The US Institute of Peace... Promotes Endless Syrian War

January 15, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - An "independent national institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible," would be the last place you would expect to find calls for continued war.

Yet the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is just the place to go for exactly that.

In a recent article appearing on the USIP website titled, "What Does the U.S. Troop Withdrawal Mean for Syria?," USIP's senior adviser for Syria would claim the recently announced US troop withdrawal from Syria would "undermine U.S. interests in Syria and the broader region."

The article would claim:
A precipitous U.S. troop withdrawal will undermine critical U.S. interests in Syria. The U.S. troop presence serves as a key pre-condition for a newly invigorated U.S. Syria policy focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS, the withdrawal of Iran from Syria, and the rejuvenation of the Geneva Peace Process.

The USIP also claims:
...U.S. forces on the ground have also served as a key counterweight against Iran and Russia. In particular, this derivative benefit has countered further Iranian expansion into eastern Syria. Should the U.S. withdraw, Iran as well as Russia and the Assad regime will be well poised to exploit the vacuum that will be created.
In other words, the USIP insists that the end of America's illegal occupation and military campaign inside of Syria - not authorized by Congress as per the US Constitution and in violation of international law as per the UN Charter - is unfavorable because it would allow the internationally recognized, sovereign government of Syria to reassert control over its own territory.

The USIP article also insists that a US troop withdrawal would deprive the US "of leverage to rejuvenate the Geneva Peace Process." Or in other words - impair Washington's ability to shape the face of the Syrian government emerging post-war.

The USIP never explains why Washington is owed this unwarranted authority over Syria's internal political affairs.

The US Institute of "Peace," also claimed as an undesirable implication of a US troop withdrawal - the possibility of Syria's Kurds negotiating with Damascus - a key prerequisite for peace in Syria.

The article would complain:
The Kurds may decide they have no choice but to negotiate a deal with a regime, albeit on weaker terms than before.
Like the West's extensive, industrial-scale human rights racket, the US Institute of Peace is merely another means of selling Washington's agenda, couched behind nobler ideals - in this case - the notion of "peace."

An article defending an illegal invasion and occupation, denying Syria its own sovereign right to protect the territorial integrity of its nation, and even citing negotiations between conflicting parties within Syria as contradictory to US interests - directly contradicts USIP's supposed mission statement.

US Institute "of " Peace as Opposed to an Institute "for" Peace 

Nothing about USIP's article should come as a surprise. It has couched US regime change in Syria behind the notion of promoting "peace" for years. And before that, did so in Libya and numerous other US-led wars.

It was in 2012 that the USIP was busy preparing plans and even a constitution for what it had hoped was a soon-to-be divided and destroyed Syria in the same vein as Libya or Iraq was before it.

US Snatches Chinese Executive - Sets Dangerous Precedent

January 10, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Claiming that prominent Chinese telecommunications company Huawei had violated US sanctions on Iran - Canada was requested to arrest and hand over Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was transferring planes in Vancouver.

The arrest was described even by the Washington Post as "unusual" in its article titled, "Arrest of Huawei executive triggers stock market turmoil and unsettles U.S.-China trade talks."  

The article would also claim:
Meng was arrested on a U.S. extradition warrant because Huawei is suspected of evading American sanctions on Iran, according to multiple news reports. U.S. prosecutors have been investigating since 2016 whether Huawei violated U.S. export and sanctions laws by shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran. 
The arrest, on the same day President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping met for dinner in Buenos Aires for trade and national-security talks, is being viewed in China as politically motivated.
And very clearly the move made against Huawei - along with a barrage of similar legal moves made to cripple rising Chinese companies competing against their waning US counterparts - is politically motivated - as are the sanctions the US has imposed on Iran in the first place.

Part of a Wider Pattern of Trying to Provoke, Humiliate China  

Reuters in an article titled, "U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations: sources," would lay out previous examples of US attempts to cripple China's largest tech companies, claiming:
The probe of Huawei is similar to one that China’s ZTE Corp says is now threatening its survival.The United States last week banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. Washington accused ZTE of violating an agreement on punishing employees after the company illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran.
Nowhere on the websites of the US State Department, US Department of Treasury, or the US Justice Department is any information available regarding the alleged sanctions Huawei supposedly violated or how Huawei selling US technology to Iran allows the US to snatch Chinese citizens at Canadian airports.

China, for its part, has demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou. Chinese state media portal, the Global Times in an article titled, "China urges release of Huawei executive," would report:
Chinese officials are urging the US and Canada to clarify why Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive of Huawei Technologies, has been detained and to immediately release her, slamming the arrest as a violation of her rights. 

Experts said on Thursday that Meng's detention is a move by the US to heat up the ongoing trade war between China and the US.
The sudden and so far unexplained arrest on the same day US President Donald Trump and other high-level US representatives met with their Chinese counterparts in Buenos Aires, Argentina fits into a larger pattern of politically-motivated coercion, intimidation, and provocations that has increasingly dominated the shape of US foreign policy.

