Islamic State in Asia: Saudi-Funding and Naive Policymakers Endanger Region

June 1, 2017 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Recently, terrorist attacks have unfolded across Indonesia, a militant network disrupted along the Thai-Malaysian border and full-scale military operations including aerial bombing deployed as Philippine troops fought to take back Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao, all linked or affiliated with the Islamic State.

A dangerously deceptive narrative is being crafted by US and European media organisations, the same sort of narrative that was used to conceal the true source of the Islamic State’s fighting capacity across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region beginning as early as 2011.

The New York Times, for example, in an article titled, “In Indonesia and Philippines, Militants Find a Common Bond: ISIS,” claims:

An eruption of violence in the southern Philippines and suicide bombings in Indonesia this week highlight the growing threat posed by militant backers of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia. 

While the timing of the Jakarta bombings and the fighting on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao appears to be coincidental, experts on terrorism have been warning for months that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has provided a new basis for cooperation among extremists in the region.

However, back in reality, the Islamic State is no different than any other military force. Its members require food, water and shelter daily. They require weapons and ammunition. They require uniforms. They need transportation, which in turn requires fuel, maintenance personnel and spare parts. And most important of all, the Islamic State requires a steady stream of recruits made possible only through organised education and indoctrination.

For the scale the Islamic State is doing this on, stretching across MENA and now reaching into Southeast Asia, confounding the response of not just individual nation-states but entire blocs of nations attempting to confront this growing threat, it is abundantly clear the Islamic State is not fulfilling these prerequisites on its own.

Its doing this all through state sponsorship, a reality rarely mentioned by the New York Times,  Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, CNN, the BBC and others. Those acquiring their worldview through these media organisations are setting themselves up and those depending on their analysis for tragic failure.

Education and Indoctrination: Who is Feeding the Fire?  

The ranks of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia are being filled by a regional network of extremist indoctrination conducted in institutions posing as Islamic boarding schools known as madrasas. Those institutions indoctrinating local populations with notions of extremism and inspiring them to take up violence and terrorism share a common denominator; Saudi funding.

Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, Yousaf Butt, in a Huffington Post article titled, “How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism,” would put Saudi funding of such extremist networks into perspective, stating:

It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991.

The article also lays out the cause and effect between Saudi funding and the predictable terrorism, violence and instability that follows. Yousaf Butt concludes by aptly stating:

The House of Saud works against the best interests of the West and the Muslim world. Muslim communities worldwide certainly need to eradicate fanatical Wahhabism from their midst, but this will be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish if the West continues its support of the House of Saud. The monarchy must be modernized and modified — or simply uprooted and replaced. The House of Saud needs a thorough house cleaning.

The United States under the administration of President Donald Trump just sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, following tens of billions of dollars of weapon deals under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, and in turn following a pattern of decades of military, political and economic support for the Persian Gulf state. Western support for the House of Saud appears to be fully intact and in no danger of changing any time soon.

The direct connection between terrorism ranging from Al Qaeda to the Islamic State and Saudi-funded indoctrination is clear. Yet US and European media organisations attempt to muddle the issue with unwarranted ambiguity.

New York Times articles like, “Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’,” go as far as stating:

Over the next four decades, in non-Muslim-majority countries alone, Saudi Arabia would build 1,359 mosques, 210 Islamic centers, 202 colleges and 2,000 schools. Saudi money helped finance 16 American mosques; four in Canada; and others in London, Madrid, Brussels and Geneva, according to a report in an official Saudi weekly, Ain al-Yaqeen. The total spending, including supplying or training imams and teachers, was “many billions” of Saudi riyals (at a rate of about four to a dollar), the report said.

And continues by stating:

That is the disputed question, of course: how the world would be different without decades of Saudi-funded shaping of Islam. Though there is a widespread belief that Saudi influence has contributed to the growth of terrorism, it is rare to find a direct case of cause and effect. For example, in Brussels, the Grand Mosque was built with Saudi money and staffed with Saudi imams. In 2012, according to Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, one Saudi preacher was removed after Belgian complaints that he was a “true Salafi” who did not accept other schools of Islam. And Brussels’ immigrant neighborhoods, notably Molenbeek, have long been the home of storefront mosques teaching hard-line Salafi views. 

After the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and in Brussels in March were tied to an Islamic State cell in Belgium, the Saudi history was the subject of several news media reports. Yet it was difficult to find any direct link between the bombers and the Saudi legacy in the Belgian capital.

Yet commonsense, when applied, takes into consideration the substantial intelligence networks and police states that exist across the European Union’s various members and the fact that in the aftermath of most recent terrorist attacks it is revealed that security services across Europe often had foreknowledge of suspects, their criminal backgrounds and activities as well as their ties to extremism both within their own communities in Europe and abroad upon battlefields in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

It is well within the means of US and European intelligence and security agencies to establish a direct link between terrorism and Saudi funding. What is lacking is the political will to do so.


A Global Expeditionary Force That Goes Where Western Troops Cannot

It is clear that despite the New York Times attempting to make a connection between Saudi-funded indoctrination at mosques and madrasas and terrorism as ambiguous as possible, Saudi funding is the primary factor driving extremism and filling the ranks of terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Coupled with covert, indirect and direct military support when these extremists reach various battlefields around the world, Saudi-funded extremism represents what is essentially a mercenary expeditionary force, auxiliaries used in pursuit of modern day empire.

As witnessed in Libya and Syria, the purpose behind the United States and Europe supporting Saudi Arabia and turning an intentional blind-eye to its global network of extremist indoctrination and the terrorist organisations these networks feed into, is targeting and overthrowing governments the United States and Europe are incapable of overthrowing directly with military force.

Saudi-funded indoctrination filling the ranks of this virtual global mercenary force, can be used as a tool for regime change. Saudi-funded extremists were instrumental in overthrowing the Libyan government in 2011, and have led the fight to oust the Syrian government.

Saudi-funded indoctrination can also be a useful tool of geopolitical coercion, opening up opportunities for the US to sell a greater military presence in any given country targeted by Saudi-funded extremism.

