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ASIA Australia China Intelwars

Australia’s Self-Inflicted Economic Woes Continue

April 15, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Australia had until recently been enjoying economic growth alongside the rise of China. This all changed when Canberra began following Washington’s lead, antagonising China, and in what would snowball into a costly, self-inflicted economic crisis. 

Today, Australia not only faces mounting barriers to trade erected by China in response to Australia’s systematic antagonism, but now is seeing what had been temporary trade disputes transform slowly into a Beijing strategy to permanently eliminate dependency on Australian imports. 

Once set into place, the ability for Australia to return to previous levels of lucrative trade with China will be unlikely. 

Australia’s Self-Inflicted Economic Ruination 

In 2018, Australia buckled under US pressure to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from nationwide 5G infrastructure contracts citing still unfounded “national security concerns.”

The BBC in an article titled, “Huawei and ZTE handed 5G network ban in Australia,” would claim: 

“…the Australian government said national security regulations that were typically applied to telecoms firms would be extended to equipment suppliers.

Companies that were “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government” could present a security risk, it said.

Even the BBC and the Australian government were clear to use the word, “could present,” versus the demonstrated security risk US-made hardware poses as revealed by the Western media itself in articles like MIT Technology Review’s, “NSA’s Own Hardware Backdoors May Still Be a “Problem from Hell”,” which would note: 

In 2011, General Michael Hayden, who had earlier been director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, described the idea of computer hardware with hidden “backdoors” planted by an enemy as “the problem from hell.” This month, news reports based on leaked documents said that the NSA itself has used that tactic, working with U.S. companies to insert secret backdoors into chips and other hardware to aid its surveillance efforts.

Quite clearly then, the threat of compromised hardware is not the real reason this ban has been leveled against Chinese companies since similar bans have not been used to target US-made hardware. Instead, the most likely motivation fits in with Washington’s wider strategy of encircling and containing China, including the blunting of its economic rise as a whole, and the sabotage of individual Chinese companies poised to overtake their Western rivals. 

More recently, Australia followed suit in a US-led propaganda campaign to shift the blame for the global COVID-19 crisis on China. 

A Reuters article titled, “Africa’s miners and winemakers toast China’s row with Australia,” would not only note China’s moves to permanently resolve this growing dispute with Australia by simply finding more dependable and amicable trading partners, but also attempted to explain how this trade row recently escalated when Canberra, “led calls for an inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.” 

Of course, this was a politically-motivated inquiry meant to insinuate China was responsible for the spread of COVID-19, and by implication, also responsible for the resulting global crisis. 

Logically, even if China had been responsible for COVID-19’s spread throughout its own territory, failing to detect, isolate, and contain its spread, it is difficult to understand how China is also responsible for it spreading in Australia or the US. 

What prevented the Australian or US governments from detecting, isolating, and containing the spread of the virus within their own borders, and how exactly would China be to blame for the fact that they didn’t? Here reveals the propaganda value of this inquiry and precisely why China responded through additional tariffs against Australian imports. 

The trade war is hurting Australia in ways it will not be able to overcome without quickly reconciling with Beijing. 

The amount of iron ore exported to China from Australia cannot simply be diverted elsewhere. Which nation possesses the same sized industrial base and demand for such ore? The answer is; no one. 

Worse still are “economic solutions” Australia is exploring to make up for its declining economic health. 

Australian state media, ABC, in an article titled, “Australia to produce its own guided missiles as part of billion-dollar defence manufacturing plan,” would claim: 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil the plan later today but is warning the “changing global environment” highlights the need to create the sovereign capability.

The article also noted: 

The Department of Defence will choose a “strategic industry partner” which will be contracted to operate the manufacturing facility.

Potential partners include Raytheon Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Konsberg and BAE Systems Australia.

Thus, there really is no “sovereign capability” being developed, since the weapons will be made by the Australian subsidiaries of US and Western European-based arms manufacturers, using Australian tax dollars, and creating a minimum number of jobs in the process all while using technology with little to no practical application outside the realm of arms manufacturing. 

The missiles, once completed, will most likely be pointed at China by Australia, or sold to nations in the region who will likewise point them at China. 

The propaganda campaign fueling Australia’s growing antagonism toward China and creating the climate of fear among the Australian public to justify expenditures on weapons often stems from policy think tanks like the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). 

That ASPI is funded by the very same arms manufactures mentioned above, Raytheon and Lockheed, directly profiting from the growing crisis, should be no surprise.  

If the trade row wasn’t bad enough, special interests driving Australian foreign policy doubling down on “solutions” that will only expand the row (and also a wider conflict) signals to Beijing that Australia wasn’t, isn’t and likely well into the future won’t be a reliable partner. 

China Moving on Without Australia? 

Conversely, China has plenty of alternatives to choose from and has been cultivating them for years out of a desire to hedge against economic uncertainties. But it was a strategy that has clearly served Beijing well in the face of the sort of political uncertainties Australia’s antagonism now represents. 

The same Reuters article discussing Australia’s China-COVID-19 inquiry would also note: 

In the mining sector though, China has spent the past decade ramping up projects in Africa to safeguard the flow of raw materials to the manufacturing juggernaut.

Those investments are now paying off and African producer countries are pocketing the royalties as exports to the world’s second biggest economy get a boost at Australia’s expense.

The article covers a wide range of ores, minerals and other goods China is seeking to diversify away from dependence on Australia for, and toward partners in Africa. 

The article describes how in just a few years, momentum is already starting to swing in favour of African exporters at Australia’s expense. Once the process is complete, it will be very difficult for Australia’s government to repair both the political damage it has created and convince Beijing to forego its new partners in favour of a return to Australian trade, now proven to be politically unreliable. 

Like the US itself whom Australia follows the lead of, Australia finds itself needlessly rendering itself irrelevant because of a fundamental inability to accept an emerging global balance of power, correcting the unwarranted concentration of power and wealth in the hands of Western nations at the expense of the rest of the world. 

Australia’s inability to find a constructive role to play among the nations of the Indo-Pacific region and recognize China’s rise as a regional and global power, insisting instead to partner with Washington in a campaign to reassert Western primacy over the region, is not “going to be” Australia’s downfall, it already is Australia’s downfall. 

How far Australia falls, and if it arrives at depths it can never fully return from, is up to Canberra.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.    

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ASIA China Intelwars propaganda

West’s Propaganda War vs. China Continues

April 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The West continues a malicious propaganda war against China, but China is pushing back.   

In the latest row, the BBC’s John Sudworth fled mainland China to Taiwan as Xinjiang locals began organizing legal action against his campaign of slander aimed at justifying economic sanctions and boycotts – ruining the lives of the very people the West claims it cares about. 

A look at John Sudworth’s work for the BBC reveals a transparent propaganda campaign based on disinformation spread by US government-founded “foundations” based in Washington DC with admissions throughout BBC articles that none of their claims can ultimately be proven. 

References:

RT – Beijing accuses BBC of spreading fake news and blasts reporter for ‘running’ from China as Xinjiang citizens plot legal action:
https://www.rt.com/news/519704-china-bbc-reporter-sudworth-xinjiang/
BBC – BBC China correspondent John Sudworth moves to Taiwan after threats:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56586655
BBC – China’s ‘tainted’ cotton:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/nz0g306v8c/china-tainted-cotton
Adrian Zenz – Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton (PDF):
http://newlinesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/20201214-PB-China-Cotton-NISAP-2.pdf
The Grayzone – Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal:
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/20/reuters-bbc-uk-foreign-office-russian-media/

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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Intelwars Iran MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast

America’s Predictable Betrayal of the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’

April 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Despite campaign promises made by now US President Joe Biden to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal – Washington’s return to the deal has predictably stalled. 

In February 2021, AP would report in its article, “Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal,” that: 

The Biden administration says it’s ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, in a sharp repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” that sought to isolate the Islamic Republic.

The US had unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015-2016 deal brokered under the Obama-Biden administration in 2018 under US President Donald Trump. The deal was deemed “defective” and much more stringent conditions were demanded by the US with crushing economic sanctions under a policy of “maximum pressure” imposed until Iran capitulated. 

Despite Biden’s attempts to distinguish his administration from Trump’s, his promise to return to the deal was conditional, requiring Iran to recommit to the deal’s conditions before the US lifts sanctions – and only after additional conditions are discussed – and until then, sanctions and other mechanisms of political pressure will be applied to Tehran. 

In other words – Biden’s policy is exactly the same policy pursued by the Trump administration. 

Desire to Overturn “Trump’s Policy” an Admission it was the Wrong Policy 

Biden’s apparent desire to return to the table with Iran is in itself an admission that the Trump administration’s decision to leave the deal was a mistake. 

The US – as self-proclaimed leader of the international community – would be expected to demonstrate good leadership by not only admitting to its mistakes, but assuming responsibility for them – returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal unconditionally and approaching additional concerns only after the original terms of the deal were back in place – with Iran in full compliance, and US sanctions lifted as promised under the original agreement. 

Iran has every motivation to come in full compliance with the original agreement should sanctions be lifted – as it had in good faith complied before the US withdrawal in 2018. And while Iran has rolled back several of its commitments – it has not taken any steps yet which are not easily reversible. It is a signal from Tehran that it still desires to engage – but not without leverage. 

It was the US – not Iran – who unilaterally withdrew from the deal, breaking its conditions and endangering the deal’s future. Iran would be remiss if it returned to the negotiation table in full compliance to the deal, with no leverage, and sitting across from the US who has so far acted in bad faith at every critical juncture throughout previous negotiations. 

A Deal Meant to Be Broken… 

The disparity between Washington’s words and its actions should come as no surprise however – especially considering that US foreign policy is not the product of the White House or even the Capitol – but rather corporate-funded policy think tanks chaired by special interests who transcend US elections. 

