NATO’s Greatest Enemy is Itself

November 19, 2018 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - Accidents happen. For Norway at the conclusion of NATO’s Trident Juncture 2018 military exercises, such an accident occurred with its Lockheed Martin Aegis-equipped frigate, HNoMS Helge Ingstad.


After a collision with an oil tanker, the frigate’s captain ordered the ship aground to prevent a total loss. The quick thinking may have saved the lives of Norwegian sailors and made salvaging operations easier. Thankfully no lives were lost and only eight injuries are being reported by the Western media.


The NATO exercises the Helge Ingstad was participating in simulated an invasion of Norway. As the Council on Foreign Relations made clear in their article, “NATO’s Trident Juncture Exercises: What to Know,” the imaginary invaders were obvious stand-ins for Russia.


The CFR piece would claim:


The aggressor in the simulation is fictitious, but the setting and the scale of the exercises point clearly in one direction. Tensions between NATO and Russia, which shares an Arctic border with Norway, are running high. In the last five years, Russia has annexed Crimea, destabilized eastern Ukraine, provided military aid to a brutal regime in Syria, meddled in Western elections, and either walked away from or allegedly violated major multilateral security treaties.


Of course none of what the CFR alleges is true and many of the accusations leveled against Russia by the article have long been abandoned by even most in the Western media.

The fact that Norway lost an expensive ship in the middle of this NATO exercise to prepare for a Russian invasion that will never happen suggests that the greatest threat much of Europe faces is from NATO itself, not Moscow.

NATO is a Cancer, Not a Shield


The amount of money required to host NATO members in Norway to prepare for a Russian invasion that will never happen would seem detrimental to Norwegians as well as other European nations spending money to move their forces and their equipment (40,000 personnel, 120 aircraft and 70 ships) to and from the exercise areas.


Training is important and maintaining a strong military as well as a credible deterrence is also important for all nations, both Western Europe and Russia included. But such preparations should be proportional to the prospective threats any nation or bloc of nations face. Such preparations should also clearly be made to create a deterrence rather than a provocation.


NATO’s Trident Juncture appears to be more of an exercise to enforce NATO expansion eastward toward Russia’s borders than any genuine preparation for a “Russian invasion” that even Norway’s leadership says is highly unlikely.


Such exercises and the agenda they serve benefits a handful of special interests, primarily in Washington (Lockheed Martin included), at the expense of NATO’s European members.


Washington's Weak Hand in Syria

November 15, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - With Damascus and its allies firmly in control of Syria's largest cities and the vast majority of Syrian territory west of the Euphrates - not only has the US-led proxy war against the nation failed - with Russian and Iranian forces involved indefinitely - the return of additional territory under Damascus' control seems all but inevitable.


However, the US still holds territory east of the Euphrates, and - as American policymakers like to gloat - much of Syria's oil wealth falls within this territory illegally occupied by US troops.

There is also the northern city of Idlib and surrounding countryside - the future of which is still nebulous due to the presence of Turkish forces and Ankara's ever-shifting agenda and alliances.

Each side involved in the proxy war has pursued a number of policies - diplomatic, political, and military in nature - to strengthen their positions before the war finally concludes.

For Damascus, Russia, and Iran - decisive military victories across western Syria have served as the central pillar of Syria's victory over the foreign-backed militancy. Diplomatic efforts both within Syrian borders and beyond them continue and also play a significant role in ending the war in all of Syria's favor - even including many groups involved in opposing the government now being offered amnesty and reconciliation.

The United States - stretched by global wars of aggression, decades-long military occupations, and significantly diminished geopolitical clout - finds itself depending more on political ploys than producing any meaningful military or diplomatic leverage.

Staged chemical weapon attacks and increasingly absurd and equally baseless accusations of human rights violations now stand in where American military might once stood.

The repetitive nature of such ploys feeds into a circular process that both exposes Washington's impotence and serves to exasperate it. Despite this - Washington and its many functionaries across political, diplomatic, and information spheres - continue feeding into this process. Thus, while the US still has forces in Syria, and continuously seeks to not only sabotage peace in Syria - but infect Iran with the same strain of proxy war - patient persistence by Damascus and its allies will see to Washington's complete failure both in Syria and the wider Middle East.

Seeking Humanitarian Leverage 

As America's proxy war in Syria continues to unravel, Washington continues to seek what leverage it can. This includes headlines flooding news cycles attempting to blame the bloodshed in Syria on the current government headed by President Bashar al Assad, and depicting Damascus as ruled by a "brutal regime." Washington hopes to poison the Syrian government's image to the point that any political settlement involving President Assad's continued rule is unthinkable.

Yet, with each ploy, the US and its allies simply reaffirm that not only was the opposition in Syria manufactured abroad as was the war they helped trigger in 2011, so too is the humanitarian component of America's pretext for remaining involved in Syria.


The Independent's article, "The brutality of the Syrian regime must be told," is an apt example of this.