Snatching Foreign Executives for Violating Criminally-Motivated Sanctions 

The US sanctions against Iran themselves are transparently aimed at stripping Iran of its sovereignty and influence in the Middle East and transforming the nation into either a client state of US interests or a failed state allowing the US to springboard chaos and subversion into southern Russia and beyond.

The US has leveled a myriad of sanctions against Iran since 1979 in an attempt to cripple the nation's economy and collapse Iran's ruling political order.

US policymakers have openly and repeatedly admitted that Iran poses no actual security threat to the United States and that attempts to pursue regime change are aimed instead solely at enhancing Washington's unwarranted influence in the Middle East. They also have openly conspired to frame Iran through a number of schemes to justify Washington's agenda of regime change.

In a 2009 Brookings Institution report titled, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran," US policymakers would conspire to offer Iran a peace deal they then planned to intentionally walk away from while accusing Tehran of having violated it.

US NGO Teams Up with Gulf Terror Sponsor to Target Asia

January 4, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Fortify Rights is one of several fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) operating across Asia.

Such fronts are in actuality extensions of US and European "soft power." Fully funded by the US, British and various European governments as well as US and European corporate foundations like convicted financial criminal George Soros' Open Society, Fortify Rights positions itself as self-appointed arbiter regarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law at the heart of the sovereign internal political affairs of nations like Myanmar (still called Burma by many Western media organisations and politicians), Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Human Rights Org Partners with State Sponsor of Terrorism... 

Recently, Fortify Rights' founder American Matthew Smith announced a new and "exciting" partnership with Doha Debates. Doha Debates is a project of the Qatar Foundation which in turn was founded by the Al Thani family, the unelected rulers of Qatar, a notorious Middle Eastern dictatorship, abuser of human rights and state sponsor of terrorism.

The "exciting" partnership between Fortify Rights (a supposed human rights advocacy group) and the Qatari front "Doha Debates" is particularly troubling considering the area of cooperation involves Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority.

On Doha Debates' website it describes its partnership with Fortify Rights:
Together, Fortify Rights and Doha Debates are training a group of Rohingya refugees on the basics of photography and Instagram, and we are equipping them with mobile phones to document their lives in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, for an entire year. Through this partnership, Fortify Rights and Doha Debates hope to empower Rohingya refugees to share their stories with the world.

Despite the relatively benign stated nature of this partnership, it is troubling because it signals a possible vector through which money, training and even weapons can pass, behind a "human rights' façade, inflaming already tense ethnic troubles in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.

At the very least, influence operations by Fortify Rights and Qatar's "Doha Debates" could be used to further divide communities along ethnic lines while mounting pressure on Myanmar's government and military by exploiting the resulting chaos.

Fortify Rights founder Matthew Smith refused to respond to questions of how his supposed cause of advancing human rights is served by partnering with Doha Debates funded by a dictatorship and notorious state sponsor of terrorism. Smith regularly blocks critics on social media concerned with the nature of his organisation's activities, including many in Myanmar whom he claims he's "helping."

Western Media Takes Aim at China's OBOR

December 31, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - In recent months, American, Commonwealth and European media have taken aim at China. From fabricated stories of interment camps with "1 million" Uyghir Muslims being detained in them to a more recent New York Times article claiming to have "secret plans" revealing the military dimension of its One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR), the barrage has been heavy on innuendo and accusations but lacking concrete evidence.

Considering the scale of each accusation, it would be assumed a huge wealth of evidence existed to accompany them. After all, how would China hide a detention network detaining, torturing and executing a "million" people? Or develop complex defence systems with international partners in complete secret? 

Yet these stories circulating the West's most prominent newspapers, television networks and online portals aren't simply lacking in a wealth of evidence, they lack any evidence at all.

NYT Cites "Secret Plans," Provides no Evidence They Exist 

The New York Times in its article, "China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn," would claim China is pursing decidedly military objectives as part of its wider OBOR initiative. In the article's subtitle, it mentions a "secret plan to build new fighter jets."

The article itself claims:
Just two weeks later, the Pakistani Air Force and Chinese officials were putting the final touches on a secret proposal to expand Pakistan’s building of Chinese military jets, weaponry and other hardware. The confidential plan, reviewed by The New York Times, would also deepen the cooperation between China and Pakistan in space, a frontier the Pentagon recently said Beijing was trying to militarize after decades of playing catch-up. 

All those military projects were designated as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a $1 trillion chain of infrastructure development programs stretching across some 70 countries, built and financed by Beijing.

Yet, upon reading the entire article, no evidence, whatsoever, substantiates the claim that the OBOR initiative has taken a "military turn." There is also no evidence at all presented by the NYT that it has any sort of "secret plan" in its possession.

Repackaged Old News Conflated with OBOR = Smear    

China and Pakistan have longstanding military ties. China and Pakistan also are working together on infrastructure projects as part of China's wider OBOR initiative. NYT categorically fails to explain why two separate spheres of cooperation have been conflated by the newspaper.