It is worth repeating that a 2009 policy paper produced by the corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” detailed plans to lure Iran in with a deal related to its nuclear technology, accuse Iran of rejecting it, and thus serving as a pretext for further US aggression up to and including the invasion of Iran by military force. 

The paper explicitly stated that (emphasis added): 

...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. 

The paper then laid out how the US could appear to the world as a peacemaker and depict Iran’s betrayal of a “very good deal” as the pretext for an otherwise reluctant US military response (emphasis added): 

The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offerone so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

In 2009 when these words were originally published it might have been difficult to imagine just how literally and overtly the US would attempt to execute this ploy against Tehran. 

Yet in hindsight it is clear that the administration of US President Barack Obama (with Biden as Vice President) disingenuously offered this deal to Iran with full knowledge it would be betrayed in the near future – and was under Trump – with attempts to sabotage the deal further clearly underway by the Biden administration. 

While the Biden administration repeatedly claims it wants to return to the deal, it has created conditions it knows Iran will never accept while simultaneously carrying out a series of provocative military strikes across the Middle East against militias backed by Iran combating dangerous extremism within the borders of Iran’s closest regional allies. 

The 2009 Brookings paper also noted Israel’s role as provocateur – nominating Israel to carry out strikes on Iranian targets in the hopes of provoking an Iranian retaliation the US could use as a pretext for wider war. 

We can see the US and Israel both engaged in attempts to escalate towards just such a scenario. 

While occupants in the White House have changed three times now – a singular, belligerent US policy towards Iran – as laid out by the Brookings Institution’s 2009 paper – has remained unchanged and faithfully pursued for over a decade now. 

The world now teeters upon a dangerous inflection point where the US finds itself out of excuses to delay returning to the deal and the window closing to “credibly” blame Iran for the deal’s failure. The political momentum of Washington’s accusations will fade fast and require expedient provocations to see this policy through to its end – or risk missing an opportune pretext for war and the required international “sympathy” needed to successfully execute it. 

Iran has been and will need to continue avoiding these provocations, demonstrating its commitment to peace and stability in the region and distinguishing itself from the tactics, strategies, and agendas of the US and its regional allies. It must do all of this while also sustaining its economy under the extreme pressure of US sanctions and with the absolute necessity to ultimately address Iran’s national security against obvious threats within and along its borders. 

Another important point to make when describing the negotiation table and the context it sits within – is the fact that US forces illegally occupy nations to the east and west of Iran’s borders as well as one of Iran’s closest regional allies – Syria. 

US expectations that Iran obediently return to the table in full compliance to the original Nuclear Deal – across from the very nation responsible for its near total collapse – and a nation whose military – thousands of miles from its own shores occupies nations on either side of Iran’s borders – are not reasonable. That the Western media – a reflection of Washington’s actual agenda – attempts to portray this otherwise, gives a full sense to just how broad and deep the ill-faith is the US comes to these negotiations with.

Finally – Europe – also involved in the Nuclear Deal – needs to decide between peace, stability, and the economic benefits of working with Iran into the future – or continued capitulation to its Transatlantic partner, a continuously destabilized Middle East, and the prospect of a catastrophic war between the US and its allies against Iran. 

Russia and China will play key roles in stacking the deck in favor of Europe’s siding with the former over the latter – and this stacking has been ongoing. But whether it will be enough to back the US off the warpath once and for all and begin its irreversible withdrawal from hitherto perpetual war and occupation across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia – only time will tell. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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ASIA Australia China Intelwars

What is Australia’s Problem with China?

April 8, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Australia continues to double down on its growing trade and political row with China. 

It is costing the Australian economy significantly, and backing it into a strategic corner only greater belligerence toward China and subordination to US regional ambitions will remain as options.

I explain in this video the deadend this represents as a foreign policy, and the foreign special interests encouraging Australia’s current government to move the nation in this direction.

References: 


Nikkei Asia – China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa as Australia goes Quad: 

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Commodities/China-determined-to-build-iron-ore-hub-in-Africa-as-Australia-goes-Quad

Reuters – Africa’s miners and winemakers toast China’s row with Australia: 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-china-trade-idUSKBN2AA0SO

ABC Australia – Australia to produce its own guided missiles as part of billion-dollar defence manufacturing plan: 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-31/government-weapons-facility-guided-missiles-made-in-australia/100039990

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Funding: 

https://www.aspi.org.au/about-aspi/funding

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Funding (PDF):

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2021-03/ASPI%20by%20the%20numbers%2019-20.pdf?7zWjlTgji6uCH5SOC14LFLjAcsyOckue=

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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Intelwars Iran IT propaganda

West’s Information War Continues

April 8, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – YouTube has recently deleted the latest channel used by Iranian state media’s PressTV. The move follows attacks on the Iranian media outlet by US-based social media giant Facebook earlier this year. 

PressTV’s own take on the deletion in its article, “Google renews attack on YouTube account of Iran’s Press TV,” would note: 

Google has for the seventh time targeted Iranian broadcaster Press TV, blocking the English-language news network’s access to its official YouTube account without any prior notice.

The US tech giant shut YouTube accounts of Press TV late on Tuesday, citing “violations of community guidelines.”

Iranian state media is only the most recent target of US censorship and information warfare, with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter having also recently de-platformed government accounts in Myanmar as well as a concerted effort by these same networks to either de-platform or undermine the credibility of Russian and Chinese state media.  

The use of ambiguous justifications like “violations of community guidelines” which themselves can be ambiguous and open to interpretation, helps demonstrate the political nature of what is clearly a campaign of censorship. 

YouTube and other US-based social media platforms, still dominating the global social media industry, attempt to portray targets of what is clearly politically-motivated censorship as “fake news” or somehow engaged in dangerous “disinformation,” while the accounts of Western-based media organizations actually involved in very real disinformation, often times in promotion of sanctions and warfare having a direct impact on millions of lives, remain online and in good standing. 

Western Monopoly Challenged 

Beyond social media, the UK had recently ousted Chinese state media, CGTN, which was met by Beijing in turn shutting down BBC broadcasts in China. 

More recently, China-based BBC reporter John Sudworth would flee to Taiwan, fearing legal actions for his outrageous, one-sided propaganda regarding Xinjiang.

The BBC’s own article, “BBC China correspondent John Sudworth moves to Taiwan after threats,” deliberately attempts to portray Sudworth as a victim of “threats” rather than a foreign agent involved in political interference under the guise of journalism finally facing legitimate legal actions. 

The BBC article laments: 

The number of international media organisations reporting from China is shrinking. Last year China expelled correspondents for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

And in September 2020, the last two reporters working in China for Australian media flew home after a five-day diplomatic standoff.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) of China says foreign journalists are “being caught up in diplomatic rows out of their control”.

In reality, these foreign “journalists” aren’t being “caught up in diplomatic rows,” they are the primary actors helping drive these rows. 

It’s worth mentioning leaked documents revealing the BBC, among others including Reuters, signing secret contracts with the British Foreign Office to carry out influence operations both inside Russia and along Russia’s peripheries in Eastern Europe. 

It is without doubt that the BBC engages in similar activities inside and along China’s borders as well, with Sudworth’s own work clearly aimed at advancing Western foreign policy, not investigating or reporting actual news. 

Years ago, the notion of Western nations fearing alternative media enough to engage in sweeping, transparent censorship against outlets like PressTV or CGTN, or the Western media fleeing or backpedalling in countries they’ve maintained offices in for years, would seem unthinkable. 

The information war waged by Western nations is indeed heating up, but it is not the one-sided exercise of monopoly it used to be. 

Today, alternative media, both state-sponsored and independent, poses a serious challenge to the West’s monopoly over the creation and flow of global information. Only through the West’s control over a relatively new form of media, social media, is the West’s edge maintained. 

For Iranian, Chinese, Russian and the media of many other nations seeking to introduce balance to the global conversation, the West’s hitherto control over social media remains a serious hurdle. 

US-based social media networks have been key to advancing Western foreign policy objectives, and perhaps especially in the realm of promoting and executing so-called “color revolutions.” 

Russia and China’s recent pledge to work closer together to counter Western-sponsored “color revolution” and “disinformation” might benefit from a multipolar alternative to US-based social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

While Russia and China both have their own domestic alternatives which have proved an effective measure to protect their own respective information space, the creation of a wider-appealing platform for nations along their peripheries, targeted by Western disinformation, could help give state-sponsored and independent alternative media the space it needs to finally balance out the lopsided advantage the West artificially maintains through censorship across its own networks.

The creation of both sovereign information space within nations and shared space between nations but outside of the control of Western censorship would be infinitely useful. When long-standing media organizations like PressTV struggle to reach audiences for a lack of alternatives to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the utility of such space becomes clearer still. 

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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ASEAN ASIA Intelwars Myanmar

Myanmar: US-backed Opposition is ARMED

April 6, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – After weeks of denying the violence carried out by US-backed opposition groups in Myanmar, US-funded propaganda outlets like “Myanmar Now” are finally admitting and making excuses for the opposition fighting government security forces with war weapons. 

The opposition has announced a parallel government the US is likely going to “recognize” and offer military support to – creating a catastrophe directly on China’s as well as Thailand’s borders in a chain of events identical to the US engineered “Arab Spring” and interventions in Libya and Syria in 2011.

Armed groups linking up with US-backed anti-government protesters represent US-British backed proxies armed and trained by the West for decades – including as colonial forces used by the British to occupy Myanmar – then called “Burma.”

Now just as they were under the British Empire, these ethnic militants are key to dividing and destroying Myanmar, denying it peace and stability, and denying its neighbors – including China and Thailand – a stable and prosperous partner.  

