Protecting Information Space from Facebook's Tyranny

August 19, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The recent attack aimed at New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and several of its authors once again exposes the infinite hypocrisy of US and European interests including across their media and among their supposed human rights advocates.


It also exposes the severe threat that exists to the national security of nations around the globe who lack control over platforms including social media used by their citizens to exchange information.

This lack of control over a nation's information space is quickly becoming as dangerous as being unable to control and protect a nation's physical space/territory.

Facebook's Tyranny  

NEO and at least one of its contributors had their Facebook and Twitter accounts deleted and were accused of "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to Facebook's "newsroom."

Their statement reads:
In the past week, we removed multiple Pages, Groups and accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.

It also reads:
We removed 12 Facebook accounts and 10 Facebook Pages for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Thailand and focused primarily on Thailand and the US. The people behind this small network used fake accounts to create fictitious personas and run Pages, increase engagement, disseminate content, and also to drive people to off-platform blogs posing as news outlets. They also frequently shared divisive narratives and comments on topics including Thai politics, geopolitical issues like US-China relations, protests in Hong Kong, and criticism of democracy activists in Thailand. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that some of this activity was linked to an individual based in Thailand associated with New Eastern Outlook, a Russian government-funded journal based in Moscow.
In this single statement, Facebook reveals about itself that it, and it alone, decides what is and isn't a "news outlet."

Apparently the blogs the deleted Facebook pages linked to were "not" news outlets, though no criteria was provided by Facebook nor any evidence presented that these links did not meet whatever criteria Facebook used.

While Facebook claims that it did not delete the accounts based on their content, they contradicted themselves by clearly referring to the content in their statement as "divisive narratives and comments" which clearly challenged narratives and comments established by Western media organizations.

The statement first accuses the pages of "coordinated inauthentic behavior," but then admits they were only able to link the pages to a single individual in Thailand. How does a single person "coordinate" with themselves? Again, Facebook doesn't explain.

Finally, Facebook reveals that any association at all with Russia is apparently grounds for deletion despite nothing of the sort being included in their terms of service nor any specific explanation of this apparent policy made in their statement. New Eastern Outlook is indeed a Russian journal.

Other governments, especially the United States, fund journals and media platforms not only in the United States, but around the globe. Facebook and Twitter, for example, have not deleted the accounts of the virtual army of such journals and platforms funded by the US government funded and directed via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

NED-funded operations often operate well outside of the United States, while NEO is based in Russia's capital, Moscow. NED-funded operations often don't disclose their funding or affiliations.

Ironically, the accounts Facebook deleted in Thailand were proficient at exposing this funding to the public.

The bottom line here is that Facebook is a massive social media platform. It is also clearly very abusive, maintaining strict but arbitrary control over content on its networks, detached even from their own stated terms of service. It is a form of control that ultimately and clearly works in favor of special interests in Washington and against anyone Washington declares a villain.

Facebook would be bad enough as just a massive US social media platform, but the real problem arises considering its global reach.

Looking at Information Space as we do Physical Space 

A nation's information space is a lot like its physical space (or territory). The people of a nation operate in it, conduct commerce, exchange information, report news, and carry out a growing number of other economically, socially and politically important activities there. It is not entirely unlike a nation's physical space where people conduct these same sort of activities.


A nation's physical space would never be surrendered to a foreign government or corporation to control and decide who can and cannot use it and how it is used. But this is precisely what many nations around the globe have done regarding their information space.


US Meddling Continues in Cambodia, But With Setbacks

August 15, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Two Cambodian employees of US government-funded "Radio Free Asia" (RFA) face espionage charges for continuing to work for the foreign information operation even after the Cambodian government ordered it closed.


Qatari state media, Al Jazeera, in their article, "Espionage trial of two former RFA journalists starts in Cambodia," would report:
Former Radio Free Asia (RFA) reporters Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were arrested in November 2017 after a late-night police raid on an apartment rented by the former. They were accused of supplying a foreign state with information, a charge that carries a prison sentence of between seven and 15 years. 

