Continuity of Agenda: Destroying Syria Since 1983

Global Research, February 20, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 20 February 2017
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Syria’s current conflict, beginning in 2011, was the culmination of decades of effort by the United States to subvert and overthrow the government in Damascus. From training leaders of opposition fronts years before “spontaneous” protests erupted across Syria, to covertly building a multinational mercenary force to both trigger and leverage violence thereafter, the United States engineered, executed, and perpetuated virtually every aspect of Syria’s destructive conflict.

Enlisting or coercing aid from regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel, Syria found itself surrounded at its borders and buried within them by chaos.

“Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria” 

But recently revealed CIA documents drawn from the US National Archives portrays recent efforts to undermine and overthrow the Syrian government and the Syrian conflict’s relationship with neighboring Lebanon and its ally Iran as merely the most recent leg in a decades-long campaign to destabilize and overturn regional governments obstructing US interests.

A 1983 document signed by former CIA officer Graham Fuller titled, “Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria” (PDF), states (their emphasis):

Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey. 

The report also states:

If Israel were to increase tensions against Syria simultaneously with an Iraqi initiative, the pressures on Assad would escalate rapidly. A Turkish move would psychologically press him further. 

The document exposes both then and now, the amount of influence the US exerts across the Middle East and North Africa. It also undermines the perceived agency of states including Israel and NATO-member Turkey, revealing their subordination to US interests and that actions taken by these states are often done on behalf of Wall Street and Washington rather than on behalf of their own national interests.

Also mentioned in the document are a variety of manufactured pretexts listed to justify a unilateral military strike on northern Syria by Turkey. The  document explains:

Turkey has considered undertaking a unilateral military strike against terrorist camps in northern Syria and would not hesitate from using menacing diplomatic language against Syria on these issues.

Comparing this signed and dated 1983 US CIA document to more recent US policy papers reveals a very overt continuity of agenda.

Decades-Spanning Continuity of Agenda 

The corporate-financier funded policy think tank, Brookings Institution, published a 2012 document titled, “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), which stated:

Some voices in Washington and Jerusalem are exploring whether Israel could contribute to coercing Syrian elites to remove Asad. 

The report continues by explaining:

Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. 

Just as the CIA sought to covertly apply pressure on Syria via Iraq, Israel, and Turkey in 1983, it seeks to do so today. Instead of to simply reopen a pipeline perceived as vital to the Iraqi war effort vis-a-vis Iran in the 1980s, the goal now is regime change altogether.

It should be noted that, in addition to the 1983 CIA document, US support for violent subversion in Syria during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War also included the 1982 Muslim Brotherhood uprising and its subsequent defeat by Syrian forces within Syria – an almost verbatim analogue to the 2011 unrest that led to the current Syrian conflict – also organized and carried out by US-backed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It should also be noted that while the 2011 conflict in Syria began under the administration of US President Barack Obama – according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” – planning, training, and staging began at least as early as 2007 under the administration of US President George Bush.

A concerted, continuous conspiracy to manipulate events across the Middle East and North Africa and project American hegemony throughout the region spanning now seven US presidencies is perhaps the most telling evidence that deeply rooted special interests – a deep state – not America’s elected representatives, crafts and executes US policy at home and abroad.

Power is Held by Unelected Special Interests, Not Elected Representatives 

The notion that the recently elected US president, Donald Trump, can, is willing to, or is able to suddenly oppose the immense corporate-financier interests driving a concerted conspiracy spanning three decades lacks any basis in fact. In reality, those who President Trump surrounded himself with both during his campaign for the presidency and upon assembling his cabinet, are among the very conspirators behind this decades-long agenda.

For those who find themselves targets of US subversion and aggression, both overt and covert, understanding the deep state and the corporate-financier interests that comprise it driving these agendas is essential. Devising a means to expose, isolate, and otherwise disrupt the unwarranted power and influence they wield – rather than dealing with their political proxies in Washington – is the only way to balance the currently lopsided equation of global power.

For the American people and citizens of nations beholden to American interests, understanding that change will only come when the corporate-financier interests that constitute the deep state are confronted and decentralized, and not through elections involving proxies wholly beholden to the deep state, will be the first step toward taking back national institutions and resources hijacked by these special interests.

