Continuity of Agenda: Trump's "Fire and Fury" Brewed Under Bush, Obama

August 12, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The United States has issued a provocative threat to North Korea of "fire and fury." Following it up, the Guardian would report in its article, "Trump on North Korea: maybe 'fire and fury' wasn't tough enough threat," further threats being made:
Donald Trump has issued another provocative warning to North Korea, suggesting that his threat to unleash “fire and fury” on the country was not “tough enough”. 

The US president told reporters that North Korea “better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world”.
The Guardian never explores precisely what "trouble" was being referred to or the other "few nations" the US was hinting at.


However, the threats come amidst a barrage of familiar talking points, fearmongering, and fabrications that have proceeded all of America's military aggression worldwide - most notably Iraq in which "intelligence" was intentionally fabricated to bait Americans and the world into a devastating war with that cost over 1 million lives, trillions of dollars, and the effects of which are still being felt both in Iraq and throughout the Middle East today.

The Conflict with Korea Didn't Start Under Trump 

The Guardian and others across the Western media fail to place these most recent threats by the US against North Korea into a larger context regarding US-Korean relations, which stretch back to post-World War II and the Korean War which - officially - is only observing a sometimes fragile armistice yet to be fully resolved.

The South Korean government, as noted by The Week's article, "It's time for the U.S. military to leave South Korea," takes full advantage of America's military presence, using its resources to influence Asia regionally instead of tending to its own defense against threats - real or imagined - from its northern neighbor.

More likely, this arrangement is preferred by the US who uses the client regime occupying Seoul as a vector and proxy for US influence and policy throughout Asia, much in the same way it manipulates and interferes in the Middle East through proxies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and Turkey.

In order to justify and perpetuate America's presence not only on the Korean Peninsula, but in Asia itself, the US and its South Korean partners have repeatedly and intentionally encircled and provoked North Korea - not only in terms of rhetoric and in the form of military drills - but through active attempts to infiltrate and overthrow the government.

Ongoing Attempts at Destabilization and Regime Change

The US State Department through fronts posing as charities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have attempted to flood North Korea with media aimed at undermining political stability in the country.


Facing Defeat in Syria, ISIS Inexplicably Expands Globally

August 11, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Throughout human history, when a military force and its economic center has been defeated, it contracts, then collapses. For the first time in human history, the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS), has managed to reverse this fundamental aspect of reality - but not without help.


Facing defeat in Syria as government forces backed by its Russian and Iranian allies close in on the terrorist organization, stripping it of territory it seized, it has managed to spread far beyond Syria's borders, establishing itself in Libya, Afghanistan, and even as far as Southeast Asia where it has seized an entire city in the Philippines' south, and carried out attacks and conducting activities everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia to allegedly Thailand's deep south.

It should be remembered, according to Western governments and their media, the territory ISIS holds in Syria is allegedly providing it with the summation of its financial resources and thus the source of its fighting capacity. According to official statements, the US and its European allies allege that ISIS fuels its fighting capacity with "taxes" and extortion as well as black market oil sales - all of which are derived from territory it holds in Syria.

The Washington Post in a 2015 article titled, "How the Islamic State makes its money," would note:
Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel — all of these things cost money. The recent terrorism attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State has claimed as its own work, suggest the terrorist organization hasn't been hurting for funding. David Cohen, the Treasury Department's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, described the Islamic State last October as "probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted" — deep pockets that have allowed the group to carry out deadly campaigns in Iraq, Syria and other countries. 
To explain where ISIS actually makes its money, the Washington Post claims:
Unlike many terrorist groups, which finance themselves mainly through wealthy donors, the Islamic State has used its control over a territory that is roughly the size of the U.K. and home to millions of people to develop diversified revenue channels that make it more resilient to U.S. offensives.
The Washington Post would also claim:
 Its main methods of generating money appear to be the sale of oil and antiquities, as well as taxation and extortion. And the group's financial resources have grown quickly as it has captured more territory and resources: According to estimates by the Rand Corporation, the Islamic State's total revenue rose from a little less than $1 million per month in late 2008 and early 2009 to perhaps $1 million to $3 million per day in 2014.
With this territory quickly shrinking and the intensity of fighting against what remains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq expanding, it is seemingly inexplicable as to how ISIS is expanding globally, instead of contracting and collapsing.

The Washington Post's already implausible thesis regarding ISIS finances - based on official statements from the US Treasury Department and US corporate-funded policy think tanks like Rand - appears to be the only thing contracting and collapsing.

ISIS Enjoys Global Reach Many Nation-States Lack 


US Meddles Abroad, Accuses Others of Meddling at Home

August 8, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The latest round of sanctions levelled by the United States government against Russia are predicated on allegations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections. Alleged interference includes leaking e-mails obtained from the US Democrat Party.