In fact, the New York Times’ recent article, “In Indonesia and Philippines, Militants Find a Common Bond: ISIS,” hints as just such a motive in the Philippines, claiming:

Since the early 2000s, the United States has stationed military advisers in the southern Philippines to aid in the fight against Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic extremists. 

Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University in Manila, said that Mr. Duterte was under mounting pressure to address the crisis in his home island, Mindanao, and that he may need further assistance from Washington.

During a period when the Philippines finds itself pivoting away from the United States and toward Beijing and other regional allies, needing “further assistance from Washington” is a circumstance too convenient to be coincidental.

Considering how the US has used Saudi-funded extremism it has enabled elsewhere, there is need for concern not only in the Philippines, but across all of Asia regarding the Islamic State’s “sudden interest” in the region.

Asian Policymakers Only As Good As Their Sources 

As obvious as the truth behind the Islamic State’s presence and perpetuation in Asia seems to be, many policymakers, politicians and people in the media across Asia appear to be mesmerised by US and European headlines and intentionally misleading analysis.

Eagerly republishing and repeating these headlines and analysis, policy and media circles find themselves mired in a deepening swamp of delusion. Within this swamp of delusion they are exposing Asia to the same threat the MENA region is now facing.

For a variety of reasons, extremism was allowed to take root and spread in nations like Libya and Syria, where political deals and cooperation with the US and Europe led toward greater violence and destabilisation, not toward resolving the issue of extremism, terrorism and national or regional security.

Likewise in Asia, should the root of extremism and terrorism not be addressed, namely Saudi-funding and America’s and Europe’s aiding and abetting of the House of Saud, this threat will continue to be cultivated and leveraged by its creators at the cost of its Asian hosts.

While it may not be politically popular to openly expose, condemn and otherwise confront US-Saudi sponsored terrorism in fear of being ostracised from US-European media and policy circles, Asian policymakers, politicians and media should consider the fate of their MENA counterparts and the state of Libya and Syria now versus pre-2011 when there was still a chance to head off a regional humanitarian catastrophe.

The inability of Asian policymakers to clearly single out and deal with Saudi-funded, US-backed terrorism in the region allows political demagogues to play entire ethnic and religious groups off against one another, further compounding factors that fuel instability and even war. Coupled with socioeconomic factors, foreign interests seeking vectors into Asia to coerce, control or even overthrow regional governments have a wide variety of options to pick from.

Eliminating these options and closing the door to outside interference means that the Asian public must be fully and properly informed, and all forms of foreign funding and support, whether it be “schools” or nongovernmental organisations, should be called into question. It is clear that part of this process should include national and regional calls and mechanisms to end Saudi funding to organisations posing as charities, educational institutions and other fronts propagating divisive extremism.

Considering the fate of the MENA region, Asia may have only one chance to get this right. Those policymakers who prove themselves incapable of objective, truthful analysis and who find themselves simply helping along foreign interference should no longer be deferred to as policymakers, and perhaps take up a more appropriate title; lobbyists.

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

Islamic State in Asia: Saudi-Funding and Naive Policymakers Endanger Region

June 1, 2017 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Recently, terrorist attacks have unfolded across Indonesia, a militant network disrupted along the Thai-Malaysian border and full-scale military operations including aerial bombing deployed as Philippine troops fought to take back Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao, all linked or affiliated with the Islamic State.

A dangerously deceptive narrative is being crafted by US and European media organisations, the same sort of narrative that was used to conceal the true source of the Islamic State’s fighting capacity across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region beginning as early as 2011.

The New York Times, for example, in an article titled, “In Indonesia and Philippines, Militants Find a Common Bond: ISIS,” claims:

An eruption of violence in the southern Philippines and suicide bombings in Indonesia this week highlight the growing threat posed by militant backers of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia. 

While the timing of the Jakarta bombings and the fighting on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao appears to be coincidental, experts on terrorism have been warning for months that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has provided a new basis for cooperation among extremists in the region.

However, back in reality, the Islamic State is no different than any other military force. Its members require food, water and shelter daily. They require weapons and ammunition. They require uniforms. They need transportation, which in turn requires fuel, maintenance personnel and spare parts. And most important of all, the Islamic State requires a steady stream of recruits made possible only through organised education and indoctrination.

For the scale the Islamic State is doing this on, stretching across MENA and now reaching into Southeast Asia, confounding the response of not just individual nation-states but entire blocs of nations attempting to confront this growing threat, it is abundantly clear the Islamic State is not fulfilling these prerequisites on its own.

Its doing this all through state sponsorship, a reality rarely mentioned by the New York Times,  Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, CNN, the BBC and others. Those acquiring their worldview through these media organisations are setting themselves up and those depending on their analysis for tragic failure.

Education and Indoctrination: Who is Feeding the Fire?  

The ranks of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia are being filled by a regional network of extremist indoctrination conducted in institutions posing as Islamic boarding schools known as madrasas. Those institutions indoctrinating local populations with notions of extremism and inspiring them to take up violence and terrorism share a common denominator; Saudi funding.

Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, Yousaf Butt, in a Huffington Post article titled, “How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism,” would put Saudi funding of such extremist networks into perspective, stating:

It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991.

The article also lays out the cause and effect between Saudi funding and the predictable terrorism, violence and instability that follows. Yousaf Butt concludes by aptly stating:

The House of Saud works against the best interests of the West and the Muslim world. Muslim communities worldwide certainly need to eradicate fanatical Wahhabism from their midst, but this will be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish if the West continues its support of the House of Saud. The monarchy must be modernized and modified — or simply uprooted and replaced. The House of Saud needs a thorough house cleaning.

The United States under the administration of President Donald Trump just sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, following tens of billions of dollars of weapon deals under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, and in turn following a pattern of decades of military, political and economic support for the Persian Gulf state. Western support for the House of Saud appears to be fully intact and in no danger of changing any time soon.

The direct connection between terrorism ranging from Al Qaeda to the Islamic State and Saudi-funded indoctrination is clear. Yet US and European media organisations attempt to muddle the issue with unwarranted ambiguity.