References: 

Myanmar Now (US NED-funded) – As slaughter of civilians continues, some decide it’s time to take up arms:

https://www.myanmar-now.org/en/news/as-slaughter-of-civilians-continues-some-decide-its-time-to-take-up-arms

Columbia Journalism Review – Myanmar’s Other Reports (paragraph 19, Myanmar Now’s NED funding): 

https://www.cjr.org/special_report/myanmars-other-reporters.php

US National Endowment for Democracy – Burma (2020): 

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/burma-2020/

LD – West Grinds Development to a Halt in Myanmar (Burma) (2011):

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/fruits-of-globalization-regression.html

LD – Militants Threaten China’s OBOR Initiative in Myanmar (2018): 

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/militants-threaten-chinas-obor.html

US National Endowment for Democracy – Burma (2020):

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/burma-2020/

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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ASIA China Intelwars propaganda

New Yorker Uses Cartoons to Boost “Uyghur Genocide” Myth

April 3, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The New Yorker is the latest Western media front to use cartoons in place of where real evidence should be presented – to boost Washington’s propaganda war and accusations against Beijing it is carrying out “genocide” against the population of Xinjiang. 



I expose the lack of evidence behind this myth, why it was necessary to use cartoons to sell it, and the compromised Washington-based or funded fronts that aided in the creation of this latest propaganda piece from the New Yorker. 


References: 


New Yorker – Inside Xinjiang’s Secret Detention Camps (360/VR) | Reeducated:

https://youtu.be/FGUyo5dxke8

New Yorker – “Reeducated”: 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/video-dept/reeducated-film-xinjiang-prisoners-china-virtual-reality

New Yorker – Inside Xinjiang’s Prison State 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/a-reporter-at-large/china-xinjiang-prison-state-uighur-detention-camps-prisoner-testimony

LD – Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK:

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/02/amnesty-international-admits-syrian.html

Amnesty International – Saydnaya Prison: Human Slaughterhouse (2017): 

https://youtu.be/8rcLJz5qnjY

Eyebeam – Support (the sponsors of New Yorker’s video): 

https://www.eyebeam.org/support/

Living Otherwise – Ben Mauk on Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, China & Violence (interview):

https://livingotherwise.com/2021/01/18/ben-mauk-on-xinjiang-kazakhstan-china-violence/

China File – Where Did the One Million Figure for Detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps Come From?: 

https://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/features/where-did-one-million-figure-detentions-xinjiangs-camps-come

Twitter – Adrian Zenz’s profile: 

https://twitter.com/adrianzenz

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Overview: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/about/

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Leadership: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/about/leadership/

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – 2019 Annual Report (PDF):

https://victimsofcommunism.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/VOC-2019-Annual-Report.pdf

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Trustee, Paula J. Dobriansky: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/leader/hon-paula-dobriansky-phd/

Radio Free Asia – About RFA: 

https://www.rfa.org/about/

United State Agency for Global Media – Oversight: 

https://www.usagm.gov/who-we-are/oversight/congressional-committees/

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Nathan Ruser:

https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/nathan-ruser

ASPI – 2019-2020 Annual Report (PDF): 

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2021-03/ASPI%20by%20the%20numbers%2019-20.pdf?7zWjlTgji6uCH5SOC14LFLjAcsyOckue=

Xinjiang Victims Database: 

https://shahit.biz/eng/

Xinjiang Victims Database – “Primary Evidence Report” (PDF):

https://shahit.biz/primrep.php

US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – Xinjiang/East Turkestan (2020):

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/xinjiang-east-turkestan-china-2020/

World Uyghur Congress – About: 

https://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/introducing-the-world-uyghur-congress/

Associated Press – AP Exclusive: Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China:

https://apnews.com/article/79d6a427b26f4eeab226571956dd256e

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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Intelwars SciTech Space

US-Russian Cooperation in Space Pokes Holes in Conflicts on Earth

April 3, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – A last minute request from NASA to fly an American astronaut on Russia’s Soyuz rocket opens up a wide array of interesting points. 

Space.com in an article titled, “Here’s how NASA just booked a last-minute trip to space on a Russian Soyuz,” would note: 

“The crew composition change came as a result of an earnest request from the U.S. side,” Roscosmos personnel wrote in Tuesday’s statement. “NASA voiced its request only in the end of 2020, meaning the Russian side had to change the already confirmed and approved launch program. Roscosmos has taken this decision confirming its adherence to the joint agreements and the spirit of joint usage of the International Space Station.”

NASA’s last-minute booking of a flight on Russia’s Soyuz rocket for US astronaut Mark Vande Hei is a testament to Russian launch capabilities and the dependability and flexibility of the Soyuz launch system.

It is also a testament to US-Russian cooperation and what is possible when both nations work together. 

Russia Transported US Astronauts for Years 

For nearly a decade Russia had flown all US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) after the 2011 retirement of the US space shuttle fleet. US dependence on Russian crew-launch capabilities ended when US-based aerospace company SpaceX made operational its Crew Dragon spacecraft. 

Crew Dragon flew a test crew and a crew of 4 to the ISS last year on two separate missions. 

Despite NASA’s new US-based crew-launch option, the recent booking of a Soyuz for one of its astronauts demonstrates why cooperation is still important. 

Crew Dragon will of course continue sending astronauts to the ISS, and in the future will increase its flight cadence and its flexibility, but having a reliable backup is essential to maintaining and supporting crews in orbit. 

If and when Boeing’s Starliner becomes operational, the US will have two crew-launch capable spacecraft, and together with Russia’s Soyuz, this will mean even greater flexibility and reliability in getting crews to and from space, with cooperation being key to maximizing the benefits of these capabilities. 

This cooperation also pokes holes in narratives emanating out of Washington and across the US corporate media, depicting the Russian government as villainous, untrustworthy and even an “adversary.” 

How exactly could that be true rather than a politically-motivated narrative if the US is willing to entrust the lives of its astronauts to such a nation (and having done so for a decade)? 

Cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos in orbit above Earth, both of which are government space agencies of their respective nations, proves that neither nation is truly the enemy of the other and that only certain circles within the US are driving conflict here on Earth and for the benefit of a very narrow segment of America’s population (less than 1%). 

US-Russian cooperation in Earth’s orbit, targeted  by Washington in a bid to end it, will serve as one of several key ties that could help the US and Russia move forward in the future if and when certain circles in Washington and on Wall Street shrink from power and are replaced by more constructive interests determined to find a  role for the US among other nations rather than attempting to impose US interests upon all other nations. 

If these few last remaining, constructive ties between the US and Russia are cut, with some future US space projects already seemingly attempting to cut out any possible Russian role (i.e. the Lunar Gateway) the US will only find itself further isolated, not Russia. With that isolation will come a decrease in flexibility and reliability for the US and its astronauts. 

For Russia, it is already exploring closer cooperation with China and its increasingly capable space program and ecosystem of private space firms, several of which are already capable of launching useful payloads into Earth orbit. 

Plans for joint space stations and even lunar bases are being discussed. Chinese cooperation with Russia may in the future be a good substitute for lost opportunities with the US, but these are projects that would obviously still benefit from wider participation from nations like the US.

Unfortunately, as long as Washington insists on choosing conflict over cooperation, US-Russian cooperation in space and all of the immense achievements accomplished because of it are at risk. This recent demonstration of US-Russian cooperation in getting US astronaut Mark Vande Hei will hopefully serve as a reminder of why cooperation should be chosen instead of conflict, and hopefully not serve as one of the last examples of this constructive cooperation as Earth-bound conflict gets the better of space-bound cooperation. 

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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ASEAN ASIA Intelwars Myanmar

Myanmar, Libya, and Syria: Dangerous Parallels

April 1, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – When protesters in the streets of Myanmar began waving signs around in English demanding “R2P” or the “responsibility to protect,” the initial reaction should have been for many – a flashback to the last time R2P was invoked – in 2011 by the West regarding Libya. 

The violence in Libya in 2011 was part of the wider US-engineered “Arab Spring” with opposition groups, fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and even armed factions all backed by the US and prepared years in advance to carry out a region-wide campaign of destabilization, regime change, military intervention, and occupation. 

At the time, many – including US Senator John McCain – promised the “Arab Spring” would spread – deliberately and as part of Washington’s desire to encircle, contain, and eventually overthrow the political and economic orders of Iran, Russia, and China. 

The Atlantic in a 2011 article titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” would even note: 

…McCain dropped a pretty big zinger on the crowd.

He said, “A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power.  Assad won’t be in power this time next year.  This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.” McCain then walked off the stage.

Despite the ultimate failure of the US-engineered Arab Spring to achieve sweeping regime change beyond Libya – it still managed to destabilize or otherwise destroy the regions of North Africa and the Middle East – create a pretext for a permanent US military presence there, including an enduring occupation of Syria’s eastern region, and the creation of a ongoing conflict that could easily be described as a proxy war against Iran – one of the nations the 2011 Arab Spring was ultimately aimed at. 

McCain was a stalwart supporter of US military intervention amid the opening phases of the Arab Spring. He met with US-armed and backed terrorists both in Libya and Syria until his death in 2018. 

When he declared US-engineered conflict would eventually reach Moscow and Beijing – it was clear even at the time that it would – by necessity – first need to arrive in and erode the stability of nations along the peripheries of both Russia and China. 

And this is a process that has continued ever since – with US-backed “color revolution” attacking Ukraine in 2013-2014, Belarus more recently – and both within China and along its peripheries – deadly separatism in China’s Xinjiang region, violent riots in Hong Kong, opposition groups in Thailand openly opposed to close relations between Bangkok and Beijing – and now the crisis in Myanmar. 