The article is written by Amina Khoulani - founder of "Families for Freedom" - one of many UK-based fronts posing as human rights advocacy groups - but is in reality just one of many components in the West's propaganda war against Syria.

Families for Freedom's website admits it is "supported" by Women Now for Development, Dawlaty, and The Syrian Campaign (PDF) - all in turn funded by Western corporate-funded foundations and the very Western governments who conspired to overthrow the Syrian government and were complicit in arming and funding militants sent into Syria to do so.

The article attempts to rewrite the history of the Syrian conflict, claiming that Khoulani and her family were merely peaceful activists and that by 2012, the Syrian military was rounding up her family and friends, and bombing cities to stop protests.


Western Media "Discovers" Saudi Atrocities in Wake of Khashoggi Fallout

November 12, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Nothing illustrates the cynical and deceitful nature of Western "journalism" better than the recent, apparent US-Saudi fallout in the wake of the alleged death of Washington Post Saudi correspondent, Jamal Khashoggi.


Khashoggi allegedly disappeared and has been reported killed at the hands of Saudi consulate staff in Istanbul, Turkey. Of course, the US, UK, EU, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are among the most dubious actors in modern geopolitics. Ascertaining the truth regarding the events surrounding Khashoggi may ultimately turn out to be an insurmountable task.

But the various narratives and reactions of Western political and media circles still provides us insight into the true character of Western international relations including extreme hypocrisy regarding human rights, the use and abuse of Western media platforms to selectively cover events around the globe to favor Western interests, and the ultimate fate that awaits other US "allies."

The New York Times Suddenly Notices "Overlooked" Yemen War

The New York Times in a series of social media posts and articles seems to suddenly notice the long list of atrocities Saudi Arabia is responsible for - including the ongoing war in Yemen. In a social media post published on Twitter, the New York Times would claim:
The Khashoggi crisis has called attention to a largely overlooked Saudi-led war in Yemen. On a rare trip to the front line, New York Times journalists found Yemenis fighting and dying in a war that has gone nowhere.
Of course, it is impossible that a newspaper as large, as prominent, as well-known and well-funded as the New York Times simply "overlooked" the "Saudi-led war in Yemen."

It was the systematic and concerted cover up by the Western media regarding the war - which began in 2015 - that provided Saudi Arabia the impunity with which it executed the war.


It is only political motivations in Washington now, that require newspapers like the New York Times to suddenly "notice" the war - but only partially. The New York Times would publish a recent article titled, "This is the front line of Saudi Arabia’s invisible war," claiming:
The Saudi-led war in Yemen has ground on for more than three years, killing thousands of civilians and creating what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. But it took the crisis over the apparent murder of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate two weeks ago for the world to take notice.

Saudi Arabia’s brash young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, under scrutiny over the Khashoggi case, now faces a fresh reckoning for his ruthless prosecution of the war in Yemen — yet another foreign policy debacle for Saudi Arabia, and a catastrophe for the Arab world’s poorest country.
Nowhere in the New York Times' piece is a single, even oblique mention made of the US role in the war. However - in fact - the war is being fought with US-made warplanes, refueled by US Air Force-crewed aerial refueling aircraft, dropping US-built ordnance on targets selected by US intelligence agencies, with the help of US special forces on the ground directly assisting Saudi forces.


Worst of all, it was the New York Times itself that admitted to all of these facts. In its May 2018 article titled, "Army Special Forces Secretly Help Saudis Combat Threat From Yemen Rebels," the New York Times would admit:
For years, the American military has sought to distance itself from a brutal civil war in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces are battling rebels who pose no direct threat to the United States. 

But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.
The article would also admit:
Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.

They appear to contradict Pentagon statements that American military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics and general intelligence sharing. 
And indeed, the war in Yemen is not a "Saudi-led war," it is in fact just one of America's many "secret wars."  It is secret specifically because of the complicity of newspapers like the New York Times, only now cynically and dishonestly reporting on the Yemen war as part of a concerted campaign aimed at decoupling US culpability and leaving it entirely with Riyadh.


For years before the Khashoggi incident, the New York Times and others were more than content with burying and spinning news about Yemen, or not covering it at all.

US Media Pretends to Only Now Notice Saudi Atrocities, Omits US Role Underwriting Them

The Western media demonstrates its absolute contempt for the intelligence of its collective audience. Their sudden concern and feigned outrage aimed at Saudi Arabia tenuously papers over decades of Saudi atrocities both inside Saudi Arabia itself, and across the world through its key role in state sponsored terrorism.

A remarkable admission was made in the pages of the Washington Post in a March 2018 article titled, "Saudi prince denies Kushner is ‘in his pocket’." 


China's Hong Kong Mega Bridge Riles Former Colonialists

November 4, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Officially called the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge, the 55 kilometre-long bridge-tunnel is an engineering marvel physically connecting Hong Kong and Macau to China's mainland.