New York Times articles like, “Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’,” go as far as stating:

Over the next four decades, in non-Muslim-majority countries alone, Saudi Arabia would build 1,359 mosques, 210 Islamic centers, 202 colleges and 2,000 schools. Saudi money helped finance 16 American mosques; four in Canada; and others in London, Madrid, Brussels and Geneva, according to a report in an official Saudi weekly, Ain al-Yaqeen. The total spending, including supplying or training imams and teachers, was “many billions” of Saudi riyals (at a rate of about four to a dollar), the report said.

And continues by stating:

That is the disputed question, of course: how the world would be different without decades of Saudi-funded shaping of Islam. Though there is a widespread belief that Saudi influence has contributed to the growth of terrorism, it is rare to find a direct case of cause and effect. For example, in Brussels, the Grand Mosque was built with Saudi money and staffed with Saudi imams. In 2012, according to Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, one Saudi preacher was removed after Belgian complaints that he was a “true Salafi” who did not accept other schools of Islam. And Brussels’ immigrant neighborhoods, notably Molenbeek, have long been the home of storefront mosques teaching hard-line Salafi views. 

After the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and in Brussels in March were tied to an Islamic State cell in Belgium, the Saudi history was the subject of several news media reports. Yet it was difficult to find any direct link between the bombers and the Saudi legacy in the Belgian capital.

Yet commonsense, when applied, takes into consideration the substantial intelligence networks and police states that exist across the European Union’s various members and the fact that in the aftermath of most recent terrorist attacks it is revealed that security services across Europe often had foreknowledge of suspects, their criminal backgrounds and activities as well as their ties to extremism both within their own communities in Europe and abroad upon battlefields in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

It is well within the means of US and European intelligence and security agencies to establish a direct link between terrorism and Saudi funding. What is lacking is the political will to do so.


A Global Expeditionary Force That Goes Where Western Troops Cannot

It is clear that despite the New York Times attempting to make a connection between Saudi-funded indoctrination at mosques and madrasas and terrorism as ambiguous as possible, Saudi funding is the primary factor driving extremism and filling the ranks of terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Coupled with covert, indirect and direct military support when these extremists reach various battlefields around the world, Saudi-funded extremism represents what is essentially a mercenary expeditionary force, auxiliaries used in pursuit of modern day empire.

As witnessed in Libya and Syria, the purpose behind the United States and Europe supporting Saudi Arabia and turning an intentional blind-eye to its global network of extremist indoctrination and the terrorist organisations these networks feed into, is targeting and overthrowing governments the United States and Europe are incapable of overthrowing directly with military force.

Saudi-funded indoctrination filling the ranks of this virtual global mercenary force, can be used as a tool for regime change. Saudi-funded extremists were instrumental in overthrowing the Libyan government in 2011, and have led the fight to oust the Syrian government.

Saudi-funded indoctrination can also be a useful tool of geopolitical coercion, opening up opportunities for the US to sell a greater military presence in any given country targeted by Saudi-funded extremism.

In fact, the New York Times’ recent article, “In Indonesia and Philippines, Militants Find a Common Bond: ISIS,” hints as just such a motive in the Philippines, claiming:

Since the early 2000s, the United States has stationed military advisers in the southern Philippines to aid in the fight against Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic extremists. 

Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University in Manila, said that Mr. Duterte was under mounting pressure to address the crisis in his home island, Mindanao, and that he may need further assistance from Washington.

During a period when the Philippines finds itself pivoting away from the United States and toward Beijing and other regional allies, needing “further assistance from Washington” is a circumstance too convenient to be coincidental.

Considering how the US has used Saudi-funded extremism it has enabled elsewhere, there is need for concern not only in the Philippines, but across all of Asia regarding the Islamic State’s “sudden interest” in the region.

Asian Policymakers Only As Good As Their Sources 

As obvious as the truth behind the Islamic State’s presence and perpetuation in Asia seems to be, many policymakers, politicians and people in the media across Asia appear to be mesmerised by US and European headlines and intentionally misleading analysis.

Eagerly republishing and repeating these headlines and analysis, policy and media circles find themselves mired in a deepening swamp of delusion. Within this swamp of delusion they are exposing Asia to the same threat the MENA region is now facing.

For a variety of reasons, extremism was allowed to take root and spread in nations like Libya and Syria, where political deals and cooperation with the US and Europe led toward greater violence and destabilisation, not toward resolving the issue of extremism, terrorism and national or regional security.

Likewise in Asia, should the root of extremism and terrorism not be addressed, namely Saudi-funding and America’s and Europe’s aiding and abetting of the House of Saud, this threat will continue to be cultivated and leveraged by its creators at the cost of its Asian hosts.

While it may not be politically popular to openly expose, condemn and otherwise confront US-Saudi sponsored terrorism in fear of being ostracised from US-European media and policy circles, Asian policymakers, politicians and media should consider the fate of their MENA counterparts and the state of Libya and Syria now versus pre-2011 when there was still a chance to head off a regional humanitarian catastrophe.

The inability of Asian policymakers to clearly single out and deal with Saudi-funded, US-backed terrorism in the region allows political demagogues to play entire ethnic and religious groups off against one another, further compounding factors that fuel instability and even war. Coupled with socioeconomic factors, foreign interests seeking vectors into Asia to coerce, control or even overthrow regional governments have a wide variety of options to pick from.

Eliminating these options and closing the door to outside interference means that the Asian public must be fully and properly informed, and all forms of foreign funding and support, whether it be “schools” or nongovernmental organisations, should be called into question. It is clear that part of this process should include national and regional calls and mechanisms to end Saudi funding to organisations posing as charities, educational institutions and other fronts propagating divisive extremism.

Considering the fate of the MENA region, Asia may have only one chance to get this right. Those policymakers who prove themselves incapable of objective, truthful analysis and who find themselves simply helping along foreign interference should no longer be deferred to as policymakers, and perhaps take up a more appropriate title; lobbyists.

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

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

ANDREI AKULOV | 24.04.2017 | WORLD

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

The president Trump’s flip flops and zig zags on foreign policy issues make believe the US has no coherent strategy. There is each and every reason to say so. Many world leaders and experts seem to be perplexed at least. But a deeper look into the events shows quite a different picture. It’s important to review the administration’s activities to get a clue to its foreign policy.