RFA, which is funded by the government of the United States, had closed its operations in Cambodia shortly before the arrests. The outlet was known for its critical coverage of the Cambodian government, including frequent reports on corruption and illegal logging.
Al Jazeera also admitted:
Both Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin admitted at Friday's hearing that they had continued sending videos and information to RFA after it had shut down, but they denied that this constituted espionage.
Human Rights Watch's (HRW) deputy Asia director Phil Robertson would make a statement published on the organisation's site claiming:
Chhin and Sothearin should never have had to face these bogus espionage charges, and all judicial restrictions on them should be lifted.
HRW's Robertson made these comments unironically after celebrating and making excuses for Facebook and Twitter's censorship of accounts and individuals critical of Western impropriety (including the dubious, often hypocritical work of HRW itself) worldwide.

Cambodian courts vowed to ignore the demands of foreign organisations like HRW, insisting instead they would use evidence and Cambodian law to reach a verdict, RFA's own article on the story reported.

US Meddling in Cambodia Was Extensive 

Amid continued hysteria and accusations of "Russian interference" levelled by the United States and its various functionaries against any and all opponents worldwide, the US itself has been involved in meddling in Cambodia's internal political affairs extensively.

Far from merely funding information operations like RFA, Voice of America and Cambodia Daily Cambodia has since shut down or co-opted, the US literally ran an entire political party with members operating out of Washington DC itself. It protected these proxies  from well-earned accusations and charges of sedition with fronts posing as "human rights" organisations also funded by the US government.

Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha openly admitted to Washington's role in propping up his party and its bid to seize power in Cambodia not through elections, but through the same sort of destructive colour revolutions that have swept through Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.


US Walks Away From Southeast Asia Summit Empty-Handed

August 13, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) -  A recent meeting of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened in Bangkok, Thailand and attended by representatives from China, Russia and even the United States, provides us with a clear indicator of how power and influence are being shaped across wider Asia and even globally.


Headlines like the Associated Press', "Pompeo ends frustrating Bangkok visit," gives a good feel for how, at least for Washington, the meeting went and how the region responded to Washington's "plans" for it.

The article would note: 
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Thailand on Saturday with his hopes for resuming nuclear talks with North Korea dashed, while facing an escalating trade war with China and a potentially devastating breakdown in relations between key American allies Japan and South Korea.
Another article published just ahead of the meetings would better frame US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's (and Washington's) agenda. The LA Times', "Pompeo seeks to restore U.S. influence in Southeast Asia amid China’s rise," would report:
Against a backdrop of China’s rising economic and military power, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrived in the Thai capital of Bangkok this week with a difficult mission: Try to win back lost ground in Southeast Asia, a region once dominated by the U.S.
The article would continue:
Pompeo is also attempting to solidify another initiative of his tenure: creation of the so-called Indo-Pacific region, which portends to redraw boundaries to stretch from the U.S. West Coast to Japan, down through Southeast Asia to Australia and west across another ocean to India. It is replacing the familiar Asia-Pacific region and incorporates India (while sidelining Pakistan) to expand U.S. heft against China. 
China has not been shy about pouring tens of billions of dollars into infrastructure projects as part of its mammoth Belt and Road initiative, promising to boost transport systems and connectivity to help drive a sustained period of growth and stepping in where the U.S. often isn’t. 

Thanks in part to China’s investment, the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has posted a combined economic-output growth of 50% in the last decade. 
The LA Times would then attempt to cite "backlash" across the region, but upon closer examination, things like Malaysia "cancelling" One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects with China were more about negotiating better agreements rather than cancelling them.

The Diplomat in an article from April this year titled, "Malaysia: Revised China Deal Shows Costs Were Inflated," helps explain how the Chinese-Malaysian "row" was blown out of proportion by many in the Western media and how the project is once again moving forward.

Despite this renegotiating having long-since taken place, the LA Times and other media outlets are still trying to portray various countries in Southeast Asia as "opposed" to China or having cancelled deals that are still very much moving forward.