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

13,000 People Hanged? Amnesty Report on Syria Offers Little Evidence

Posted on February 9, 2017

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In the presidential election of 2014, Syrians voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Bashar Assad

[ Ed. note – Amnesty International has released a report alleging that as many as 13,000 people were murdered by Syrian government authorities at a prison near Damascus since 2011. Among the charges are that large numbers of people were “hanged” in the middle of the night and that people also were “repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care.” Additionally we are told that bodies were “taken away by the truckload and buried in mass graves.”

An analysis of the report by Tony Cartalucci, however, points to a scarcity of any solid evidence to back up the rather lurid claims, and the writer describes the report as “fabricated entirely in the United Kingdom.”  Russia has also denounced the report, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling it “a fake” and dismissing it as “yet another targeted act of provocation aimed at pouring oil on the fire of the dying-down conflict within Syria.”

Worth considering also is that this is not by any means the first time Amnesty International has issued a report fulminating against the Syrian government. You can go here to read an analysis of two earlier Amnesty reports (one issued in 2011 and the other in 2012) in which questions are raised about accuracy and veracity–and there is also an article here discussing Amnesty’s highlighting of the Syrian conflict in a fundraising appeal last year.

Validating the mainstream media narrative on Syria seems, then, to be an Amnesty métier. ]

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Amnesty International Admits Syrian ‘Saydnaya’ Report Fabricated Entirely in the UK

By Tony Cartalucci

February 9, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Amnesty International’s 48 page report titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” boasts bold claims, concluding:

…the Syrian authorities’ violations at Saydnaya amount to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International urgently calls for an independent and impartial investigation into crimes committed at Saydnaya.

However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section  titled, “Methodology,” Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria’s opposition.

Continued here

US Betrays Iran Deal as Predicted – Edges Closer to War

February 2, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – As the world remains mesmerized by the antics of US President Donald Trump, his national security adviser Michael Flynn brazenly linked Iran to Yemeni fighters who attacked a Saudi warship, as well as cited an Iranian missile test as grounds to reverse course on US rapprochement with Tehran, concluding that Iran was “put on notice.”

Flynn would state:

In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten US friends and allies in the region.

Flynn, who was head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) when a memo was published acknowledging the West, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf monarchs sought the rise of what was at the time called a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria – precisely where the Islamic [Salafist] State [principality] now occupies, is surely aware that America’s “friends and allies in the region” include state sponsors of terrorism, including the state sponsors of the Islamic State itself.

As Flynn furiously flipped through the pages of his statement, he was signifying the predictable betrayal of the so-called “Iran deal,” meant before it was even introduced the public – as early as 2009 – to serve as a pretext not for peace, but for war with Iran.

US corporate-financier funded think tank, the Brookings Institution, in a 2009 policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (.pdf) would lay out in detail various means of provoking war and regime change against Iran.

In it, Brookings explicitly revealed how a “superb offer” would be given to Iran, only to be intentionally revoked in a manner portraying Iran as ungrateful:

...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 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 offer—one 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.

The so-called “Iran deal,” introduced during the administration of US President Barack Obama, represents precisely this “superb offer,” with Flynn’s accusations serving as the “turn down” ahead of the “sorrowful” war and attempted regime change the US had always planned to target Tehran with.

In fact, Flynn would seemingly draw almost verbatim from the ploy described by Brookings in 2009, by stating:

Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened … As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.

Flynn’s statement is particularly surreal – considering Yemeni fighters are only targeting Saudi warships because Saudi Arabia is currently waging full-scale war on Yemen. Accused on all sides of war crimes, and with the US itself even restricting weapon sales to Riyadh – if only symbolically – in response to Saudi Arabia’s aggression – Flynn still claims that the attack on Saudi Arabia’s warship constitutes justification for putting Iran “on notice.”

Claiming that Iran is “sponsoring terrorism” throughout the region, when it is currently a major member of the coalition fighting the DIA’s “Salafist principality” in both Iraq and Syria is also surreal.

Another prerequisite mentioned in the 2009 Brookings document was the need to move Syria out of the way. It appears that the US’ attempts at regime change in Syria have reached their final conclusion, failing overall, but weakening Syria significantly in the process. War on Iran – a nation taxed greatly in fighting US, European, and Persian Gulf-backed terrorist organization in Syria – may be perceived now as more preferable than before the 2011 conflict began.