The president has proposed to cut US expenditure on the UN, he has talked disparagingly about NATO and never given due to the role international institutions play in the contemporary world – something ex-President Obama set great store by. Instead, Donald Trump relies on interstate relations to protect the interests of «America first». He needs allies and partners.  The priority is given to personal contacts with key foreign leaders. The list includes:  the UK, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Israel, Germany, Egypt, China and Italy. So, according to the adopted gradation, allies come first, partners (Egypt) second with others to follow.

There is method to his madness here. He is not rushing to meet everyone to increase US clout everywhere, but sticks to a well thought out pattern. He does have a strategy with traditional allies topping the priorities’ list.

There is another trend worth mentioning. Vice President Mike Pence is clearly playing an important role in the implementation of the allies-based foreign policy.

The Vice President has just wrapped up his first Asia Pacific tour having visited key Asia Pacific states: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. The visit took place at the time the US was balancing on the brink of conflict with North Korea. The mission of utmost importance was entrusted to nobody else but Vice President Mike Pence. In South Korea, it did strike an eye that he wore a green military jacket normally put on during visits to defense installations. The brown bomber jacket-clad vice president spoke tough, saying   the «strategic patience» was over. He sent a clear message.

Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Pence has significant foreign policy experience. He was a long serving member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (2007-2013).  Mr. Pence welcomed the operation in Iraq and the establishment of no-fly zone in Libya. During the election campaign he supported the idea of improving the relationship with Russia while confronting common enemy – the radical movements in the Middle East. He appears to change the stance since then.  Actually, it’s hard to make conclusions about his views and their evolution as he has shied away from making statements against the background of Trump’s turnarounds.

He does not have to. It’s not statements but the level of trust between him and the president that matters.

Today, Trump has a strong foreign policy team, including State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Herbert McMaster, the national security adviser. The vice president is to join and find his niche. He has no independent role but his influence on foreign policy may grow as the president has to willy-nilly concentrate more on domestic issues.

His predecessors – Richard Cheney and Joe Biden, had great influence on foreign policy. The Obama’s famous barb is still vivid in memory. He called Dick Cheney «the worst president of my lifetime». Joe Biden could have won the Democratic nomination in 2016 if he wanted too.

The current vice president’s growing clout became clearly visible this February during his European debut visit to meet key NATO allies. He was chosen to soothe Europeans after President Trump called NATO «obsolete», giving priority to isolationist «America First» policy. According to Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Mike Pence told Baltic States’ leaders, «if you don’t want to call the president, you can always call me» – a very important detail to demonstrate his standing within the administration.

He says many things with a catch. In Europe, he praised NATO but did not forget to emphasize that other countries in the alliance were expected to abide by their defense spending commitments. Talking about Ukraine, he said Russia was to be held accountable but he also believed it was a potential partner and the search for common ground was to be continued. His visit was well prepared to go smoothly, without a hitch.

According to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Global Opinions section of The Washington Post, the role and influence of the vice president, not enshrined in any law, is determined in any administration by three things: his direct relationship with the president, his building of a personal portfolio of issues, and the effectiveness of his team. When it comes to foreign policy, Vice President Mike Pence is quietly succeeding on all three fronts.

Indeed, the vice president deftly navigates within the president’s agenda while working in a coherent, efficient manner with White House aides, who also aspire to have the president’s ear on foreign policy issues. He has his own team to rely on, for instance his national security adviser Andrea Thompson, who boasts vast intelligence and foreign policy experience.  Some time ago the vice president played an important role in bringing on board Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley – the people President Trump knew little about.

The Trump’s foreign policy is far from being a helter-skelter implementation of «U-turn» strategy. It’s a well thought over diplomacy aimed at engaging and using the US influence in key parts of the world consistently over time. There is strong foreign policy team formed where the vice president’s clout is evidently growing. Mike Pence is respected on both sides of the aisle in Congress and has good chances to become president one day. These are the things Russia and other countries have to take into account while dealing with the current US administration.

South China Sea: Failing to Find Asian Allies, US Invites UK to Meddle

December 16, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Parroting the US State Department’s rhetoric, almost verbatim to justify the decision, a UK envoy vowed to fly warplanes over, and sail warships through the South China Sea over “concerns” regarding “freedom of navigation there.”

Reuters in its article, “British fighters to overfly South China Sea; carriers in Pacific after 2020: envoy,” would report:

The envoy, Kim Darroch, told a Washington think tank that British Typhoon aircraft currently deployed on a visit to Japan would fly across disputed parts of the South China Sea to assert international overflight rights, but gave no time frame.

Speaking at an event also attended by Japan’s ambassador to Washington, Darroch said that most future British defense capacity would have to be directed toward the Middle East, but added:

“Certainly, as we bring our two new aircraft carriers onstream in 2020, and as we renew and update our defense forces, they will be seen in the Pacific.

The time frame of 2020 assumes that the United States will still have any significant presence in the region, somehow reversing the otherwise irreversible retreat it has been undergoing throughout Asia-Pacific over the past decade.

The US Has Run Out of Friends in Asia, So Brings Along Europe

Client regimes the United States and its European allies have cultivated throughout the region have either turned on them or have been effectively removed from power, or even the prospect of ever holding power again.

The Philippines, quite literally a territory of the United States until the end of World War 2, and a nation that vacillated between independence from and interdependence with Washington for decades since, has recently become more vocal about perceived inequities in Manila-Washington relations. This is primarily because of the much more significant – and growing – ties Manila has with Beijing.

US-backed opposition forces in Malaysia have repeatedly tried and failed to oust the ruling government in street protests led by Anwar Ibrahim’s political alliance under the brand name “Bersih.”

In neighboring Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra and his political opposition party were ousted from power in 2014 and have since been incrementally picked apart through legislative and judicial proceedings. Even as Shinawatra clung to power, Thailand’s establishment began shifting away from Cold War ties with the US and toward closer ties with not only Beijing, but also Moscow as well as its regional neighbors.