Myanmar, Libya, and Syria: Dangerous Parallels 

The protests in Myanmar in response to the ousting of the US-backed government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) earlier this year – began violently. These were the same political groups that had stormed Rohingya communities years earlier – killing residents and burning homes and businesses to the ground. It is unlikely that since then, they’ve adopted “peaceful” methods.

To help spin the violent nature of the protests – the Western media has depended heavily on faux-human rights groups like Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) who provides baseless “tallies” of dead and detained. The Western media never mentions that AAPP is funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy and that the AAPP’s founder and and joint secretary – Ko Bo Kyi – is also an NED “fellow.”  

Similar fronts were used by the West in Libya and Syria – including the Libyan League for Human Rights and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights respectively. 

Videos of protesters with machetes, swords, bows and arrows, Molotov cocktails, and other weapons fighting with police and soldiers were even broadcasted by the Western media – and occasional mention of police and soldiers dying in the violence was also made. But overall – the Western media maintained a narrative of a one-sided “massacre” of “peaceful protesters” by Myanmar’s security forces. 

We remember similar narratives told regarding the opening phases of the conflicts in Libya and Syria in 2011. 

Western media outlets like the BBC and Reuters attempted to portray the opposition in Libya and Syria as “peaceful” up to and including when footage of opposition groups with war weapons – including tanks – began emerging. Once it became public knowledge of just how heavily armed and organized the opposition was – and when it came time for the US and its allies to openly arm and support them – the Western media began “explaining” why “peaceful protesters” had “no choice” but to take up arms. 

The exact same narrative now plays out in Myanmar. 

Myanmar Now – funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as revealed in a Columbia Journalism Review article – in a recent pieces titled, “As slaughter of civilians continues, some decide it’s time to take up arms,” would attempt to sell a similar narrative today. 

The article claims: 

Armed only with slingshots, makeshift shields, and Molotov cocktails, Ko Saung and his comrades could see that they were no match for armed forces equipped with lethal weapons and a license to murder without mercy.

That’s why they decided it was time for them to get real weapons of their own, and to learn how to use them. And to do that, they knew they would have to go to border areas, where ethnic armed groups have fought the Tatmadaw for decades.

The article then explains how – only two months into the crisis – a parallel government has already been formed and a “federal army” is already prepared to fight Myanmar’s military for control of the country.

The article explains: 

The Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), formed by MPs from Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, has offered an alternative: a federal army that includes all forces opposed to the regime.

According to the CRPH, the idea is to set up defence plans from the ward/village level to the township level. After it released a statement outlining the proposal, a number of security committees were established in various parts of the country. 

These “forces opposed to the regime” include armed ethnic groups that have for decades received funding, equipment, and weapons from the United States through fronts posing as NGOs – many of them listed on the US government’s own National Endowment for Democracy website.

Just like in Libya and Syria – the Western media and US-funded propaganda outlets like Myanmar Now are attempting to sell the idea of a “pro-democracy” force of “freedom fighters” – that in reality – is clearly composed of armed extremists driven by ethnic identity, used by the US for decades to divide Myanmar – and bound to burn the nation to the ground in deadly, protracted conflict during its fight with Myanmar’s government – and if successful – with each other in the aftermath.  

The CRPH – in the days and weeks to come – will undoubtedly be recognized by the US and its allies as the “legitimate” government of Myanmar – making it then possible for the US and others to arm, fund, and otherwise aid them in their bid to seize total power over the country. 

There will also likely be the opportunity for the US to propose limited military intervention – citing the use of Myanmar’s air force against opposition groups armed with war weapons – just as the US did in Libya and attempted (and partially did) in Syria. 

The proxy regime will be able to “invite” the US military into Myanmar’s territory – a dream scenario for a US desperate to encircle China with its military – especially by placing its troops in a nation that directly borders China as Myanmar does. 

The US promised its Arab Spring would spread – like a virus – to the doorsteps of Moscow and Beijing. For China – with Myanmar clearly infected and slowly dying on its border – that day has now come. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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ASIA China Intelwars US

Washington’s Obsession with China Expands

March 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Mid-March saw a series of events helping to measure with exactitude US foreign policy regarding China – a commitment to and a doubling down on a decades-long encirclement and containment policy that has – so far – failed to return on Washington’s immense investments in it. 

The first indicator was the new US administration of President Joe Biden continuing without even the slightest deviation Trump-era policy regarding the targeting and banning of Chinese companies. 

German state media – Deutsche Welle – in an article titled, “US designates Huawei, four other Chinese tech firms national security threats,” would note: 

The US has labeled five Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, as national security risks. President Joe Biden may be continuing his predcessor’s hardline stance against China’s growing technological dominance.

Evidence justifying US claims of Chinese companies presenting a national security risk to the US has never been produced – and it is clear that these claims are meant to justify what is otherwise merely America’s inability to compete with rising Chinese companies. Because, in addition to banning Chinese companies from doing business in the US – the US has sought to pressure nations around the globe to similarly deny market access to China. 

This is an ongoing bid to secure US market shares through threats and intimation rather than through innovation and competitive business strategies.  

Why two apparently “opposite” political candidates like Trump and Biden have indistinguishable foreign policies is easy to explain when considering these policies are generated and promoted by unelected corporate interests who influence US foreign policy regardless of who sits in either the White House or Congress. These are the very interests who see their market shares and the associated power and influence that comes from them under threat by rising Chinese competitors. 

Another indicator was US Secretary of State Anthony Bliken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “tour” of the Indo-Pacific, including stops in South Korea and Japan. 

Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, “Blinken and Austin in Japan to Bolster Asian Allies,” would claim: 

The Biden administration wants to prod Japan more on defense and resolve tensions between Tokyo and Seoul.

The article would cite an op-ed by Blinken and Austin in the Washington Post claiming: 

“Our combined power makes us stronger when we must push back against China’s aggression and threats,” Blinken and Austin wrote in a joint Washington Post op-ed, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, and China’s pushback on freedoms in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “If we don’t act decisively and lead, Beijing will.”

The deeply flawed notion that the US should “lead” in Asia rather than China – a nation actually residing in the region – is at the root of US-Chinese tensions – tensions driven entirely by Washington’s unreasonable pursuit of unwarranted influence in – even primacy over the Indo-Pacific Region. 

Foreign Policy would also note: 

…there is growing concern about how to nudge a politically wary Japan to boost its missile defenses, while hardening the U.S. presence that’s increasingly vulnerable to improving Chinese missiles.

And that: 

Japan already has Aegis-class destroyers equipped with SM-3 missiles offshore, which the United States helped develop, and is a co-producer in the F-35 program. But last June, Tokyo canceled delivery of the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile system, a shore-based missile-defense system, pushing instead to develop a domestically produced solution. That’s another area where the Pentagon may press the Japanese.

SM-3 missiles used on Aegis-class destroyers as well as with Aegis Ashore systems are manufactured by Raytheon – an arms manufacturer Lloyd Austin sat on the board of directors of until being brought in as Biden’s Secretary of Defense. 

In essence, a former Raytheon director will be selling missiles for Raytheon in his official capacity as Secretary of Defense – and based on the supposed threat of China – the largest economy and most populous nation in the region – “leading” rather than the US. 

To paper over the corruption at the very core of US foreign policy – the US pursues a propaganda war against China – citing manufactured and patently false claims of “repression” and “abuse” everywhere from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Xinjiang and Tibet. 

A 2019 US State Department strategy paper titles, “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision,” would repeat these false claims, stating: 

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) practices repression at home and abroad. Beijing is intolerant of dissent, aggressively controls media and civil society, and brutally suppresses ethnic and religious minorities. Such practices, which Beijing exports to other countries through its political and economic influence, undermine the conditions that have promoted stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for decades.

It is difficult to understand what “stability” and “prosperity” the US is referring to. 

It is amid China’s rise that the region enjoys unprecedented levels of both as well as accelerated development through projects built in cooperation with China – and all in stark contrast to the decades of war triggered by US interventions on the Korean Peninsula and all across Southeast Asia as part of its Vietnam War and adjacent military operations. 

These were conflicts that have left the region permanently scarred and in several instances – such as the residual impact of chemical weapons used in Vietnam or unexploded ordnance dropped by the US over nations like Laos – are still disfiguring and killing people to this day. 

Underneath this thin and peeling layer of US propaganda lies the truth of waning American primacy around the globe and the fundamental lack of interest by Washington and Wall Street to adjust US foreign policy toward a cooperative and constructive role among the nations of the world rather than unobtainable aspirations to dominate over all other nations. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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ASEAN ASIA Intelwars Myanmar

Myanmar: Hidden Opposition Violence

March 19, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – As is common with US-backed color revolutions around the globe, the Western media will attempt to cover up opposition violence for as long as possible until shifting the narrative toward a “reluctant civil war” in which opposition groups were “given no choice” but to take up arms. 

Of course, in every example – from Libya and Syria to Yemen and Ukraine – violence was part of US-backed political subversion from the beginning. 

This is no different in the Southeast Asian state of Myanmar where US-backed protesters are in the streets fighting with Myanmar’s police and military. 

The “Activists Say” School of Journalism

The Western media is once again relying on the “activists say” method of reporting – absolving themselves from actual, objective and factual journalism and instead reporting on the conflict from the point of view of Western-backed opposition groups who have every motivation to depict themselves as victims and Myanmar’s new government as being brutal and repressive. 

Reports are based almost entirely on information from local media funded by the US government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – outlets like The Irrawaddy, Mizzama, DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma), as well as “monitoring groups” like the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).  

A glance at any Western media report will include at least one of these sources. 

Far from journalists or actual monitoring groups – these are components of the opposition who have every motivation to relay a narrative that serves to advance their own political agenda rather than  reporting the truth. 