Meanwhile, the political climate in the West has been so expertly manipulated that the public is either so distracted with identity politics that they are unaware and unconcerned with the prospect of war with Iran, or so hysterical over “Islam” that any nation perceived as being Muslim is seen as justifiably a target of US military aggression – regardless of how divergent any of these alternate realities are from actual reality.

Flynn’s statement encapsulates a documented conspiracy drafted under President Bush, implemented under President Obama, and finally coming into full fruition under President Trump, once again illustrating the continuity of agenda that transcends party politics, presidencies, and political rhetoric – driven by immense corporate-financier special interests, not the will of the American public.

2017: A Year of Transition and Trouble

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

1. The War in Syria is Not Over 

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

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

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

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

The paper states:

…the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran. It could allow Washington to have its cake (delay Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon) and eat it, too (avoid undermining many other U.S. regional diplomatic initiatives).

For this to be convincing, the US and Israel would need to feign a diplomatic fallout, one the current administration of US President Barack Obama has been performing and just recently ratcheted up at the UN Security Council. With President-elect Donald Trump – undeniably and very publicly pro-Israel – coming into office in January, the window is closing for this option to be convincing.

 

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

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

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

2. Economic Paradigm Shift, Driven by Technology 

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

Nations that depend on petroleum and other fossil fuels for a substantial fraction of their GDP will need to begin planning how they will navigate what will inevitably be a total transition away from these sources of energy.

Automation is also a growing economic trend. Jobs are being taken from workers from North America to Asia by increasingly capable robots and forms of computer-controlled manufacturing. However, another component of this shifting trend is a drastic drop in prices and an exponential climb in capabilities of these automated systems. This makes it possible for smaller companies to use automation to manufacture locally, disrupting industrial monopolies and distribute the wealth obtained through automation through local entrepreneurship.

An example of this is 3D printing – with some machines with price tags comparable to a desktop computer. People working as freelance designers can now also include – and profit from – physical prototyping services once only possible from larger firms. As automated systems drop in cost and improve in capabilities, local companies will be able to do more with less, decentralizing manufacturing from the current, globalized model that now defines it.

How nations manage this transition – from China to Europe to the United States – will determine how much social upheaval is created as automation continues to take over. Those nations with highly unskilled workforces and with weak, inflexible education systems will suffer most, while those who retrain their populations to be designers and local entrepreneurs will survive, even thrive.

3. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence 

Science fiction horror stories aside, artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of machine learning, is already taking over a large number of highly specialized tasks – and doing them far better than traditional computers or human workers could ever do.

These tasks include everything from energy efficiency studies and automation, providing advice to doctors, and gaming financial markets, to providing protocols for advanced genetic engineering and image recognition and automatic tagging on social media websites like Facebook. Other possible applications include teaching AI systems to hack faster and more adaptively than any human could. AI systems are also being taught to write news articles and even manage social media accounts like Twitter.

While AI will not manifest itself as sentient machines seeking to usurp humanity yet, these highly focused uses of AI give their human operators uncontested advantages in whatever realm they are applied in. An AI arms race of sorts has erupted, and in 2017, AI will increasingly be used to provide world leaders in AI research and development economic and geopolitical edges over their competitors and enemies.

A balance of power must be struck between nations and within nations to prevent the very sort of technological disparity that left the United States in 1945 as the only nation wielding atomic weapons. With that uncontested advantage, the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, killing hundreds of thousands of people. It would use its advantage in the field of nuclear weapons as leverage geopolitically for years – threatening to use the weapons everywhere from the Korean Peninsula to Vietnam.

The sort of damage caused by such disparity in the field of AI cannot be predicted – but what can be predicted with absolute certainty, is that any advantage the world affords aspiring hegemons like the US, will be used and abused eagerly and without hesitation.

4. China and Asia Still Face American Designs for Regional Primacy 

The United States’ “pivot to Asia” has turned into a second front in its global quest for hegemony. In order to encircle and contain the rise of China, the US has committed to series of economic, politically subversive, and military maneuvers throughout Southeast and East Asia.