In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party are increasingly hemorrhaging political legitimacy as her followers carry out what could be described as genocide against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. The United States has cynically elected to draw an increasing amount of attention to this in a bid to prevent Suu Kyi from double dealing with both Washington and Beijing.

Vietnam has recently showed reluctance to sign the US-initiated and dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, being one of the few nations in Southeast Asia to have agreed to it in the first place, while Cambodia’s previously pro-Western government headed by Hun Sen has become increasingly vocal about US meddling both in Cambodia, and across the region, openly taking Beijing’s side in the South China Sea dispute.

Even Indonesia finds itself increasingly repelled by America’s overbearing stick and its increasingly unappealing carrot.

Collectively, the region is attempting to rebalance itself to accommodate and cooperate with the rise of China, and create checks and balances in the void America’s mismanaged “Pacific Century” has left.

The Specter of Empire  

It is perhaps ironic that the United States finds itself increasingly isolated in Asia amid its own attempts to isolate Beijing. It is also ironic that it is ending its “Pacific Century” the same way it began, side-by-side European nations attempting to impose Western interests on a region of the planet quite literally oceans away.

However, unlike during the age of empires, the US and any European nation that joins it in Asia-Pacific today, will find a region of the planet on parity with Western technology, wealth and power. Militarily speaking, the number of facilities the US and its European allies can exploit in the region are shrinking both in number and in relative significance to growing Asian military power – including China’s expanding Pacific forces.

However, in addition to military power, the US still maintains vast political and media networks throughout Asia. The US State Department’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) aims to indoctrinate thousands of young Asian students and professionals, provide them with both fronts to operate as well as significant financial and political support to continue their work, all in an effort to transform the region’s values and principles to align with Washington’s interests.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), its subsidiaries, and “aid” organizations like USAID all continue to build opposition fronts aimed at pressuring and altogether overthrowing political establishments across Asia. Together, this signifies a US that may be in retreat, but a US that still poses a potent threat to peace, stability, and prosperity across the region.

The inclusion of British forces in Asia-Pacific to augment US provocations presents a threat to Asian stability. With Asia increasingly trading among themselves and with the rest of Eurasia, instability brought by US-European meddling is perhaps the only threat that could actually undermine “freedom of navigation,” trade, and economic growth – the very things the US claims its presence in Asia-Pacific is meant to protect.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”

The Real Secret of the South China Sea

July 27, 2016

by Pepe Escobar for Sputnik News

The Real Secret of the South China SeaThe South China Sea is and will continue to be the ultimate geopolitical flashpoint of the young 21st century – way ahead of the Middle East or Russia’s western borderlands. No less than the future of Asia – as well as the East-West balance of power – is at stake.

To understand the Big Picture, we need to go back to 1890 when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which de facto started after the Spanish-American war, over a century ago, when the US graduated to Pacific power status by annexing the Philippines, Hawaii and Guam.

Western – American and European — colonialism is strictly responsible for the current, incendiary sovereignty battle in the South China Sea. It’s the West that came up with most land borders – and maritime borders — of these states.The roll call is quite impressive. Philippines and Indonesia were divided by Spain and Portugal in 1529. The division between Malaysia and Indonesia is owed to the British and the Dutch in 1842. The border between China and Vietnam was imposed to the Chinese by the French in 1887. The Philippines’s borders were concocted by the US and Spain in 1898. The border between Philippines and Malaysia was drawn by the US and the Brits in 1930.

We are talking about borders between different colonial possessions – and that implies intractable problems from the start, subsequently inherited by post-colonial nations. And to think that it had all started as a loose configuration. The best anthropological studies (Bill Solheim’s, for instance) define the semi-nomadic communities who really traveled and traded across the South China Sea from time immemorial as the Nusantao – an Austronesian compound word for “south island” and “people”.

The Nusantao were not a defined ethnic group; rather a maritime internet. Over the centuries, they had many key hubs, from the coastline between central Vietnam and Hong Kong to the Mekong Delta. They were not attached to any “state”, and the notion of “borders” didn’t even exist.Only by the late 19th century the Westphalian system managed to freeze the South China Sea inside an immovable framework. Which brings us to why China is so sensitive about its borders; because they are directly linked to the “century of humiliation” – when internal Chinese corruption and weakness allowed Western barbarians to take possession of Chinese land.

Tension in the nine-dash line

The eminent Chinese geographer Bai Meichu was a fierce nationalist who drew his own version of what was called the “Chinese National Humiliation Map”. In 1936 he published a map including a “U-shaped line” gobbling up the South China Sea all the way down to James Shoal, which is 1,500 km south of China but only over 100 km off Borneo. Scores of maps copied Meichu’s. Most included the Spratly Islands, but not James Shoal.

The crucial fact is that Bai was the man who actually invented the “nine-dash line”, promoted by the Chinese government – then not yet Communist – as the letter of the law in terms of “historic” Chinese claims over islands in the South China Sea.

Everything stopped when Japan invaded China in 1937. Japan had occupied Taiwan way back in 1895. Now imagine Americans surrendering to the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942. That meant virtually the entire coastline of the South China Sea being controlled by a single empire for the fist time in history. The South China Sea had become a Japanese lake.

Not for long; only until 1945. The Japanese did occupy Woody Island in the Paracels and Itu Aba (today Taiping) in the Spratlys. After the end of WWII and the US nuclear-bombing Japan, the Philippines became independent in 1946; the Spratlys immediately were declared Filipino territory.In 1947 the Chinese went on overdrive to recover all the Paracels from colonial power France. In parallel, all the islands in the South China Sea got Chinese names. James Shoal was downgraded from a sandbank into a reef (it’s actually underwater; still Beijing sees is as the southernmost point of Chinese territory.)

In December 1947 all the islands were placed under the control of Hainan (itself an island in southern China.) New maps — based on Meichu’s — followed, but now with Chinese names for the islands (or reefs, or shoals). The key problem is that no one explained the meaning of the dashes (which were originally eleven.)

So in June 1947 the Republic of China claimed everything within the line – while proclaiming itself open to negotiate definitive maritime borders with other nations later on. But, for the moment, no borders; that was the birth of the much-maligned “strategic ambiguity” of the South China Sea that lasts to this day.