Similar “activists say” reporting was used by the West for years during the Syrian conflict with the Western media attempting to cover up opposition violence up to and including junctures where militants began operating tanks, artillery, and anti-tank missiles. 

Crumbling Facade

As in Syria and Ukraine – where Western attempts to cover up violence and brutality among the opposition eventually gave way to the fact that both opposition groups were violent extremists – the truth about violence used by protesters in Myanmar is also beginning to emerge. 

An article from the Bangkok Post titled, “KNU vows protection for Karen protesting Myanmar coup,” would admit that the Karen National Union – an armed group who has waged a bloody insurrection against Myanmar’s central government for decades – has vowed to “protect” anti-government protesters. 

Images of heavily armed militants travelling in convoys allegedly on their way to protest sites were circulating in media across Asia – but these reports are still being deliberately omitted from Western media coverage.  

Similar scenes had played out in Libya and Syria in 2011 – with the public’s confusion and genuine belief that the Libyan and Syrian governments were brutalizing “peaceful protesters” owed wholly to the Western media’s deliberately misleading coverage.

US-funded fronts providing misinformation to the Western media, and the Western media’s reports themselves are being used to pressure the United Nations and the governments of countries around the globe to  in turn put pressure on Myanmar and restore the US client regime of Aung San Suu Kyi to power. 

Efforts by Myanmar’s new government to tell its side of the story have been hampered by US-based social media companies that have shut down official accounts of Myanmar’s military and government, as well as Myanmar state media services – leaving literally only opposition media’s accounts for the global public to read. 

AFP in its article, “Facebook shuts down Myanmar army ‘True News’ page,” would claim:

A Facebook page run by the Myanmar junta’s “True News” information service was kicked off the platform Sunday after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence.

Revealing is Facebook’s inaction toward opposition groups, including the KNU, who are clearly armed and engaging in violence, and using the US-based social media giant to coordinate their activities within the country and to spread misinformation abroad.

Carefully Manipulated Misinformation 

Carefully edited videos show only the moment security forces respond, with no context provided as to why Myanmar’s police and military are using force. A similar tactic is being used by US-backed protesters in neighboring Thailand – however the government and alternative media in Thailand have done a slightly better job showing the other side of the story – mainly to the Thai public and is likely one of several factors behind the protests finally fading there. 

In the days, weeks, and months to come – if Myanmar’s government cannot manage this crisis and it continues to grow – the Western media will find it increasingly difficult to ignore the armed, violent nature of the opposition – an opposition – supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi – the Western media itself had noted were violently storming Rohingya communities in past years, killing locals and burning homes and businesses to the ground. 

It is very unlikely that these same excessively violent opposition groups suddenly adopted peaceful protesting tactics since then – and even pictures in the media show them wearing body armor, holding shields, and in some cases advancing on the position of police and soldiers with clubs and metal rods – an act that would provoke violence from security forces anywhere in the world. 

Evidence has already emerged that the opposition depicted as “peaceful protesters” by the West are using violence and further evidence will eventually emerge of deadly violence that is prompting an escalation across the country. 

With reports of militant groups already mobilizing amid the protests – armed clashes are inevitable – and likely are already taking place. But – just as in Libya and Syria – the Western media will only report one side of the conflict for as long as possible – and alternative media, including state media from non-Western nations appear to have no presence in Myanmar and are instead – unfortunately – merely repeating Western reports – reports these alternative news sources should know better than to trust. 

US-backed regime change succeeding anywhere, emboldens it everywhere. 

If more voices are not raised in regards to Myanmar, demanding both sides of the story be told – the nation risks falling victim to the same chaos that consumed nations targeted by the US elsewhere – with the possibility of the violence and instability crossing over the border into Thailand and beyond. 

A destabilized Southeast Asia is the ultimate goal of Washington. A destabilized Southeast Asia denies China access to stable and prosperous political, economic, and military partners along its peripheries. If out of the chaos the US can create viable client regimes – the region can even be turned against China. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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color revolutions Intelwars Thailand

US Will Seek to Meddle in Thai Constitutional Referendum

March 13, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US government meddling around the globe isn’t aimed only at elections and regime change, but also at the legal processes within any given targeted nation – including referendums for things up to and including constitutional changes. 

Thailand’s constitution will require 2 public referendums before being amended. This process is a matter of Thailand’s internal political affairs – but as in previous elections and regarding petitions to have the constitution rewritten in the first place – the US government and other Western special interests seek to influence and interfere in this strictly internal matter.

US government-funded fronts – through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – need to be watched carefully as Thailand prepares for these referendums while raising public awareness of this interference is essential in giving the Thai government the leverage it will need to effectively deal with it.

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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Intelwars SciTech Space

Nations Race Toward Reusable Rockets

March 12, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – The original space race was a bipolar affair with mostly political implications for the United States and the Soviet Union. Out of that space race, commercial and military capabilities began to grow in the realm of communication satellites, collecting intelligence, and global navigation. 

We are now looking at an emerging new space race, one significantly different than the competition of last century. 

Now, it is no longer just the US and Russia, it is also China, India, Japan, Europe, as well as more recent newcomers like Iran. There are also a large and growing number of private companies not only involved in supporting state space programs, but possessing their own space launch capabilities. 

These companies include SpaceX in the United States, Rocket Lab (based in the US with a New Zealand subsidiary), but also private companies in China like iSpace and Galactic Energy. All of these companies have successfully placed payloads into orbit, with SpaceX also capable of resupplying the International Space Station (ISS) and also launching crewed missions with its Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon 2 spacecraft.   

The Importance of Reusability and Access to Space 

These newer space companies, free of legacy hardware and starting from a clean slate, have looked seriously into varying degrees of reusability. 

Access to space generally involves rockets that are expendable. They are launched once and either burn up in the upper atmosphere or crash down onto Earth, never to be used again. This expendability is why access to space is extremely expensive. Each payload launched into space must account for the fact that the entire launch system will be discarded, and a new launch system built to launch future missions. 

Companies with capable reusability will outcompete competitors, offering access to space at drastically lower costs than companies using expendable rockets. 

For nations with capable and reliable reusability, their access to space will be cheaper. Because reusable rockets are able to be turned around faster than building a new rocket from scratch, a nation’s launch cadence will be much quicker. This would allow a nation to build and maintain constellations of satellites essential for economic and military purposes faster and cheaper than other nations, granting them an obvious advantage geopolitically.  

With competition for low-earth-orbit (LEO) communication and internet satellites heating up, and requiring large numbers of satellites to be launched to build and maintain global coverage at low latency, companies and nations with reusable space launch capabilities will stand the most to gain, both by putting these constellations into orbit, and from the benefits of building and maintaining the constellations themselves. 

The Players 

SpaceX has pioneered rocket reusability with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch systems. The first stage returns to Earth under the power of its own rockets, touching down vertically either on a land-based pad, or at sea on a drone ship located down range. They can be reused up to 10 times before major overhauls are required.

The spectacular engineering feat accomplished by SpaceX and the economical paradigm shift it has introduced into the aerospace industry has sent out shockwaves, inspiring other space launch concerns around the globe to begin seriously investigating their own reusable launch systems. 

State space programs in both Russia and China are seriously investigating reusability. 

Russian state media, TASS, in an article titled, “Russia to spend $880 mln on Amur reusable space rocket,” would note that: 

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the Progress Space Rocket Center signed a contract on Monday on the conceptual designing of the Amur-SPG space rocket center for a new Amur reusable methane-fueled rocket.

The Amur rocket’s first stage looks very similar to SpaceX’ Falcon 9, but its engines will burn methane and oxygen. The commonality of landing legs and grid fins are not, as some critics suggest, copying SpaceX, but are practical considerations when building reusable rockets with today’s technology, similar to all aircraft having wings, a fuselage and landing gear. 

Roscosmos reports that initially, Amur’s first stage will be designed to be reused 10 times but hopes that up to 100 flights or more will be possible in the future. 

While reusability is not a trait associated with the Russian space program, Russian rocket engineers are among the best in the world, with America’s United Launch Alliance (ULA) using Russian-designed RD-180 engines on its Atlas V launch vehicle serving as a testament to this fact. It is highly likely that Russia will succeed in implementing Amur, with budget and political issues the only potential obstacles. 

The China National Space Administration is also looking into reusability for its Long March 8 rockets. 

NasaSpaceFlight would report in its December 2020 article, “Long March 8 – a future reusable rocket – conducts debut launch,” that: 

China debuted the new Long March-8 – Chang Zheng-8 – launch vehicle out of Wenchang on Tuesday. This vehicle marks China’s move towards a reusable launch vehicle, with the recovery of the first stage and side boosters planned for a latter variant.

But China’s ambitions toward reusability is not confined to its state space program. The government is also promoting private space companies including the above mentioned iSpace and Galactic Energy who have their own reusable designs in the works. 

Both companies have already successfully placed payloads in orbit using expendable rockets and both are developing and testing prototypes to eventually reuse the first stages of future vehicles, again, in a similar fashion to SpaceX. 

US-based Blue Origin is also working on a similar (but much larger) rocket called New Glenn and already operates a small reusable suborbital rocket design called New Shephard.

Rocket Lab currently operates a small satellite launch system called Electron which recently was redesigned to be partially reusable. More recently, Rocket Lab announced that it will be developing a medium lift rocket called “Neutron” very similar to SpaceX’ Falcon 9, but filling a smaller launch market niche. 

And finally, with private companies and nations planning to match or best SpaceX’ Falcon 9, SpaceX itself has continued to innovate at a break-neck pace. 