Instead, NYT begins listing possible scenarios in which OBOR projects could be used militarily in the future. For example it claims:
A Chinese-built seaport and special economic zone in the Pakistani town of Gwadar is rooted in trade, giving China a quicker route to get goods to the Arabian Sea. But it also gives Beijing a strategic card to play against India and the United States if tensions worsen to the point of naval blockades as the two powers increasingly confront each other at sea.

This is clearly speculation on NYT's part, not drawn from "secret plans" the NYT reviewed, with the NYT not even attempting to claim otherwise.

Further into the article when Gwadar is mentioned again, it cites "military analysts," not a "confidential plan, reviewed by The New York Times." These analysts, the NYT reports, merely claimed Gwadar could be used to expand China's naval footprint.

The NYT's conjecture continues, this time regarding navigation satellites:
A less scrutinized component of Belt and Road is the central role Pakistan plays in China’s Beidou satellite navigation system. Pakistan is the only other country that has been granted access to the system’s military service, allowing more precise guidance for missiles, ships and aircraft. 

The cooperation is meant to be a blueprint for Beidou’s expansion to other Belt and Road nations, however, ostensibly ending its clients’ reliance on the American military-run GPS network that Chinese officials fear is monitored and manipulated by the United States.
The NYT intentionally adds the word "military" and includes "guidance for missiles, ships and aircraft" as examples for Beidou's use to depict this area of cooperation as sinister and militaristic. Yet even the average NYT reader must not only know satellite navigation has many significant civilian applications (food delivery, ordering taxis, road navigation, etc.) but they themselves probably use such applications on a daily basis.

The BBC in an article titled, "How China's GPS 'rival' Beidou is plotting to go global," would even admit:
Originally designed for the Chinese military to reduce reliance on the US-owned GPS, Beidou has turned into a commercial opportunity as its coverage has expanded.  
Last month, local authorities ordered 33,500 - about half of all taxis - in Beijing to install Beidou, and the Chinese government has set a goal that all new cars will be Beidou-guided by 2020.
So while Beidou will certainly be used for military applications just as America's GPS is used militarily worldwide, it will also be used commercially, again, just as America's GPS is. The NYT attempts to pass off the straightforward and well-known dual-nature of satellite navigation as a secret military conspiracy pursued by Beijing.

Despite the article's title claiming OBOR takes a "military turn," the article itself ends up drifting off topic and mainly discussing the risk of debt associated with the extensive non-military projects China and Pakistan are cooperating together on.

Secret Fighter Jets?!  

US Has Little to Offer Southeast Asia

December 29, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Any productive relationship between two nations must include mutual benefits for both. A proposed alliance that includes no incentive for a partner nation cannot otherwise move forward save for threats and coercion.

The United States and its "pivot toward Asia" is an ongoing demonstration of this simple reality. The US seeks primacy over Asia-Pacific (now often called Indo-Pacific to reflect wider US aspirations) yet offers very little to prospective partners except costly confrontation with China and any other nation in the region or around the globe impeding American hegemony.

Lacking incentives, the US instead pursues coercion through a massive regional network of opposition groups, agitators and even militants seeking to destabilise and piecemeal replace existing political orders with those obedient and dependent on Washington.

Western-leaning online magazine, The Diplomat, in an article written by Prashanth Parameswaran titled, "Strengthening the US-Thailand Alliance for an Indo-Pacific Future," attempts to sell a US-Thai alliance, minus any actual reason for Thailand to take part in it and omitting the very real coercion the US uses to pressure Thailand to reduce partnerships with other nations actually producing tangible benefits. 

Is there really a US-Thailand Alliance Past or Present?

Parameswaran cites the Cold War as the starting point for what he calls the "US-Thailand alliance." However, it was an alliance Thailand was given little choice to join. The alternative was joining instead the list of Southeast Asian states being mercilessly bombed amid Washington's ongoing war with Vietnam.

The article fails to mention any significant, specific examples of US-Thai relations since its hosting of US troops decades ago.

The article notes Thailand's growing ties with China.

These ties include the replacement of Thailand's military inventory of aging US hardware with Chinese main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and even submarines. It also includes Thai-Chinese infrastructure projects such as high-speed railways that will connect Thailand to China via Laos and the purchase of rolling stock for existing and planned domestic mass transportation networks.

None of these necessities Thailand seeks are on offer by the US save for weapons, but at a substantially higher monetary and political price Bangkok has no motivation or reason to pay.

Throughout the entirety of Parameswaran's article, no tangible project or area of cooperation between Thailand and the US is mentioned. Instead, ambiguous and otherwise meaningless terms like "meetings," "recalibrated ties" and "collaboration" are used in place where actual, tangible ties and specific projects should be listed and discussed.

Thailand's internal politics are also mentioned as a subject of "concern" for Washington, one area that is actually none of Washington's business, but one in which Washington has invested deeply.