“Red” China adopted all the maps — and all the decisions. Yet the final maritime border between China and Vietnam, for instance, was decided only in 1999. In 2009 China included a map of the “U-shaped” or “nine-dash line” in a presentation to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf; that was the first time the line officially showed up on an international level.
No wonder other Southeast Asian players were furious. That was the apex of the millennia-old transition from the “maritime internet” of semi-nomadic peoples to the Westphalian system. The post-modern “war” for the South China Sea was on.

Gunboat freedom

In 2013 the Philippines – prodded by the US and Japan – decided to take its case about Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) in the South China Sea to be judged according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both China and Philippines ratified UNCLOS. The US did not. The Philippines aimed for UNCLOS – not “historical rights”, as the Chinese wanted — to decide what is an island, what is a rock, and who is entitled to claim territorial rights (and thus EEZs) in these surrounding waters.UNCLOS itself is the result of years of fierce legal battles. Still, key nations – including BRICS members China, India and Brazil, but also, significantly, Vietnam and Malaysia – have been struggling to change an absolutely key provision, making it mandatory for foreign warships to seek permission before sailing through their EEZs.

And here we plunge in truly, deeply troubled waters; the notion of “freedom of navigation”.

For the American empire, “freedom of navigation”, from the West Coast of the US to Asia – through the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean – is strictly subordinated to military strategy. Imagine if one day EEZs would be closed to the US Navy – or if “authorization” would have to be demanded every time; the Empire of Bases would lose “access” to…its own bases.

Add to it trademark Pentagon paranoia; what if a “hostile power” decided to block the global trade on which the US economy depends? (even though the premise — China contemplating such a move — is ludicrous). The Pentagon actually pursues a Freedom of Navigation (FON) program. For all practical purposes, it’s 21st century gunboat diplomacy, as in those aircraft carriers showboating on and off in the South China Sea.The Holy Grail, as far as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, is to come up with a Code of Conduct to solve all maritime conflicts between Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China. This has been dragging on for years now because mostly the Philippines wanted to frame the Chinese under a set of binding rules but was only ready to talk until all ten ASEAN members had agreed on them first.

Beijing’s strategy is the opposite; bilateral discussions to emphasize its formidable leverage. Thus China assuring the support of Cambodia – quite visible early this week when Cambodia prevented a condemnation of China regarding the South China Sea at a key summit in Laos; China and ASEAN settled for “self-restraint.”

Watch Hillary pivoting

In 2011 the US State Department was absolutely terrified with the planned Obama administration withdrawals from both Iraq and Afghanistan; what would happen to superpower projection? That ended in November 2011, when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coined the by now famous “pivot to Asia”.

“Six lines of action” were embedded in the “pivot”. Four of these Clinton nicked from a 2009 report by the Washington think tank CSIS; reinvigorating alliances; cultivating relationships with emerging powers; developing relationships with regional multilateral bodies; and working closely with South East Asian countries on economic issues. Clinton added two more: broad-based military presence in Asia, and the promotion of democracy and human rights.

It was clear from the start – and not only across the global South — that cutting across the rhetorical fog the “pivot” was code for a military offensive to contain China. Even more seriously, this was the geopolitical moment when a South East Asian dispute over maritime territory intersected with the across-the-globe confrontation between the hegemon and a “peer competitor”.

What Clinton meant by “engaging emerging powers” was, in her own words, “join us in shaping and participating in a rules-based regional and global order”. This is code for rules coined by the hegemon – as in the whole apparatus of the Washington consensus.

No wonder the South China Sea is immensely strategic, as American hegemony intimately depends on ruling the waves (remember Mahan). That’s the core of the US National Military Strategy. The South China Sea is the crucial link connecting the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and ultimately Europe.And so we finally discover Rosebud — the ultimate South China Sea “secret”. China under Clinton’s “rule-based regional and global order” effectively means that China must obey and keep the South China Sea open to the US Navy.

That spells out inevitable escalation further on down the sea lanes. China, slowly but surely, is developing an array of sophisticated weapons which could ultimately “deny” the South China Sea to the US Navy, as the Beltway is very much aware.

What makes it even more serious is that we’re talking about irreconcilable imperatives. Beijing characterizes itself as an anti-imperialist power; and that necessarily includes recovering national territories usurped by colonial powers allied with internal Chinese traitors (those islands that The Hague has ruled are no more than “rocks” or even “low-tide elevations”).

The US, for its part, is all about Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny.  As it stands, more than Russia’s western borderlands, the Baltics or “Syraq”, this is where the hegemon “rules” are really being contested. And the stakes couldn’t be higher. That’ll be the day when the US Navy is “denied” from the South China Sea; and that’ll be the end of its imperial hegemony.

 

HAPPY 115TH BIRTHDAY TO SUKARNO, THE ANTI-ZIONIST FOUNDER OF INDONESIA

by Jonathan Azaziah

 

Happy, hSukarnoappy birthday Sukarno! The founding father of the modern Indonesian state and the great champion of anti-colonialism who freed his nation from the clutches of the Rothschild-financed Dutch is one of the most overlooked revolutionaries in Islamic and Global South history. Here was a man who was tortured for over a decade in the Netherlands’ hellish colonial dungeons but never once, NEVER ONCE, did he succumb to the pressures of his oppressors. Quite the opposite, he maintained a defiant steadfastness which would inspire his countrymen to fight for their freedom with an inextinguishable fire that eventually ignited a conflagration underneath their occupiers. It is of paramount importance to note that Sukarno viewed the Japanese, who were the ones which actually freed him from his barbaric Dutch imprisonment, not as “fascists” and “colonizers” as they are usually depicted by the Zionist MSM and the Judaized “left”, but as friends, allies and Pan-Asianist brothers who shared a common destiny. Indeed it was the Japanese who armed the Indonesian Mouqawamah to the teeth–including one elite unit that was called none other than “Hizbullah” 😀 😀 😀 –and provided Sukarno’s men with just about unlimited military support which made the House of Rothschild’s Dutch proxies pack their bags and bounce.

