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.

West's "Fake News" Begins to Backfire

September 5, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Western special interests have used the term "fake news" as a pretext for widening censorship, particularly across US-based social media networks like Facebook and Twitter as well as across Google's various platforms.

In a move of political judo, many nations are citing the threat of "fake news" to in turn deal with media platforms, often funded and supported by the US and Europe, operating within their borders and often targeting sitting governments to either coerce or unseat them in pursuit of Western interests.

A recent example of this is in Thailand where the government has announced plans for measures to combat what is being called "fake news."

A Bangkok Post article titled, "Digital Economy and Society Ministry outlines fake news crackdown," would report:
The Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DE) is seeking to counter fake information shared online through the Line app because urgent issues could potentially incite mass public misunderstanding.
The article also makes mention of the Thai government's plans to approach tech-giants like Facebook, Line and Google, urging each to establish offices in Thailand for the specific purpose of confronting "fake-news."

Facebook and Google already have a well-oiled process of identifying and removing content both platforms deem "fake news" or "coordinated, disingenuous behaviour," but this is a process that focuses solely on deleting narratives from their networks that challenge US interests. Both platforms, as well as Twitter, are more than happy to otherwise allow false narratives aimed at governments around the world to flourish with impunity.

The offices the Thai government seeks to establish are described as a shortcut for the Thai government to contact these foreign tech companies and spur them into action. However, similar arrangements have already been tried with mixed results and ultimately, with large foreign tech-giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter enjoying net influence over Thailand's information space at the Thai government's and the Thai people's expense.

West's "Humanitarian" Claims Struggle as Syrian War Nears Endgame

September 2, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Headlines emanating from the West regarding Syria's ongoing war have a common theme - allegations of Syria and Russia's "ruthless barrage" of the northern region of Idlib.

So often - however - has the US and its allies falsely invoked "humanitarian concern" that these headlines fall on informed and discerning ears who not only reject it, but have cemented in their minds a familiarity with this ploy that will make it all but impossible to use it again on whatever battlefield the US shifts its foreign policy to next.

Like a Broken Record

CBS in its article, "Syrians trapped by Assad's ruthless Russian-backed barrage in Idlib beg for help," peddles an all-too-familiar narrative of helpless, innocent civilians in desperate need of "help." That "help," of course always comes in the form of US intervention and the eventual, total destruction of the nation as was the case for Libya in 2011.

The article claims:
More than three million people are trapped under a Syrian bombing campaign as Bashar Assad battles to reclaim the last enclave held by rebels in his country. Idlib is the only remaining opposition stronghold after eight grueling years of civil war.
There are no "rebels" or "opposition" in Idlib. There are - however - legions of militants operating under the banners of Al Qaeda, the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS), and their various affiliates.

These terrorists are the recipients of foreign arms and support - and many of them are not even themselves Syrian - making CBS' claims that Syria's conflict is a "civil war" wholly inaccurate.

Far from Syrian or Russian "propaganda," the fact that Idlib has been occupied by terrorists and not "rebels" is one admitted by the Western media itself - and a fact admitted to since the region first fell to foreign-armed terrorists.

The Associated Press in its 2015 article titled, "Assad Loses Final Idlib Stronghold to Al Qaeda-led Insurgents," would report:
After a two-year siege, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and other insurgents on Wednesday captured the one remaining Syrian army air base in Idlib, a development that activists said effectively expelled the last of President Bashar al-Assad’s military from the northwestern province. 
From the moment Idlib fell, throughout its occupation by terrorist forces, and up to the current Syrian assault to liberate Idlib, it is - by the West's own admission - terrorists that Syrian and Russian forces are fighting.

The collective attempt by the Western media to sidestep this fact - a fact they themselves have previously acknowledged and reported on - is aimed at condemning and impeding ongoing security operations organized by Damascus in Idlib. 

Still Trying to Sell US Intervention 

The CBS article - like many examples of Western war propaganda - after deceiving readers as to who Syrian forces are fighting in Idlib - makes the case for US intervention, claiming:
In the aftermath, one woman screamed hysterically at a news camera, begging for an American intervention. 
"We are getting killed every day," she cried. "Mr. Trump, please, please stop this!" 
But there is no help.
Like many of the West's narratives, CBS' story depends on readers believing without any evidence that not only did their "witness" really exist and said what CBS claims they said, but really begged the US to intervene despite seeing what US interventions have done everywhere else in the region over the past two decades.

Extra irony can be drawn from CBS' reporting - considering that the US itself has carried out airstrikes and drone attacks on Idlib over the years as well.