De-Listed Anti-China Terror Group “Rises from the Dead”

September 23, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - Suspicions were raised when in late 2020 the US de-listed as a terrorist organization the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), sometimes referred to as the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP).


This was because the US had claimed as its rationale that the ETIM/TIP had not been active for over a decade despite the US itself admitting to striking ETIM/TIP targets in Afghanistan as recently as 2018, just 2 years before the de-listing.

A 2020 Guardian article titled, “US removes shadowy group from terror list blamed by China for attacks,” for example, would note:

In a notice in the Federal Register, which publishes new US laws and rules, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday he was revoking the designation of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a “terrorist organization.”

“ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist,” a state department spokesperson said.

The US State Department spokesperson’s claim went unchallenged by The Guardian despite the paper itself having written a 2013 article as recently as 7 years ago from the US de-listing of ETIM/TIP titled, “Islamist group claims responsibility for attack on China’s Tiananmen Square,” which reported:

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) is the first group to claim responsibility for the attack on 28 October, when a four-wheel drive vehicle ploughed through a group of pedestrians near the iconic square in central Beijing, crashed into a stone bridge and caught fire, killing five people and injuring dozens. Chinese authorities quickly identified the driver as Uighur, a Muslim ethnic minority hailing from Xinjiang, a sparsely populated, restive region in the country’s far north-west.

Not only does the article indicate the US State Department lied in its claim the terrorist organization has been inactive for over a decade, it also illustrates the very real terrorist threat China faces nationwide from Xinjiang-based terrorist organizations.

The US government and the Western media in general have, for years now depicted security policies carried out by Beijing to counter this threat as “genocide.”

ETIM/TIP “Back from the Dead”

Considering all of this it should come as no surprise then when US-based Newsweek published an article in September of this year titled, “Exclusive: Despite China’s Pressure on Taliban, Uyghur Separatists See Opportunity in Afghanistan,” in which the “non-existent” ETIM/TIP’s spokesperson was interviewed by US media.

AUKUS vs China: Inching Toward War

September 21, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - Australia, the UK and the US announced the formation of “AUKUS,” an amalgamation of the three nation’s initials, as a tripartite “defense alliance.”

Despite claims that the alliance is aimed at no particular country (and no particular country was mentioned during its announcement), the Western media has not reported it as such, and China – the obvious target of this “AUKUS” alliance – doesn’t perceive it as such.

The Guardian in its article, “Alliance with Australia and US a ‘downpayment on global Britain’,” would explicitly state:

 Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy is taking shape, and the early moves are hardly very surprising: a tripartite defence alliance with the US and Australia – handily compressed to Aukus – clearly designed to send a message to Beijing.

Chinese state media, Global Times, would make it abundantly clear that China understood this with a headline reading, “AUKUS another hostile signal to China, worsens Asia-Pacific security.”

AUKUS begins with the three nations announcing plans to design, develop, and deliver nuclear-powered attack submarines to Australia, which currently has 6 Collins-class diesel electric submarines delivered between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

The abovementioned Guardian article noted that Rolls Royce and BAE Systems would likely win contracts as part of this deal. Considering the 18 month period the Guardian reported would be used to plan this process and the several years it takes for BAE Systems to build and commission nuclear-powered submarines, Australia may put these new submarines into service around 2030.

The Price of this New Alliance

As an extra caveat, and perhaps warning to Australia, the new deal is likely to result in a French-Australian submarine deal falling through. Worth 65.6 billion US dollars, this will not be the first time US machinations have cost Paris dearly. In 2015 France was forced to reimburse Russia when it failed to deliver two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships after Paris was pressured to cancel the deal by Washington.

The adage, “no honor among thieves,” comes to mind. France, an eager accomplice in Washington’s various wars of aggression since the turn of the century now finds itself on the receiving end of American exceptionalism. France’s misfortunes today will almost certainly be Australia’s tomorrow as “AUKUS” runs its course.

North Korea’s New Cruise Missile: Built to Threaten or Because of Threats?

September 14, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - North Korea’s recent demonstration of an indigenously developed cruise missile has provided another opportunity for the United States to perform its own demonstration, one of its inexhaustible hypocrisy upon the global stage. It is also another opportunity to examine the real reason the US continues to maintain nearly 30,000 troops on the Korean Peninsula.

The US State Department’s Voice of America in an article titled, “N. Korea Tests Long Range Cruise Missile Designed to Evade Defenses,” would report:

North Korea has conducted its first missile test in about six months. The long-range cruise missile being tested could give Pyongyang another way to evade its neighbors’ missile defenses, say analysts.