Its new Starship program features a fully reusable first and second stage that, when combined, will be the largest most powerful rocket ever built and capable of putting massive payloads into orbit. The second stage is not only capable of placing massive payloads into Earth orbit, but is designed to send people and cargo to other destinations in the solar system as well including to the Moon and eventually to Mars. 

SpaceX has already built and flown 3 prototypes of Starship’s second stage (also called “Starship”) to an altitude of 10 kilometers, before flipping horizontally, falling back to Earth using control surfaces to guide it to the landing pad, before reigniting its engines, flipping back vertically and landing. This is a feat the third test flight successfully achieved, raising the bar for the global aerospace industry once again. 

The economic and military benefits of accessing space will only be further enhanced by cheaper, more reliable, and more rapid access to space. Nations leading in this regard stand to enhance their wider geopolitical influence. And with dropping costs and growing capabilities in terms of reaching space, the prospect of tapping the vast amount of resources in space becomes possible. 

The economic importance of navigational satellites and the constellations maintained by the US, Europe, Russia and China alone illustrate just how important being able to access space is. Dropping costs will also allow other nations lacking their own state or private space launch capabilities to place a larger number of satellites into orbit to enhance their own space-based capabilities, further levelling the playing field and contributing toward a multipolar future, both here on Earth and up above it too. 

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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ASIA China color revolutions HongKong Intelwars

Angelo Giuliano: "National Security Law is the best thing that happened to Hong Kong!"

March 11, 2021 (Jingjing Li – YouTube) – [Jingjing Yi chats] with Angelo who is a Swiss Italian that had been living in both Hong Kong and Chinese mainland for a long time. 

He witnessed the whole social unrest, and he has been very vocal exposing violent protestors’ behaviors during the social unrest in Hong Kong. Some people even exposed his little son’s photo and identity to threaten him to be silent. But he never stopped. He shared with [Jingjing] what he witnessed, what he thinks about the social changes in Hong Kong, and the National Security Law.

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Intelwars propaganda Thailand

How Bad Does the Western Media Lie?

March 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The Thai Prime Minister recently joked with journalists – but through creative editing – the Western media was able to portray it as an “attack” all as part of a “bid to dodge some tough questions.”

I show the original clip, the edited version the West presented to the public, and the danger of nations like Thailand not having English-language media to present their side of stories to international audiences to check and balance Western disinformation.

References:

Wassana Nanuam’s Twitter Account – Unedited Clip:
https://twitter.com/WassanaNanuam/status/1369181545198538754?s=20
Reuters – Irked Thai PM sprays reporters with hand sanitiser to duck tricky questions:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-politics-pm-spray-idUSKBN2B11SD
ABC Australia – Thailand Prime Minister sprays reporters with hand sanitiser to duck questions about cabinet appointments:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-10/thai-prime-minister-prayuth-chan-ocha-sprays-reporters-sanitiser/13232680

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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ASIA China FRANCE Intelwars

France Joins America’s South China Sea Adventurism

March 6, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – France has recently sent one of its nuclear attack submarines over 10,000 kilometers to the South China Sea for a “patrol.” It is the latest indicator of how strained the underlying credibility is of US foreign policy regarding the South China Sea and its growing conflict with Beijing. 

While Washington frames its involvement in the region as “championing” for claimants in the South China Sea, it is recruiting allies further and further flung from its actual waters and appears to merely be using the confrontation to undermine Beijing, not support other nations in the region. 

France24 in an article titled, “France wades into the South China Sea with a nuclear attack submarine,” would claim: 

The week in France kicked off with a Twitter thread by Defence Minister Florence Parly revealing that French nuclear attack submarine SNA Emeraude was among two navy ships that recently conducted a patrol through the South China Sea.

“This extraordinary patrol has just completed a passage in the South China Sea. A striking proof of our French Navy’s capacity to deploy far away and for a long time together with our Australian, American and Japanese strategic partners,” she tweeted along with a picture of the two vessels at sea.

The mention of Australia, America and Japan is clearly a reference to American efforts to create a united front against China in the Indo-Pacific region. The omission of India, one of the supposed “Quad Alliance” members, should not go unnoticed. Even though it is mentioned elsewhere in the article, it is done as an afterthought.  

France is the second European nation to sign up for Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, following the UK which has pledged to send a carrier strike group to the region later this year. 

The UK Defence Journal in an article titled, “British Carrier Strike Group heading to Pacific this year,” would note that the UK’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, would also become involved in the South China Sea dispute along with what the journal reported as: 

NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers — the Royal Navy’s Type 45s HMS Diamond and HMS Defender and US Navy Arleigh Burke-class USS The Sullivans as well as frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent from the UK.  

It wouldn’t take much imagination to predict the reactions in the West if China, Russia and Iran created a “strike group” and sailed it thousands of miles around the globe to menace the shores of Western nations, yet the provocative and revealing nature of Washington’s policies and the participation of nations in its Indo-Pacific strategy being drawn from further and further away from the actual region is treated as entirely normal, even necessary by the Western media. 

The inclusion of the French and British in Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy is necessary because the actual nations in the region, specifically in Southeast Asia, have little interest in provoking China or turning relatively common maritime disputes into a regional or international crisis. 

The US, by attempting to do just that, is actually endangering peace, prosperity and stability in the region, despite posing as the underwriter of all three and on behalf of the very nations refusing to join its provocative naval exercises. Nations in the actual region refuse to join US military activities there specifically because they are seen as counterproductive and a needless, even dangerous escalation. 

Creating Conflict, Not Resolving It 

The US, Australia, France and the UK have contributed to the most destructive conflicts of the 21st century including the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the 2011-onward wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and numerous regime change campaigns around the globe. 

France in particular also has its military deployed across the continent of Africa, including in several of its former colonies. 

The notion that France, alongside its other partners in carrying out military aggression worldwide, is becoming involved in the Indo-Pacific to confront aggression and expansionism rather than to participate in it itself, is dubious at best. 

The France24 article would also note that: 

In this increasingly tense maritime geopolitical context, France wants to restate that it has its own interests to look out for in the region. In 2019, the French defence ministry released a policy report, “France and Security in the Indo-Pacific” recalling that around 1.5 million French nationals live between Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and the overseas territory of French Polynesia. This means that Paris views its Indo-Pacific zone as stretching from the Gulf of Aden to beyond Australia.

In other words, Paris’ mission to the Indo-Pacific is a continuation of its colonial injustices in the region in past centuries, pursuing everything and openly for itself and its own sense of hegemony, that it, London and Washington are accusing Beijing of. 

The West’s failing fortunes across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia will not benefit from their collective economies and armed forces being stretched further still to confront an Asian nation in Asia, and one that is poised to surpass them all economically and militarily in short order. 

For Beijing’s part, it has successfully reached this point through careful and patient planning, strategy and diplomacy. It will be very unlikely that Beijing will find itself drawn into a conflict with the West and will instead continue building ties within the region, particularly with Southeast Asia, creating its own regional order, and one built on economic cooperation rather than military confrontation, a process already well under way and why Washington feels the need to recruit Western European nations for its “Indo-Pacific” strategy in the first place. 

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

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Europe Intelwars Russia

US Continues Crusade Against Nord Stream 2

March 6, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Despite the partisan political theater taking place in Washington – in terms of foreign policy – virtually nothing has changed with a new US president taking office. Even the rhetoric of the new administration is hardly discernible from that of its predecessor. 

From US tensions with China and Iran to continued pressure on Russia – the US continues to pursue a singularly belligerent foreign policy as part of a continued effort to maintain a US-led “international order” and to reassert US hegemony everywhere on Earth it is challenged. 

This includes in Western Europe where circles of political and economic interests have begun to stray from and even run contra to US interests. 

The best example of this is Germany’s participation in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project – a joint effort between Russia and Germany to expand the flow of hydrocarbons directly into Western Europe – bypassing potential regions of instability in Eastern Europe targeted by the US specifically to impede Russian-European cooperation. 

Bliken Echos Mike Pompeo 

The new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his confirmation hearing before the US Senate found himself in almost unanimous agreement with US Senators – Republican or Democrat – on the necessity to maintain or even expand US belligerence worldwide.  

Regarding Nord Stream 2 in particular, when asked by US Senator Ted Cruz about the new administration’s commitment to blocking the Russian-German pipeline, Blinken would respond:  

[The] president-elect strongly agrees with you that Nord Stream 2 is a bad idea. He’s been very clear about that. 

I’m determined to do whatever we can  to prevent that completion the last hundred yards [of the pipeline]. I very much agree. 

When asked if the new administration would “stand up to German pressure” against stopping the project, Blinken would respond: 

I can tell you I know that [Biden] would have us use  every persuasive tool that we have to convince our friends and partners including Germany not to move forward with it.

According to Senator Cruz’ own official US Senate website he would describe Nord Stream 2 as:  

…a project that if completed would reward Russia’s aggressive expansionism and economic blackmail, hold our European allies’ energy security hostage to Russia, and undermine America’s national security interests.

Yet, if any of that was actually true, why would Germany agree to participate in the project in the first place? Why would Germany voluntarily sign up for “economic blackmail” by Russia or deliberately endanger its own “energy security?”

How is the US in a better position to assess and respond to threats to European energy security better than Europe itself can? And is the fact that the US seeks to sell Europe its own “freedom gas” not an immense, glaring conflict of interests?

US Freeing Europe From Freedom to Choose

As the US regularly does – it creates a rhetorical smokescreen behind which it advances its agenda – oftentimes an agenda that stands in direct contradiction to its rhetorical arguments – with its policy toward blocking Nord Stream 2 no exception. 

The US is itself endangering European energy security by cutting off cheap and readily available hydrocarbons from Russia and forcing Europe to buy more expensive hydrocarbons from the US – mainly derived from the politically and environmentally controversial process of fracking. Because the process of extracting and transporting hydrocarbons from the US to Europe through this process is more elaborate it is also more expensive than Russian hydrocarbons.  