Beyond providing links to the mainland, the bridge helps form a wider bay area, connecting several cities, spurring the movement of tourists, workers and goods. 

Like the recently opened Hong Kong-mainland high-speed rail line, the bridge's completion has been met with widespread derision across Anglo-American media. No fault, real or imagined, escaped mention.

It is the political implications of the bridge's construction in particular that have riled China's former colonial concerns. The bridge is yet another very tangible example of Beijing exercising its sovereignty over all of its territory, including Hong Kong, taken back from the British and Macau taken back from the Portuguese.

Moscow has done likewise with the construction of the Crimean Bridge, exercising its sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula reunited with Russia. A similar storm of derision swept Anglo-American headlines.

Western Media Decries the rise of Chinese Sovereignty 

Encapsulating Anglo-American protests is the Washington Post's article, "The world’s longest bridge-tunnel brings China even closer to Hong Kong. Not everyone is pleased," which claims:
The bridge’s completion comes as China under Xi is extending its grip over Hong Kong, a city of 7.4 million that was given special status when it was handed back from the British to China in 1997. 

Under the “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong’s economic and political systems are supposed to remain untouched for 50 years — until 2047 — and distinct from mainland China’s, allowing the territory to retain its own government, judiciary, currency and so on. 
A flurry of infrastructure development, however, has served to physically bind the regions in a more tangible way. In late September, an $11 billion high-speed rail link opened between Hong Kong and mainland China, cutting the time between the territory and major Chinese cities.
Beijing is undeniably consolidating its control over these territories. They were taken from China by force by European, and later American invaders, occupied and only handed over once China began its rise to economic and military parity with the West. To this day, Washington and London attempt to exert influence over Hong Kong and more consequentially, through it, in efforts to politically undermine China's mainland as well.


But in according to the West's own maxim of might makes right, China's mega bridge represents a steel and concrete band tying these former colonial territories tighter to the mainland, squeezing out the last dwindling influence of these foreign interests.

The Washington Post and other articles across Anglo-American media referred to their reliable stable of "pro-democracy" politicians in Hong Kong to provide the illusion of local displeasure. As with the recent Hong Kong high-speed rail link, Claudia Mo, a Hong Kong politician and former AFP reporter, would decry the new bridge as Chinese encroachment on Hong Kong.


Does US Withdrawal from another Nuclear Treaty Really Benefit Russia?

October 31, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - No. Obviously Russia does not benefit from the scrapping of yet another treaty designed to prevent a nuclear exchange amid a war with the United States.


Yet, as an attempt to frame blatant US provocations as somehow "Russia's fault," a narrative has begun circulating - claiming that not only does the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty somehow benefit Russia - it was via Russia's "puppet" - US President Donald Trump - that saw the treaty scrapped.

Spreading this scurrilous narrative are political provocateurs like former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who has re-branded himself recently as a prominent anti-Trump voice - feeding into and feeding off of America's false left-right political paradigm.

In one post on social media, McFaul would claim:
Why can’t Trump leverage his close personal relationship with Putin to get Russia to abide by the INF Treaty?
In other posts, he would recommend followers to read commentary published by US corporate-financier funded think tank - the Brookings Institution - on how the US withdrawal "helps Russia and hurts US."

The commentary - penned by former US ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer - admitted that no evidence has been made public of supposed "Russian violations." It also admits that America's European allies - those who would be in range of Russian intermediate range missiles if deployed - have not raised a "stink" with the Kremlin, publicly or privately.

But Pifer claims that the US has no missiles to match those supposedly being developed by Russia, and even if it did, the US would have no where to place them - claiming that NATO, Japan, and South Korea would not allow the US to place such systems on their shores. This, he and McFaul suggest, is why the US' withdrawal from the treaty "benefits" Russia by granting it a monopoly over intermediate range missiles.

Washington's Other Withdrawals Prove Otherwise 

Yet the US has already withdrawn from treaties and twisted the arms of allies to allow newly developed missile systems to be deployed on their shores.

In the aftermath of Washington's unilateral withdrawal from another Cold War-era agreement - the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty scrapped by US President George Bush Jr. in 2002 - the US developed and deployed the Lockheed Martin ashore Aegis ballistic missile defense system in Europe along with the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense systems to South Korea - also manufactured by Lockheed Martin.


It is clear the unilateral treaty withdrawals under Bush and Trump, as well as the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems to Europe and East Asia under the Obama administration, represent a continuity of agenda regardless of who occupies the White House.

Coupled with these treaty withdrawals and the subsequent deployment of US missile systems to ring Russia and China - there has been a constant build-up of US troops directly on the borders of both nations.

While those claiming Russia has violated the INF Treaty - and has been doing so for "8 years" as claimed in a 2017 op-ed by US Senator Tom Cotton published in the Washington Post, it should be noted that 8 years previously, it would be revealed that in addition to the US placing Patriot missile systems along Russia's borders, plans for wider military deployments in the Baltic states were also in the works.