The “newly-developed long-range cruise missiles” flew 1,500 kilometers over North Korean territory before successfully hitting their targets, North Korean state media reported Monday.

The article would also note Washington’s reaction, claiming:

In a statement, the US military said it was aware of the reported launches and is monitoring and consulting closely with its allies and partners.

“This activity highlights DPRK’s continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community,” the statement read.

North Korea has not fought a war since hostilities ended during the Korean War. The United States, on the other hand, has since waged multiple wars of aggression including the highly destructive Vietnam War ravaging all of Indochina, and in the 21st Century, the illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, the US-led military campaign against Libya, and multiple proxy wars the US has waged through its allies including the destructive, still ongoing conflict in Yemen all but fought by America itself through its Saudi allies.

Considering America’s track record, North Korea having 30,000 US troops sitting on its border with South Korea is clearly justification enough to pursue a wide scale defense program aimed at preventing Pyongyang from joining the long and always growing list of victims of US military aggression.

East vs. West: Two Approaches to Dealing with Extremism

 September 11, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - The New York Times in its September 3, 2021 article, “New Zealand Police Kill ‘Extremist’ Who Stabbed 6 in ISIS-Inspired Attack,” would report that a Sri Lankan national injured 6 people before being shot to death by police.

 The article revealed that the suspect arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and has been “known to security forces since 2016.” The article added that New Zealand security agencies had the suspect under constant monitoring. Other articles revealed that his prompt death at the hands of police 60 seconds after his stabbing spree began was the result of a “surveillance team” being on hand at the time of the attack.

The New York Times itself would report:

Surveillance teams were as close as they could possibly be at the time of the stabbings, said Andrew Coster, New Zealand’s police commissioner.

“The reality is that when you are surveilling someone on a 24/7 basis, it is not possible to be immediately next to them at all times,” Commissioner Coster said. “The staff intervened as quickly as they could, and they prevented further injury in what was a terrifying situation.”

Ms. Ardern added, “We used every element and lever in the law that was available.”

No explanation was given as to why an individual deemed so dangerous that they were assigned an armed surveillance team to watch over them 24/7 was allowed to roam freely in public for years, exposing an unwitting population to the inevitability of extreme and potentially deadly violence.

The senseless violence was only further compounded by a senseless policy of allowing known extremists to roam freely in public – unbeknownst to the public itself – serving as a living, ticking time bomb.

The tragedy in New Zealand is made worse still when considering the US and its allies have created the conditions for the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) to rise, with the US government itself identifying its own allies as chief state-sponsors of ISIS (banned in Russia) – and with evidence emerging (including a leaked 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency memo) that the US itself sought to use the terrorist organization in Washington’s proxy war on the Syrian government to create a “Salfist principality” in eastern Syria.

US-Singapore Relations: Being of Use vs. Being Used

September 8, 2021 (Brian Berletic - NEO) - The tiny Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore serves as a sort of bellwether for a multitude of trends from economics to geopolitics. The Singaporean government is able to quickly and flexibly adapt to changing trends, more so than anywhere else, because of its small size – an advantage that Singapore enjoys and which compensates for its many disadvantages as a small city-state of only 5.7 million people.

The most recent example of Singapore’s role as an economic and geopolitical bellwether was during US Vice President Kamala Harris’ tour of several Southeast Asian nations including Singapore. The visit itself, as well as how Western and Chinese media covered it, speaks volumes to the changes we are seeing in the Indo-Pacific region and how well or poorly America’s strategy of encircling and containing China is going.

Let’s first look at how the Western media covered Vice President Harris’ visit to Singapore.

AP in its article, “Harris meets with Singapore officials to begin Asia visit,” would begin by claiming:

The White House on Monday announced a series of new agreements with Singapore aimed at combating cyberthreats, tackling climate change, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating supply chain issues. The announcements coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the region, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to counter Chinese influence there.

The article spends several paragraphs describing otherwise ambiguous “partnerships” and “agreements” discussed, made, or deepened during the visit and then doubled down on emphasizing “countering China,” saying:

Harris’ Southeast Asian trip, which brings Harris to Singapore and then later to Vietnam this week, is aimed at broadening cooperation with both nations to offer a counterweight to China’s growing influence in the region.

The article notes that Singapore hosts a US naval presence but that it also seeks to maintain strong ties with China. This is not surprising as over 70% of Singapore’s population is Chinese and Chinese citizens have been coming to Singapore for years to study and work and more importantly, learn from Singapore’s technocratic and meritocratic style of governance.