Thus the “energy security” offered to Europe by the US as an alternative to well-established flow of Russian hydrocarbons faces opposition politically, environmentally, and even economically. 

It is the threat of sanctions and pressure from the US that forms a very real example of “economic blackmail.”    

In fact – the only truthful component of Washington’s objections to Nord Stream 2’s completion is that it threatens “America’s national security interests.” But these are not to be confused with the actual defense of the United States – but rather the defense of America’s power and influence abroad – power and influence that is both unwarranted and increasingly unwelcome. 

Germany’s Move 

German state media – Deutsche Welle (DW) – in an article titled, “Nord Stream 2: German foundation fights possible US sanctions,” would describe Germany’s efforts to blunt the impact of US sanctions. 

The article would note: 

Earlier this month, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania established a public foundation that could take over potentially sanctionable activity because the foundation “does not have to fear sanctions,” a spokesperson for the state’s Energy Ministry told DW.

“The foundation could offer the possibility of acquiring necessary parts and machinery for pipeline construction and, as necessary, make them available to the participating companies,” the spokesperson, Renate Gundlach, said in a statement. “The goal is to secure these highly specialized items, which only a few companies in the world produce before they would be potentially no longer available to acquire because of sanctions.”

Because US sanctions are only – at the moment – targeting German companies and not the German government itself – the creation of a foundation to protect private companies targeted by sanctions would allow companies to side-step US sanctions. 

In order to counter this, the US would be forced to target the German government directly – a move that would reek of desperation, weakness, and likely prompt a continued, irreversible deterioration in ties between the US and Europe. And while we were told that previously strained US-European ties were the result of the “Trump administration,” this escalation would need to take place under the newly inaugurated Biden administration.

This would finally lay to rest the notions of agency in Washington and fully reveal US foreign policy as driven by large corporate-financier interests – including those seeking to cash in on selling Europe American-made “freedom gas.” 

The US has for years portrayed nations like Russia, China, Iran, and others as rogue nations – justifying everything from economic sanctions and political pressure, to proxy warfare and threats of total war. However, it seems that now even Europe is finding itself on the receiving end of US “soft” and now “hard” power – revealing the US and its exceptionalism as the problem – not the growing list of nations refusing to submit to its agenda and “follow” as it “leads.” 

Ironically, in addition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline itself – America’s increased belligerence against both Russia and Germany has provided Moscow and its Western European neighbors more common ground to work on – circumventing US sanctions. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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color revolutions Intelwars propaganda Thailand

How & Why the Western Media Lies about Thai Protests

March 6, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Reuters regularly distorts the events surrounding US-backed opposition protests in Thailand. 

Far from simply being because Reuters is “Western media,” it is now confirmed that Reuters has recently worked with Western governments to carry out intelligence operations to interfere in the political affairs of nations abroad under the guise of “journalism.”

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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ASEAN ASIA Intelwars Myanmar

The Western Propaganda War on Myanmar

March 1, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – In this video I discuss the propaganda war being waged by the Western media on Myanmar – how much of the media cited is funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

I also describe how even media in Thailand is heavily influenced by Western propaganda – repeating conspiracy theories spun by “institutes” funded by Western weapons manufacturers trying to implicate China as being behind the new government – while ignoring documented evidence of US government support for opposition groups opposed to the new government. 

References: 

Thai PBS – Myanmar Journal: Local media defy orders to not use terms “military coup” or “military government”:
https://www.thaipbsworld.com/myanmar-journal-the-people-of-myanmar-have-bigger-things-to-worry-about/
The Strategist (The Australian Strategic Policy Institute) – What’s on the clandestine nightly flights between Myanmar and China?:
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/whats-on-the-clandestine-nightly-flights-between-myanmar-and-china/
US National Endowment for Democracy – Burma (2020):
https://www.ned.org/region/asia/burma-2020/
The Grayzone – Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal:
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/20/reuters-bbc-uk-foreign-office-russian-media/

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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color revolutions Intelwars Thailand

Violent US-backed Hong Kong-Style Mobs in Thailand Continue

March 1, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US-backed anti-government protesters in Thailand have once again “rebranded” to shake off the image of an unpopular, violent mob only to stage a poorly attended, extremely violent protest as their first “rally.” 

I explain how this is part of a wider US plan to create a  regional crisis to deny China Southeast Asia as a viable economic, military, and political partner and how US-funded Thai opposition groups are working with US-funded protesters in Myanmar.

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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color revolutions Intelwars Thailand

US NED 2021 – Thailand: More Money, More Sedition

February 28, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has updated its list for programs, organizations, and companies that it is funding in Thailand to interfere in Thailand’s internal political affairs. This includes US government funding for companies that interfered in Thailand’s 2019 general election. 

I explain how the NED’s board of directors is made up of people who promote wars and regime change merely behind the smokescreen of “promoting democracy” and “freedom.” I show which fronts the US has increased funding for as well as new fronts the US is now funding inside of Thailand. 

I also show how the US NED through programs and companies that it funded interfered in Thailand’s 2019 general election on behalf of the US-backed billionaire opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his “Future Forward Party.”

References: 

US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – Board of Directors: 

https://www.ned.org/about/board-of-directors/

US NED – Scott Carpenter: 

https://www.ned.org/experts/scott-carpenter/

US NED – Thailand (2020):

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2020/

US NED – Thailand (2019):

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2019/

US NED – Thailand (2019) on Wayback Machine: 

https://web.archive.org/web/20201103163813/https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2019/

PunchUp World – About: 

https://punchup.world/about/

Thanisara Ruangdej on LinkedIn:

https://th.linkedin.com/in/thanisara-r

PunchUp World – Projects (page 3): 

https://punchup.world/project/page/3/

Elect.in.th – About:

https://elect.in.th/about/

Elect.in.th – Projects: 

https://elect.in.th/civictech/chapter04.html

Boonmee Lab – Team: 

https://www.boonmeelab.com/team/

US Embassy Bangkok – Boonmeelab/YouPin Founder Thiti Luang (2017): 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1462398380447966

YouPin Organizes Future Forward “Hackathon” (2018):

https://www.facebook.com/youpin.city/posts/689416398079773

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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color revolutions Intelwars Thailand

Thailand to Regulate Abusive Foreign-Funded NGOs

February 28, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US government-funded fronts posing as NGOs in Thailand have long undermined the image and role of legitimate nongovernmental organizations.   

New legislation has been proposed in Thailand to create more transparency regarding the foreign funding of NGOs in Thailand and to regulate their activities to ensure they fall within the real of non-profit organizations working for the public benefit rather than abusive fronts merely posing as such.

References: 

Bangkok Post – Govt to regulate all NGOs:
https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2073783/govt-to-regulate-all-ngos
National Endowment for Democracy – Thailand (2019):
https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2019/
Prachatai – About Us:

https://prachatai.com/english/about
LD – Why Taking US NED Money is Wrong:
https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/11/why-taking-us-ned-money-is-wrong.html


Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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Intelwars US

Biden’s First Foreign Policy Speech Vows Forever Wars

February 27, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – US foreign policy has clearly continued in the same direction, without missing a beat. Unlike in previous transitions in the White House, this time US President Joe Biden has not even really tried to promise even the faintest hope that it wouldn’t. 

There were a few glimpses of remote hope – particularly regarding the possibility the US wouldn’t abandon its last arms treaty with Russia, New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) – and Biden’s promise of returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. 

However, in Biden’s first speech regarding foreign policy since taking office, now posted on the White House’s official website and titled, “Remarks by President Biden on America’s Place in the World,” reveals that, if anything, US belligerence on the global stage is set to only expand. 

“America is back.  Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.” 

Biden’s opening remarks attempt to suggest that America has drifted away under his predecessor US President Donald Trump. But when he says “America is back,” we are left to assume he means “back” to what the US was doing under the administration of US President Barack Obama under which he served as vice president. 

This was a president elected into office by the American people to end the wars of his predecessor, US President George W. Bush. Not only did he fail to end those wars – one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan – he expanded both. He also started several new wars including in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. 

Under the administration of Obama-Biden, the US also overthrew the government of Ukraine in 2014 precipitating deadly violence in the nation’s eastern region. 

Obama also continued Bush-era policies aimed at overthrowing the government of Venezuela and instituted the so-called US “pivot” to Asia in which US meddling was expanded in a bid to peel Southeast Asian states away from China’s orbit – or create an arc of chaos to disrupt China’s rise, trying. 

And in Biden’s recent foreign policy speech – he has vowed to continue all of this. 

Myanmar: We will “Impose Consequences on Those Responsible”  

After declaring his intentions of meeting the challenges of “the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States and the determination of Russia to damage and disrupt our democracy,” he immediately set upon Myanmar – which he continuously referred to in his speech as “Burma” – the British colonial nomenclature for the now independent nation. 

He would claim: 

There can be no doubt: In a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election.  

The Burmese military should relinquish power they have seized, release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions on telecommunications, and refrain from violence.

Indeed, the military in Myanmar seized power – removing Aung San Suu Kyi from office as well as her National League for Democracy (NLD) political party. 

While Biden demands “democracy” for  Myanmar – he fails to admit that democracy by definition is a process of self-determination and Washington’s role in installing Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD into power in the first place was as much a violation of Myanmar’s political independence and he claims the military’s recent move was. 

The US government through the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds over 80 programs alone in support of the now ousted government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD. The US has created what is essentially a parallel structure of institutions it had – until the military took power – run the country with. 

Yemen War: Ending All [Relevant] American Support

President Biden’s remarks about Yemen and his desire to end the war might – at first glance appear positive. 

