Chinese-Thai Military Cooperation Expanding

September 18, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Recent news of Bangkok signing a 6.5 billion Thai Baht deal with China to procure a naval landing ship (a landing platform dock or LPD) further illustrates growing ties between Beijing and Bangkok in the sphere of military matters.



The Thai Royal Navy's only other ship of similar capabilities is the HTMS Angthong, built by Singapore, Bangkok Post reported.

The deal comes in the wake of several other significant arms acquisitions made by Bangkok in recent years including 39 Chinese-built VT-4 main battle tanks (with another batch of 14 being planned), China's Type-85 armoured personnel carriers and even the nation's first modern submarine made by China expected to be in service by 2023.

These are more than merely arms deals. The purchasing of sophisticated weapons systems like submarines and ships will require closer military cooperation between Beijing and Bangkok in order to properly train crews, transfer critical knowledge of maintaining the vessels and operate them at sea.

There are also joint Thai-Chinese weapon development programmes such as the DTI-1 multiple rocket launcher system.

The interoperability that is being created between Thai and Chinese armed forces (and arms industries) ensures ample opportunity for joint training exercises and weapon development programmes in the future, several of which have already been organised, with many more on the horizon.

The Myth of Thai Subservience to Washington 

Thailand is often labeled a close "non-NATO ally" of the United States by both the United States itself and many analysts still clinging to Cold War rhetoric.

However, today's Thailand is a nation that has significantly expanded its cooperation with China and not only in military matters, but across economic spheres as well.

Thailand's lengthy history of weathering Western colonisation that otherwise consumed its neighbours is a story of adeptly playing great powers against one another and ensuring no single nation held enough power or influence over Thailand to endanger its sovereignty. This is a balancing act that continues today, with Thailand avoiding major confrontations and overdependence on outsiders by attempting to cultivate a diversity of ties with nations abroad.

Thai cooperation with nations like the United States, particularly now, is done cynically and as a means to keep the US from investing too deeply in the disruptive regime-change methods it has aimed at other nations including neighbouring Myanmar but also distant nations like Syria and Libya ravaged by US meddling.

Despite these efforts to appease Washington, the US still backs opposition parties determined to overthrow the current Thai political order and replace it with one openly intent on rolling back progress between Thailand and its growing list of Eurasian partners, especially China.

What little the US has to offer has been reduced to deals bordering bribery, such as offering free military hardware.


"Drone Attack" on Saudi Oil - Who Benefits?

September 16, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Huge blazes were reported at two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia owned by Aramco. While Saudi authorities refused to assign blame, media outlets like the BBC immediately began insinuating either Yemen's Houthis or Iran were responsible. 


The BBC in its article, "Saudi Arabia oil facilities ablaze after drone strikes," would inject toward the top of its article:
Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen have been blamed for previous attacks.
Following an ambiguous and evidence-free description of the supposed attacks, the BBC even included an entire section titled, "Who could be behind the attacks?" dedicated to politically expedient speculation aimed ultimately at Tehran.

The BBC would claim:
Houthi fighters were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility last month and on other oil facilities in May.

The Iran-aligned rebel movement is fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen has been at war since 2015, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia backs President Hadi, and has led a coalition of regional countries against the rebels. 
The coalition launches air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.
Deliberately missing from the BBC's history lesson are several key facts, leaving readers to draw conclusions that conveniently propel the West's agenda versus Iran forward.

The US and Saudi Arabia vs. MENA

The war in Yemen was a result of US-backed regime change operations aimed at Yemen - along with Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Syria, and Egypt - starting in 2011.

Major hostilities began when the client regime installed by the US was ousted from power in 2015. Since then, the US and its Saudi allies have brutalized and ravaged Yemen triggering one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century.


The UN's own news service in an article titled, "Humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, warns UN," would admit:
An estimated 24 million people – close to 80 per cent of the population – need assistance and protection in Yemen, the UN warned on Thursday. With famine threatening hundreds of thousands of lives, humanitarian aid is increasingly becoming the only lifeline for millions across the country.
The cause of this catastrophe is the deliberate blockading of Yemen. Reuters in its article, "U.N. aid chief appeals for full lifting of Yemen blockade," would report:
The United Nations appealed on Friday to the Saudi-led military coalition to fully lift its blockade of Yemen, saying up to eight million people were “right on the brink of famine”.
Essentially - the United States - with the largest economy and most powerful military in the world - along with its allies in Riyadh - are attempting to erase an entire nation off the map through bombings, starvation, and disease.

Saudi aggression carried out on behalf of Washington isn't confined only to its war on Yemen. Saudi Arabia has played a key role in radicalizing, arming, and funding US-backed militants attempting to overthrow the government of Syria as well as extremist groups bent on destabilizing Iraq and even Iran itself.