What Sukarno achieved in the short time he sat at the Indonesian apex–from ascending to the position of Unifier-In-Chief and ending the mini-civil-wars between varying Indonesian ethnic factions, to establishing Indonesia as a global example of anti-Imperialism at the Bandung Conference (which influenced millions, even hundreds of millions of Muslims, Asians, Arabs and Africans) and putting forth a model of democratic governance which fused Islamic Liberation Theology and non-Judaized Socialism–is simply extraordinary. But it is Sukarno’s anti-Zionism which stands out the most. The Indonesian despised the manifestations of Judaic influence on both the regional and the international fronts and this was reflected in his rejection of the usurping Jewish entity’s criminal existence as well as his removal of the Jewish-dominated IMF and World Bank from Indonesian soil.

It is beyond tragic that Sukarno never reached his full potential as he was deposed in a bloody CIA-MI6-Mossad-Australian coup in 1966 led by the devilish collaborator Suharto, who would invite the tick-like international bankers back into Indonesia, openly and shamelessly establish ties with the Zionist enemy, prostrate himself before the House of Saud, subordinate his foreign policy to the American regime and most despicably, launch a genocidal onslaught with full US-British-Australian-‘Israeli’ support against Eastern Timor that left hundreds of thousands of innocents dead and wounded. Sukarno was placed on house arrest by the coup regime and died due to lack of medical care on June 21st, 1970. To say the very least, this is not the way a man of his stature should’ve left Earth.

Nevertheless however, his place in the history of the Global Resistance against the Zionist Power Configuration is etched in unbreakable stone, and his marvelous life will serve as a source of inspiration for decades and centuries to come. Streets will be named after him in liberated Palestine. Sukarno was a hero; not only to Indonesians and Muslims but to anyone and everyone worldwide seeking to disconnect themselves from the Empire’s matrix of domination. Sukarno was a visionary; Sukarno was a legend; Sukarno was a wonder; Sukarno was one-of-a-kind. Rest in the deepest, most soothing tranquility o’ Father of Indonesia, o’ principled guide to us all, and happy 115th birthday.

The Haunt Of History In Eurasia

by Andrew Korybko

May 04, 2015

Eurasia is on pace to become integrated like never before, with China’s Belt & Road and Russia’s Eurasian Union providing the structural basis for this historical connection between continents. The US understands the threat that this poses to its global hegemony (see Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard), ergo the rolling out of its latest postmodern weapon, the militarization of historical memory. Eurasia is full of a patchwork of conflicting memories, but none are more controversial, polarizing, and convenient for the US’ geostrategic aim of dividing Eurasia than World War II and the Sunni-Shia split. Let’s take a closer look:

Asia

The US is fully supportive of Japan’s remilitarization, especially so because it rattles the nerves of China and evokes memories of a return to Tokyo’s fascist past. China lost tens of millions of its citizens as a result of Japan’s brutal aggression and subsequent occupation, and it plans on commemorating their memory during the upcoming 70th anniversary of Victory Day in Asia. The US finds this absolutely unnecessary, according to Obama’s top Asia advisor, Evan Medeiros, since a transcript provided by the State Department to Reuters quoted him as saying that:

We want for the region to get past it so the region can realize its full potential as a driver of global growth, for example, so when we think about these history questions and when we think about this ceremony in China, these are the kinds of considerations that we’re looking at.”

Wait a minute…is the US saying that victims of state-sponsored aggression and those which have lost millions of lives as a result should simply “get past it”? Well, yeah, that is what he said, but remember, the US is consistently subjective in applying its own articulated policies, hence why it has a completely opposite approach when it comes to World War II in Eastern Europe. Before addressing that, however, a few more words about the militarization of historical memory in Asia are required.

The US understands that the only feasible way to construct a China Containment Coalition (CCC) is to bring about the increased regional involvement of Japan as its predominant Lead From Behind proxy in the theater. The only time that Tokyo fulfilled the role of regional hegemon was during World War II, and as much as it may pain some people to admit, China notwithstanding, many of the region’s people were somewhat relieved to fall under Japan’s control as they saw it as preferable to European colonization (Indochina and Indonesia being prime examples).

True, there certainly were resistance groups and the Japanese obviously partook in large-scale atrocities in the occupied lands, but by and large, there was no resistance to Japan on par with that demonstrated by the Chinese, who literally were fighting for their very existence (in the same manner as the Soviet Union and its people were also fighting for their own against the Nazis). Whether one calls the majority of Japan’s non-Chinese occupied Asian subjects “collaborators” or passive acceptors of Tokyo’s tyranny, it doesn’t change the fact that there was sizeable enough support among the population that they didn’t feel compelled to rise up and initiate Chinese-style resistance.

It is this exact state of affairs that the US wants to emulate in the 21st century, with Imperial Japan serving as the model for the CCC in Northeast and Southeast Asia, just as it did during World War II. The official American attitude towards Chinese criticism of Japan’s remilitarization and clear adherence to its Fascist-era template, as evidenced by Medeiros’ statement, is that Beijing should just “get past it”, which is easy to say when the US lost but a tiny fraction of what the Chinese did during World War II and hasn’t fought a war on its home turf for over 200 years.

Europe

How does the US react to the invocation of World War II-era criticism by its radical nationalist Eastern European allies? Does it tell Kiev, Poland, or the Baltic States to simply “get past it” and bury their Fascist past? How about that they should simply accept the historical fact of their liberation by the Red Army and be grateful that the Soviet Union ended the war? Nope, it’s the total polar opposite, as most of you already know. In Eastern Europe, the US also supports the revival of Fascist-era movements and historical interpretations, much as it does in East Asia with Japan, and it also lambasts anyone (especially Russia) for suggesting that the US is on the wrong side of history through its flouting of Neo-Fascist alliances. In this Western theater of the Eurasian-wide push-back being waged by the US, Washington doesn’t want anyone to ever “get past” World War II, except of course the Russian Federation and its Soviet-era liberation victory. Aside from Moscow, everybody in Eastern Europe needs to keep the war at the forefront of their thoughts, but only if it’s the ‘right’ (Fascist) version sanitized by the US.

