in the defense of Japan.Japan possesses the ability to more than adequately defend itself from any aggressor, including China. Furthermore, if free of Washington's coercive influence bending Tokyo toward confrontation with Beijing, China and Japan could forge economic and defense pacts of their own that would make possible confrontations even more remote than they already are.
In a minor bombshell, on June 4, Setsu Kobayashi, professor emeritus of Constitutional Law at Keio University and member of the Lower House Commission on the Constitution, said provisions allowing limited rights of collective self defense as promoted by the Abe administration are unconstitutional.
"Paragraph 2 of Article 9 does not grant any legal standing for military activities abroad," Kobayashi is reported to have said. "Going to war abroad to help a friendly nation is a violation of Article 9," he said.