Likewise, the militants who overran Libya in 2011 were drawn from extremist networks funded for decades by Riyadh. Thus, Saudi Arabia is not merely menacing neighboring Yemen, it is menacing the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and even beyond.

Saudi Arabia the Victim?  

The BBC's recent article attempting to portray Saudi-Yemeni hostilities as a tit-for-tat conflict rather than Yemen's desperate struggle for survival is yet another illustration of not only the West's hypocrisy in terms of upholding or in any way underwriting human rights, but also the Western media' complicity in advancing this hypocrisy.

Saudi Arabia is no victim.


The G7's Growing Irrelevance

September 13, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The Group of Seven (G7), comprised of the "most advanced economies in the world," includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 


It emerged in the 1970s. While it exists for supposedly many different and "important" reasons, it has functioned more as a Western-centric economic cartel than any sort of progressive international alliance.

For a relatively short time, the G7 included Russia, and was known then as the G8. But Russia's inclusion was aimed at forcing Russia, its people and resources under Western domination, not any sort of real effort to cultivate cooperation or inclusion with emerging economies like Russia's.

When it became clear that Russia was using its membership in the Group to advocate for its own best interests rather than falling into line, it was ousted.

While Russia seeks closer ties with the West to move costly and perhaps even dangerous conflict into the direction of healthy competition if not certain forms of cooperation, the G7's posture toward Russia and its attempts to frame it across the media illustrates exactly why the Group and the nations that comprise it, are losing their leadership role upon the global stage.

Western Leadership is Dying 

Articles like the Christian Science Monitor's "Disarray at G-7 summit: Is Western leadership dying, or adapting?," frame perfectly why there really is no question to whether or not Western leadership is dying. It is, and the West's inability to face this reality and the underlying reasons for its existence is precisely why it is.

The article claims:
When French President Emmanuel Macron declared it would be “pointless” to try to deliver the traditional final communique at the G-7 summit he hosted last weekend it prompted some to wonder if maybe the organization itself is pointless. 

Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies had been especially riven by conflicting perspectives on global issues from climate change to trade. 

But the larger question behind the doubts about the G-7 is whether a Cold War-era grouping based on common interests and values such as democracy, the rule of law, free markets, and human rights still has a global leadership role to play in the 21st century.
Anyone paying attention to anything members of the G7 are doing and their actions upon the global stage are well aware that "values" like democracy, the rule of law, free markets and human rights were always ever political mechanisms the West hid its otherwise self-serving agenda behind rather than stood for.

In reality, it is the toppling of governments around the globe, the subverting of national sovereignty, the literal invasions and occupations of various nations particularly under deliberately false pretexts, the mafia-style economics, the lopsided and predatory "free trade agreements" and the operation of a multinational, global-spanning network of torture facilities to process opponents of Western interests that defines "Western leadership" in the late 20th and now 21st century.

If the G7 cannot come to grips with the reality that its supposed values are now clearly seen by the world as a canard rather than as its compass, it cannot effectively address why its power and influence is in decline, saying nothing of its waning global leadership.

Moral leadership and a unity of purpose are two fundamentals that have always historically bound nations in pursuit of their endeavors. The G7 functions more like a tropism of perpetual expansion, lacking genuine purpose while hiding behind increasingly transparent "values."

Does anyone still truly believe Western leadership is predicated upon democracy, the rule of law, free markets and human rights? What evidence is there that suggests this?


US is Behind Hong Kong Protests Says US Policymaker

September 10, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The US continues to deny any involvement in ongoing unrest in China's special administrative region of Hong Kong.


However, even a casual look at US headlines or comments made by US politicians makes it clear the unrest not only suits US interests, but is spurred on almost exclusively by them.

The paradoxical duality of nearly open support of the unrest and denial of that support has led to headlines like the South China Morning Post's, "Mike Pompeo rebukes China’s ‘ludicrous’ claim US is behind Hong Kong protests." The article claims:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said it is “ludicrous” for China to claim the United States is behind the escalating protests in Hong Kong. 
Pompeo rebuked Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who had claimed violent clashes in the city prompted by opposition to the Hong Kong government’s controversial extradition bill were “the work of the US”.
However, even US policymakers have all but admitted that the US is funnelling millions of dollars into Hong Kong specifically to support "programs" there. The Hudson Institute in an article titled, "China Tries to Blame US for Hong Kong Protests," would admit:
A Chinese state-run newspaper’s claim that the United States is helping pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong is only partially inaccurate, a top foreign policy expert said Monday. 