That version is far from sanitary to the average human being, but for the US, which never utilizes actual morals, ethics, or principles in its foreign policy (all references to the aforementioned are window-dressed marketing to sell whatever the war of the year may be), it’s the only acceptable interpretation of World War II events. In fact, the US would prefer for such ideas to make the upgrade from interpretation to regional ideology, all in an effort to build a 21st-century ‘cordon sanitaire’ around the Russian Federation. The more subjectively (and in many cases, falsely) cited ‘facts’ that can divide Russia from Europe, the better, and since Eastern Europe is the most receptive to this type of information war, it makes sense that half of NATO’s ‘strategic communication centers’ are located in that area. It should be taken as a given that these entities are cranking out loads of revisionist World War II-era material in a frantic quest to rapidly rewrite history and imprint the US’ approved version of events into the minds of the regional majority. Only by planting the roots of intergenerational hate against Russia can the US feel assured that its regional vassals will remain under its sway for decades to come.

Mideast

The US’ plans to foster intergenerational hate against Russia appear mild when compared to what it’s doing in the Mideast, which is the creation of inter-centennial hate between Islamic sects. Although the Sunni-Shia split occurred over a thousand years ago and the brief period of bloodshed resulting thereof had largely and rightfully been relegated to the past, the US decided to unearth this bitter memory in order to better its contemporary strategy. The last thing it ever wants is for Muslims to “get past” their sectarian divisions, and if they appear to have done so (as was the case for well over a millennium already), then they must forcibly be reminded of their differences and provoked into bloodshed. The concept here is to divide and rule the region through the militarization of the Sunni-Shina split, whereby each sect viciously kills the other simply because of their adherence to a different denomination. The model that the US is aiming for is the Mideast equivalent of Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, where Catholic and Protestant forces engaged in such a severe bloodletting that Oxford Bibliographies estimates between 15-20% of the pre-war population was killed or injured by the time it ended, with “the scope of misery and destruction it brought to those experiencing it, as a disaster comparable to, if not greater than, the two world wars and the Black Death.”

The whole point here is to create such a whirlpool of chaos that it eventually sucks in Russia and Iran, hence the expansionist nature of the un-“Islamic State” movement, which is nothing more than a cancerous ideological growth enforced by militant means. Its danger derives from the fact that it can theoretically crop up anywhere that Muslims live, and the animal-like sectarian violence that it’s precipitated is ideal for provoking the reactionary attacks necessary to begin a Mideast-wide Sunni-Shia war, the US’ ultimate objective. In the aftermath of that catastrophic conflagration, should the US be successful in setting it off (the fuse is already unfortunately lit), then the Mideast version of the “Peace of Westphalia” that ended the Catholic-Protestant war and ushered in the era of nation-states would be written according to the US’ geopolitical imperatives, likely along the divisive and cartographically revisionist proposals of Ralph “ethnic cleansing works” Peters , the New York Times’ “How 5 Countries Could Become 14”, or some hybrid application.

Historical Recap

A lot of complex information has been expressed in the previous sections, so it’s necessary to engage in a brief historical recap in order to place everything into the bigger picture. The US is reviving the historical divisions of World War II and the Sunni-Shia split in order to achieve its grandest strategic objective, the division of Eurasia and the preclusion of Chinese-Russian-Iranian integration of the supercontinent. The focus on Fascism in Asia is meant to empower the former Japanese aggressor as the US’ preferred Lead From Behind proxy and convince China’s neighbors to collaborate with it just like they did in the past. This proposed relationship is anticipated to form the basis of a proto-NATO in East and Southeast Asia, with Japan forming the link between the two containment theaters.

Over in Eastern Europe, matters are a bit different. The US celebrates the Fascist collaborationist governments and movements that fought against the USSR’s counter-offensive liberation campaign, hoping that this will drive wedges between their citizens and pragmatic cooperation with Russia. The end effect of such a strategy is to strengthen the population’s commitment to NATO to the point where the people actually invite the US to deepen its occupation of their territories, as is already the case in the Baltics and Poland. Ukraine is the epistemological experiment underpinning the success or failure of US’ other European ventures in this regard, and thus far, this tactic has been a wild success in generating anti-Russian sentiment all throughout Europe, even penetrating into its Scandinavian and Western European periphery.

Moving down to the South-Central portion of Eurasia, it’s not World War II divisions that are being revived, but rather religious ones from over 1,000 years ago. The US wants to divide and rule the entire region, hoping that the sectarian war it wishes to unleash will do the Pentagon’s dirty work for it. The end game is to bolster the power of Saudi Arabia, the cauldron of sectarian hate, so that the Kingdom can become the core of an Arab NATO (in league with Israel) for future deployment against Iran. Additionally, the virulent expansion of the un-“Islamic State” is meant to undermine Iran’s regional (and perhaps one day, even domestic) stability, and also pose a dilemma for the Central Asian states that form the bedrock of Russian and Chinese security. The unleashing of full-scale Islamic insurgency in the heart of Asia would inevitably spill over to these two Eurasian giants, thereby putting them on the strategic defensive and reopening the Pandora’s Box of domestic destabilization.

Concluding Thoughts

The US is experimenting with a novel method of warfare in its quest to contain and dismember Russia, China, and Iran, and that’s the militarization of historical memory. World War II has been reinterpreted in such a way as to fashion it as a weapon against Russia and China, while the Sunni-Shia split, which had been peacefully dormant for over a thousand years, has been reawakened with militant religious vigor unseen since the time of the Crusades. Each theater and historical reinterpretation targets a different Eurasian anchor, but the pattern of postmodern warfare is clear. The US, while still confronting its identified adversaries in a direct manner, is now seeking to accelerate its indirect strategies as well, hence the invocation of divisive and militarized historical memory in the quest to create large proxy coalitions against its rivals. The facts of historical record no longer matter to the US, and it can be argued that they never did matter to begin with, but what’s important right now for America is whether its intended audiences remain receptive to the revised record or not, but as one can evidently see with their own eyes, the US has succeed in fertilizing these seeds of historical discord and they’re finally beginning to bear their poisonous fruits.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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