In 2017, the US will continue cultivating proxy opposition fronts across the region in hopes of challenging or toppling increasingly Beijing-friendly governments everywhere from Malaysia and Thailand, to the Philippines and Indonesia. In Myanmar, the US and its Saudi allies appear to be inflaming the Rohingya crisis by arming militants to fight the very government the US spent decades putting into power.

The result will be an attempt to establish a US military presence in Myanmar under the guise of “combating terrorism,” just as the US did in the Philippines shortly after 2001. In reality, the US military presence in Myanmar will be next to impossible to remove – just as it has become in the Philippines. And while “fighting terrorism” will be the pretext, adding another point of pressure in America’s encirclement of China will be the main objective.

The prospect of direct military confrontation between the US and China is difficult to predict, but US policymakers have admitted that as time passes, the possibility of the US winning any confrontation against China in Asia Pacific diminishes. The temptation to provoke a conflict sooner than later will exist, and regardless, the decades-long efforts by Washington to maintain primacy in Asia at Asia’s expense will continue in earnest under President-elect Trump when he takes office.

The agendas of powerful special interests and the march of technological progress and its impact on human civilization are not divided into neat chapters as they appear in retrospect upon the pages of our history books. They transcend “New Years,” presidential administrations, popular culture, and even “eras” in our collective history. Understanding the actual motives, money, and machinations that drive those with wealth and power help us see what lies before us and gives us a chance to prepare ourselves and intervene rather than sit by as helpless spectators. This year, perhaps more people than ever will realize that our best interests, and even the fate of our future depends on us doing the former, and abandoning forever the latter.

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

Russian Ambassador Assassinated: Retaliation, But by Whom?

 

December 20, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Just days after the liberation of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was gunned down while giving a talk at an art gallery in Turkey’s capital of Ankara.

The gunman, identified as a former Turkish police officer, flashed the familiar one finger gesture used by terrorist organizations operating in neighboring Syria including by Jabhat Al Nusra and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” – while shouting, according to the Guardian:

Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security. Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.

The attack coincided with an alleged security incident near America’s embassy in Ankara, characterized by the US Embassy as a “shooting,” though it may be in reference to the actual assassination.

Western newspapers, however, including the Daily Mail, the UK Express, and The Sun attempted to portray the announcement as a separate incident. This may be a deliberate attempt to portray the US as a victim in tandem with Russia, to divert suspicion away from US involvement.

Assassination Takes Place Days After US Vowed “Retaliation” Against Russia 

US President Barack Obama, US policymakers and pundits, as well as US Senators for the past week have vowed “retaliation” against Russia for alleged “hacking” during the 2016 US presidential election. These threats take place against a wider backdrop of increasingly unhinged outbursts made by Western politicians, pundits, and policymakers amid frustration in advancing their global agenda versus a reemerging Russia and a rising China.

The Guardian in an article published just this week titled, “Barack Obama promises retaliation against Russia over hacking during US election,” would state:

Barack Obama has warned that the US will retaliate for Russian cyberattacks during the presidential election. 

In an interview on National Public Radio on Friday morning, the US president said he is waiting for a final report he has ordered into a range of Russian hacking attacks, but promised there would be a response.

“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama said. “And we will – at a time and place of our own choosing. 

“Some of it may be explicit and publicised; some of it may not be.”

Articles like the International Business Times’ “How Can The US Retaliate Against Russia’s Hacking? Here Are 6 Possible Moves,” would list possible forms retaliation could take, including:

Cyberattack on Russian networks or infrastructure; Release damaging information about Vladimir Putin; Target offshore accounts; Place malware inside Russian espionate networks; Interfere in Russian politics Economic sanctions.

However, it has been noted by many analysts, including those within the US’ own foreign policy circles, that America’s ability to retaliate with “cyberattacks” against Russia in such a manner would range from futile, to even galvanizing the Russian people further behind the Kremlin.

The New York Times in an article titled, “Obama Confronts Complexity of Using a Mighty Cyberarsenal Against Russia,” would note:

But while Mr. Obama vowed on Friday to “send a clear message to Russia” as both a punishment and a deterrent, some of the options were rejected as ineffective, others as too risky. If the choices had been better, one of the aides involved in the debate noted recently, the president would have acted by now.