Yet upon closer examination, the prospect of peace is much less promising. 

Biden would claim (emphasis added): 

This war has to end.  

And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.

Biden would quickly follow up his comment by noting attacks on Saudi Arabia – omitting the context that they are being carried out in retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression on Yemen. 

Thus, Biden is simply saying the US will not sell Saudi Arabia (directly) “relevant” weapons that will be used in the war on Yemen – but will surely continue selling Saudi Arabia weapons – a fact that will nonetheless continue to enable Saudi aggression both against Yemen and throughout the region – either directly or indirectly. 

Biden’s desire to “negotiate” a settlement to the conflict means that Washington’s desire to end the war is not unconditional – but very  conditional – and likely involves the necessity of a government of Washington’s choosing finding its way into power in Yemen. 

It should be remembered that Biden was vice president when this US-enabled proxy war began in the first place and for the sole purpose of installing a Western-friendly regime into power. 

Regarding Yemen, Biden managed to vow continued war while appearing to seek peace. 

Russia’s “Interfering with our Elections, Cyberattacks, Poisoning its Citizens” is “Over” 

While Biden has extended New START with Russia – his comments about Russia signal the creation of the same sort of pretext all of his predecessors have used to then walk away from other essential arms control treaties. 

Biden would claim: 

I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions — interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens — are over.  We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people.

The US conducted an investigation for over 2 years regarding alleged “Russian interference” in US elections and found no such evidence. 

The same can be said of alleged “Russian cyberattacks,” particularly when considering experts submitting reports to US Congress on the matter were then caught themselves posing as Russians and engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior in America’s information space – and worst of all – during US elections. 

The “poisoning” of Russian citizens regards the alleged poisoning of US-backed opposition figure Alexei Navalny – an extremely unpopular figure in Russian politicals with no prospect of ever holding political office. The alleged poisoning came at a time when Russia and Germany were nearly finished with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The “poisoned” Navalny was flown by a shadowy Western NGO to Germany to serve as a prop in last-minute efforts by the US to shame Germany into cancelling the project. 

It is clear who had the motive to poison Navalny and it wasn’t the Kremlin. 

Thus, Biden is repeating three accusations of which he has evidence for none – followed by a threat to “raise the cost on Russia” which will most certainly include the shredding of treaties, additional sanctions, and more hybrid warfare directed along Russia’s peripheries and within Russian borders themselves. 

And while Biden poses as breaking away from alleged warm relations between “Trump’s” America and Russia – shredding treaties, imposing sanctions, and using hybrid warfare against Russia continued under all four years of Trump’s presidency. 

“We’ll Take On Directly China”

Biden vowed to carry US hostility toward China, predicated on the same lies the Trump administration used to justify what has become a full-blown trade war between the US and China. 

Biden would claim: 

We’ll confront China’s economic abuses; counter its aggressive, coercive action; to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance.

China’s “economic abuses” are simply China out-competing the US economically. “Aggressive, coercive action” most likely refers to China’s ability to leverage its growing power in defense against what was for decades unchecked Western abuses and aggression against both China directly and its neighbors. 

And US claims regarding China’s “attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance” are three repetitive lies the US is using with more frequency against any and all nations that refuse to fall under its “intentional order.”  The notion of the US taking the moral high-ground on “human rights” despite being the worst offender of human rights this century – including Biden’s own personal role in the wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen – plums new depths of American hypocrisy. 

Biden would also at one point claim (emphasis added): 

If we invest in ourselves and our people, if we fight to ensure that American businesses are positioned to compete and win on the global stage, if the rules of international trade aren’t stacked against us, if our workers and intellectual property are protected, then there’s no country on Earth — not China or any other country on Earth — that can match us. 

Back in reality, China is a nation with four times the population of the US, with an economy increasingly dependent on cutting edge technology, and with access to plenty of resources. Unless US President Joe Biden is suggesting that the people of China are somehow inferior to Americans – China will not only “match” the US, it will inevitably surpass it several times over. 

US President Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech was a vow to maintain America’s belligerent posture around the globe. Biden all but vowed to continue ratcheting up pressure on both Russia and China – and for reasons we know for a fact are verified lies. 

He all but stated that the war in Yemen will only end when the outcome the US seeks is finally achieved. 

And in the end – ultimately – Biden is making a renewed declaration of American exceptionalism – stating that no nation can “match” the US as long as the “rules” aren’t “stacked against” America. 

Of course – for a nation with a smaller population and access to fewer resources – the only way for that to be possible is if the rules are instead stacked against everyone else on Earth – and that is precisely what the Biden administration is promising the world over the next four years – the continued stacking of those rules against all other nations on Earth and punishment to anyone who attempts to stop America from doing so. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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ASIA China Intelwars

The Significance of China Surpassing US as EU’s Top Trade Partner

February 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Over the course of last year, China surpassed the United States as the European Union’s top trade partner. It was significant news and noted as such across Chinese media. 

But in the West, this news was somewhat muted. 

One of the few articles featuring this news comes from Politico titled, “China topples US as EU’s top trade partner over 2020,” and notes that: 

In 2020, exports of EU goods to China increased by 2.2 percent and imports went up 5.6 percent, while EU trade with the rest of the world dramatically dropped (down 9.4 percent in term of exports, and down 11.6 percent in terms imports compared with 2019). The pandemic severely hit transatlantic trade, with exports of European goods to the U.S. falling by 8.2 percent year-on-year. Imports fell 13.2 percent.

As a result, the U.S. is no longer the bloc’s top commercial partner and has been replaced by China. EU exports to China in 2020 amounted to €202.5 billion while imports reached €383.5 billion.

Not only had China surpassed the US as the EU’s top trading partner, it did so with a net surplus with Europe. 

While the article attempts to blame the COVID-19 crisis for the development – and while the US and China may, over the course of the next few years, exchange places as the EU’s top trade partner, China’s growing trade with Europe and the fact that it is on par with, and at times surpassing that of the United States – is just one of many metrics indicating the inevitability of China’s rise as the world’s largest and most powerful economy. 

America’s “Solution” to a Non-Problem 

Washington and Wall Street’s answer to China’s growing economic clout has been a multifaceted strategy of encirclement and  containment involving an ongoing trade war, sanctions, propaganda, and political subversion both within China in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, as well as along China’s peripheries especially in Southeast Asia where the US is backing protests seeking to oust Beijing-friendly governments and replace them with Western-leaning client regimes. Thailand and now Myanmar both face such protests. 

The US also appears significantly invested in building up its military capabilities versus China and is attempting to place those capabilities as close to China as possible – with thousands of US troops already stationed in Japan and South Korea and a frequent US military presence both in the South China Sea and in the Strait of Taiwan. 

All of this is predicated on what US policy papers themselves admit is Washington’s desire to maintain and expand American “primacy” in the Indo-Pacific region. Iterations of this objective and the prerequisite of encircling and containing China have been expressed since as early as the Vietnam War in the leaked “Pentagon Papers.” 

The declassified “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific,” posted in the US White House’s “Trump archives” would begin by listing as its primary strategic challenge: 

How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence…

Never once is it explained by US policymakers, or asked by the Western media, why the US believes China – a nation with many times the population of the US, with access to abundant resources, and with a massive, well-developed industrial and technological foundation – should not naturally ascend as the world’s largest and most powerful economy. 

A nation with more people, as many or more resources, and well-developed infrastructure will inevitably have a larger economy. 

Policy attempting to stop this from happening requires the use of force, the artificial inhibition of China’s economy, and the necessity for confrontation and hostility across every imaginable sphere of interaction between China, the US, and the nations of the world Washington seeks to isolate China from. 

It is a dangerous and irrational policy attempting to “solve” something that in reality is not a genuine problem. It is also a policy that is demonstratably not working. 

Blowback 

Attempts to pressure allies and adversaries alike to cut off Chinese companies from their respective markets has not been effective – especially considering the EU itself trading more with China in 2020 than with the US.

Attempts to deny Chinese companies like telecommunication giant Huawei and commercial aircraft manufacturer COMAC access to international markets has been achieved with limited success. Attempts to block companies around the world from selling components to Huawei and COMAC has also seen a limited impact. 

The short-term impact of these policies has indeed set Chinese companies back. But companies like Huawei and COMAC are not only continuing forward, they are creating more resilient business-models and logistical chains (including an increased emphasis on self-sufficiency and vertical integration) that will in the long-term not only make these companies impervious to Washington’s economic warfare – but allow them to surpass their Western counterparts nonetheless.

China’s domestic markets alone are – as described by Chinese President Xi Jinping – “a sea, not a pond.” “Storms can overturn a pond, but never a sea.”

Companies like Huawei and COMAC can continue developing and growing within China in the short-term – and because of the US’ style of economic warfare – Beijing can easily justify blocking US corporations from accessing these domestic markets. 

A company like COMAC, building commercial aircraft just for China’s massive domestic airline industry alone – would enable it to scale up to a size where it could eventually compete globally with the West’s current duopoly of Boeing and Airbus. 

And throughout this entire process, the US and the nations it convinces to join its campaign of encirclement and containment of China – will receive nothing from the rise of companies like Huawei and COMAC where, previously, Western companies had profited from selling components to both companies. 

China will inevitably surpass the United States economically. In many ways it already has. Current US policy is not going to prevent this from happening and only succeeds in guaranteeing that as China rises, no enterprise in the US will be allowed to rise with it. 

When the day comes that the US finds itself looking at a world where China – not the US – is the largest most powerful economy and thus the most powerful nation on Earth – the US will still need to find amongst the shattered remnants of its unipolar “international order” a constructive role within this new multipolar world.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.   

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