The LA Times also tries to cite disputes in the South China Sea, another area of conflict cultivated by Washington with even the nations it is supposedly "defending" dragging their feet on initiatives Washington had hoped would divide the region and isolate Beijing.

The LA Times does finally admit:
Many Southeast Asian governments have also recoiled at what they see as U.S. efforts to force them to take sides in the trade dispute with China. 

Apart from Vietnam, no country in the region has agreed to join the U.S. boycott of Huawei, despite the Trump administration’s warnings that the U.S. could cease sharing sensitive information with countries that use the company’s technology. 
Not only has ASEAN rejected US demands regarding Huawei and other coercive polices designed to divide the region and set back joint development, the LA Times quotes Western policymakers who have no choice but to admit the US has no alternatives to offer the region.

From Coercion to Pan-Handling 

Thailand in particular has suffered years of coercion from Washington in a bid to roll back Thai-Chinese relations.


Opposition or Terrorists: Who is Syria and Russia Bombing in Idlib?

August 12, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Scott Lucas - a professor at the University of Birmingham UK - would decry with the rest of the Western media - resumed joint military operations carried out by Syria and Russia in and around the northwestern governorate of Idlib.


Reuters in their article, "Syrian army resumes military operations against rebels in northwest Syria," would claim:
The Syrian army said on Monday it was resuming military operations in a Russian-led campaign in northwest Syria that has uprooted tens of thousands and killed hundreds, blaming Turkey for not abiding by its commitments under a truce deal.
Both Lucas and Reuters - like many other Western media fronts and personalities - are careful never to fully characterize who the "opposition" actually consists of - instead attempting to imply Syria and Russia are waging war on civilians and "moderate rebels." 

When asked by journalist Peter Hitchens to give a run down on who the Syrian opposition actually was, Lucas in a post on social media would respond:
Hi, Peter! #Syria situation, across not only northwest but northeast, is web of local councils, local military groups, and local activist organizations to provide services. You'll need to specify a particular area, such as a town or city in #Idlib or #Hama Province.
Yet the accompanying picture Lucas used to illustrate his point was of a meeting organized by the IHH (Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief). IHH is based in Turkey and is by no means "local."



IHH is also linked directly to Al Qaeda, serving as a logistical support network for the terrorist organization, merely couching itself behind its humanitarian mission statement.


US Leaves INF Because "Russia," But Points Missiles at China

August 9, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - We're told that the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty singed in 1987 between the US and Soviet Union was based on claims that Russia had violated it.



While we continue waiting for Washington to provide evidence to prove these claims, the US itself admitted it had already long begun developing missiles that violated the treaty. 

A February 2018 Defense One article titled, "Pentagon Confirms It’s Developing Nuclear Cruise Missile to Counter a Similar Russian One," admitted that:
The U.S. military is developing a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile to counter a similar Russian weapon whose deployment violates an arms-control treaty between Moscow and Washington, U.S. officials said Friday. 

The officials acknowledged that the still-under-development American missile would, if deployed, also violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Just as the US did when it unilaterally walked away from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, the goal is to blame Russia for otherwise indefensible and incremental provocations aimed at Moscow. For example, after the US walked away from the ABM Treaty in 2002, the US began deploying anti-missile systems across Europe.

But if Russia is the problem, why did the US also begin deploying similar missiles in Asia?

It is Washington's goal of hemming in its competitors anywhere and everywhere that is at the heart of these serial treaty terminations, not any particular "violation" on Moscow's part.

China Too   

That the US already had missiles under development that would undoubtedly violate the INF Treaty before it accused Russia of such violations, is one indicator of Washington's true intentions. Another is the fact Washington is rushing to encircle China with both defensive and offensive missile systems as well.

China is not a signatory of either the ABM Treaty or the INF Treaty. Its missiles are deployed strictly within its mainland territory with no plans by Beijing to deploy them anywhere else in the future.

The only threat they pose is to any nation that decides to wage war on China, in or around Chinese territory.

Washington's behavior post-INF Treaty indicates that it was its intent to violate the treaty all along, creating the same precarious security crisis in Asia the treaty sought to prevent in Europe.