In all likelihood, an attempted counter “cyberattack” would have ended in further humiliation and isolation for the United States’ ruling circles.


Cui Bono?

The cold-blooded assassination of a Russian ambassador in the heart of Turkey, however, is a very effective “retaliation,” not only for Russia’s role in balancing against the Western media’s influence, effectively undermining the West’s monopoly over global public perception, but also for confounding US geopolitical objectives across the Middle East – particularly in Syria, and particularly in the aftermath of Aleppo’s liberation.

The assassination – a crime and even an act of war by any account – was apparently carried out by a militant drawn from the ranks of  terrorist organizations armed, trained, and funded by the United States and its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and even Turkey. And despite this fact, should the US be involved in the assassination, it would be difficult to prove. And even if it was proven, it would be difficult to convince the global public that the US would make the jump from very publicly considering benign “cyberattacks” for the past week to assassinating a foreign diplomat.

Beyond simply “sending a message” as US policymakers sought to do – it also undermines alleged progress made between Ankara and Moscow regarding the former’s role in the ongoing proxy war with Syria. The assassination strains any such progress, even threatening to rollback gains painfully made since Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane over Syria in November of 2015.

While evidence is still forthcoming regarding the assassination, the US – through its own insistence on publicly and repeatedly threatening Moscow with retaliation –  has made itself one of the primary suspects behind the brutal killing. Considering the US’ role in creating, arming, funding, and directing terrorists across the region for years – the US is responsible indirectly at the very least.

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

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.”

Aleppo Liberated: Washington Post Finally Admits “Rebels” Invaded – Was No Uprising

December 14, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – For months as terrorists backed by the United States, Turkey, and their Persian Gulf allies lost significant ground to the Syrian Arab Army in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, the battle was characterized by the Western media and Western politicians as a brutal assault on the city’s residents – the extinguishing of a 6 year-long uprising.

However, in reality, that was never the case. And this reality is something careful readers will note even if they read the latest from one of the most prominent sources of pro-terrorist propaganda, the Washington Post.

In their article, “Endgame in Aleppo, the most decisive battle yet in Syria’s war,” they admit (emphasis added):

When Syrian rebels surged into Aleppo in the summer of 2012, it was the high point of their still young, still idealistic revolution against President Bashar al-Assad. 

Four and a half years and hundreds of thousands of deaths later, troops loyal to his government were poised on Tuesday to take the city back, heralding the end of an era for the rebellion.

The Washington Post also demolishes another widely repeated lie regarding Aleppo – claims that a quarter of a million people remained in “rebel-held” eastern Aleppo. The Washington Post now claims (emphasis added):

Last-minute diplomacy to rescue the tens of thousands of people trapped by the fighting or because they fear being detained by loyalist forces generated a deal brokered by Russia and Turkey on Tuesday to evacuate the last rebel-controlled enclave.

“Tens of thousand” is a far cry from “the quarter of a million” lie repeatedly told by the Western media, including by the Washington Post itself in articles like, “More than 250,000 in Eastern Aleppo could die after the next 20 days.”

Just as the Washington Post did in Libya, and Iraq before that, it ceaselessly worked not to inform the public, but to intentionally misinform them, part of a wider campaign to sell war to the West and justify direct military intervention to topple governments impeding Wall Street and Washington’s global hegemonic expansion in the decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Washington Post’s first-sentence admission that Aleppo was never the scene of an uprising, but rather the host of an invasion lays bare all the lies that have been told since to justify the city’s occupation by groups of terrorists including US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization Jabhat Al Nusra – quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria and progenitor of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” itself.

With the city of Aleppo now fully liberated, it is important for the alternative media to catch these lies and the Western media’s retrospective admissions to telling them, in order to maintain momentum in favor of the Syrian people as they attempt to restore security and order across their nation.

With many terrorist groups retreating to the dysfunctional and diminutive city of Idlib in the north, or surging forth toward Palmyra in the east, pivotal battles still remain to be won by the Syrian Arab Army and their allies. Many of the same lies and intentional mischaracterizations used to sell the occupation of Aleppo and fend off the city’s liberation will undoubtedly be used again. It is essential to make sure when these tools of deception are used again, they are sufficiently blunted by informing the public of the truth – a truth the West’s own admissions reveals.

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