Michael Pillsbury, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland the U.S. holds some influence over political matters in the region.
 The article would then quote Pillsbury as saying:
We have a large consulate there that’s in charge of taking care of the Hong Kong Policy Act passed by Congress to insure democracy in Hong Kong, and we have also funded millions of dollars of programs through the National Endowment for Democracy [NED] … so in that sense the Chinese accusation is not totally false.
A visit to the NED's website reveals an entire section of declared funding for Hong Kong specifically. The wording for program titles and their descriptions is intentionally ambiguous to give those like US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plausible deniability.

However, deeper research reveals NED recipients are literally leading the protests.

The South China Morning Post in its article, "Hong Kong protests: heavy jail sentences for rioting will not solve city’s political crisis, former Civil Human Rights Front convenor says," would report:
Johnson Yeung Ching-yin, from the Civil Human Rights Front, was among 49 people arrested during Sunday’s protest – deemed illegal as it had not received police approval – in Central and Western district on Hong Kong Island.
The article would omit mention of Johnson Yeung Ching-yin's status as an NED fellow. His profile is - at the time of this writing - still accessible on the NED's official website, and the supposed NGO he works for in turn works hand-in-hand with US and UK-based fronts involved in supporting Hong Kong's current unrest and a much wider anti-Beijing political agenda.

Johnson Yeung Ching-yin also co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post with Joshua Wong titled, "As you read this, Hong Kong has locked one of us away."


Wong has travelled to Washington DC multiple times, including to receive "honors" from NED-subsidiary Freedom House for his role in leading unrest in 2014 and to meet with serial regime-change advocate Senator Marco Rubio.


Southeast Asia Ignores US War on Huawei

September 7, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The Western media has begun complaining about Southeast Asia's collective decision to move forward with 5G network technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei despite US demands that nations ban all Huawei products.


These demands are predicated on clearly fabricated security threats surrounding Huawei technology. The US itself is a global leader of producing hardware with hidden backdoors and other security flaws for the purpose of spying worldwide.

Instead, the US is clearly targeting the telecom giant as part of a wider campaign to cripple China economically and contain its ability to contest US global hegemony.

Media Disinformation Serves the War on Huawei 

 Articles like Reuters' "Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as U.S. urges allies to bar Chinese gear," in title alone confounds informed readers.

The article's author, Patpicha Tanakasempipat, fails to explain in which ways the US is "allies" with any of the nations of Southeast Asia, including Thailand. The history of US activity in Southeast Asia has been one of coercion, interference, intervention, colonisation and protracted war.

As US power has faded, it has resorted to "soft power," with its most recent "pivot to Asia" being accompanied by several failed attempts to overthrow regional governments and replace them with suitable proxies.

Considering this, and a complete lack of suitable US alternatives to Huawei's products, there is little mystery as to why the region as a whole has ignored US demands regarding Huawei.

The article claims:
Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks.

Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded.
Patpicha fails categorically to cite any evidence substantiating US claims. She also fails categorically to point out that there is in fact a glaring lack of evidence behind US claims, just as many other articles across the Western media have predictably and purposefully done.

Vietnam, the Outlier 

The one exception in Southeast Asia is Vietnam. It has sidestepped considering Huawei in favour of US-based Qualcomm and Scandinavian companies Nokia and Ericsson. While the Vietnamese government said its decision was based on technical concerns rather than geopolitics, a Bloomberg article quoted the CEO of state-owned telecom concern, Viettel Group, who claimed:
We are not going to work with Huawei right now. It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.
The same article would also cite supposed experts who claim Vietnam seeks closer ties with the US in countering China's growing stature upon the global stage, and ultimately folded to US demands because of this.

This however is unlikely. Vietnam - among all of Southeast Asia's nations - is not an "ally" of Washington.

The US waged a bloody war against Vietnam at the cost of 4 million lives. The nation still bears the burden of chemical warfare through persistent birth defects as well as swaths of land covered in unexploded ordnance. To this day the US maintains a stable of opposition groups it funds to pressure and coerce the Vietnamese government. The US also invests in groups fanning anti-Chinese sentiment inside Vietnam.

Considering this, Vietnam, by spurning Huawei at the moment, is more likely cynically playing the US and China off one another with this particular move aimed at currying leverage over Beijing and favour with Washington, while at other junctures, Vietnam has made moves to gain leverage over Washington while cultivating closer ties with Beijing.

Not Just Thailand

The same Bloomberg article would note:
Vietnam’s decision to shun Huawei appears to make it an outlier in Southeast Asia, where other countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia are open to deploying Huawei’s technology.
The irony of this is that the Philippines in particular has been touted by Washington as one of its key partners in provoking China over its claims in the South China Sea. Not only has Manila repeatedly sabotaged or undermined Washington's efforts in the South China Sea deciding to bilaterally deal with Beijing instead and without US help, it is now openly ignoring US demands to dump Huawei technology.