However, compared to the open interference the US conducts around the world in the internal political affairs of nations, leaked e-mails is particularly benign.

Across Southeast Asia, entire political parties, including Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, Anwar Ibrahim's Bersih street front and Thailand's Pheu Thai Party and accompanying street movement, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have attempted and at times succeeded at clawing their way into power primarily because of extensive financial and political support from the United States and various European allies.

In addition to support in the shape of propping up entire political parties, the US funds and directs myriad fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). In Thailand, these include media platform Prachatai, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT), Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the New Democracy Movement and Thai Netizen.

Many of these organisations have invested in elaborate efforts to conceal their foreign financial support indicating knowledge among these organisations that they are involved in impropriety.

Many pose as impartial rights advocates, but use their rights advocacy as a facade behind which they pursue politically-motivated agendas. In addition to assisting US-backed political parties into power, they also promote Washington's regional aspirations including confrontation with and the encirclement of China and the creation of US-funded and directed organisations that run parallel to and eventually supplant local civil society organisations and institutions.

US Allegations vs Documented US Interference 

US sanctions against Russia are still based entirely on allegations yet to be confirmed with anything resembling evidence.

Conversely, US interference abroad is openly documented. Across Asia alone, the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) openly lists organisations and political activities the US is attempting to influence and control in each respective country.

Image: Shawn Friele, Second Secretary (Political) at Canadian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, walks with US-funded Thai agitator Sirikan "June" Charoensiri of TLHR, in Thailand amid Thailand's internal political affairs. Friele regularly visits with other agitators and family members involved in a variety of US funded interference across the country. 

In addition to funding, the US and Western allies openly assist many of these organisations in their work on the ground via embassies. The above mentioned TLHR, created with the explicit assistance of the US Embassy in Bangkok the day after the 2014 coup which ousted the US-backed administration, was recently assisted by Canadian embassy staff who openly thanked the US ambassador to Thailand, Glyn Davies for his support in aiding the front.


Russian Sanctions Latest Betrayal of Post-Cold War Agreements

August 5, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - While the US claims recent sanctions targeting Russia are based on alleged Russian interference in last year's US elections, a careful examination of US policy post-Cold War reveals a systematic campaign aimed at undermining Moscow, encircling Russia and attempting to overturn the current, prevailing political order there in favor of one dominated by US interests. 


At each step, various excuses are concocted, mainly to mesh with current political narratives embedded within public perception at any given time. Currently, playing left and right-leaning Americans against one another regarding the 2016 election and still-unproven allegations that Russia played a hand at tipping the election in President Donald Trump's favor helps sell this most recent move made toward undermining Russia.

Under US President Barrack Obama, accusations that Russia instigated violence in Ukraine after a NATO-backed coup overthrew the elected government in Kiev served as justification for various rounds of sanctions targeting Moscow.

Betrayal 1: NATO Expansion 

The expansion of NATO itself is a violation of commitments made to Russia post-Cold War. While publications from policy think-tanks like the Brookings Institution attempt to claim otherwise, it is clear that Russia was opposed to NATO's continued eastward expansion post-Cold War, and was willing to cooperate with the US and Europe on a variety of issues as long as NATO didn't do so.

Brookings, in a piece penned by Steven Pifer titled, "Did NATO Promise Not to Enlarge? Gorbachev Says “No”," claims that promises made to Russia about limiting NATO expansion were made only in regards to Germany after reunification.

The piece claims:
The agreement on not deploying foreign troops on the territory of the former GDR [German Democratic Republic] was incorporated in Article 5 of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, which was signed on September 12, 1990 by the foreign ministers of the two Germanys, the United States, Soviet Union, Britain and France. Article 5 had three provisions: 
1. Until Soviet forces had completed their withdrawal from the former GDR, only German territorial defense units not integrated into NATO would be deployed in that territory.

2. There would be no increase in the numbers of troops or equipment of U.S., British and French forces stationed in Berlin.

3. Once Soviet forces had withdrawn, German forces assigned to NATO could be deployed in the former GDR, but foreign forces and nuclear weapons systems would not be deployed there.
Pifer claims that, "it is clear that the secretary general’s comments referred to NATO forces in eastern Germany, not a broader commitment not to enlarge the Alliance." 

Pifer's conclusion is repeated on NATO's website itself under the title, "NATO enlargement and Russia: myths and realities," but fundamentally and very intentionally omits a very important point: if it was so important to Russia that additional NATO forces were not deployed in Germany and that no foreign forces could be deployed to the former GDR, why would Russia find it acceptable for other former territories to host foreign troops as part of NATO expansion? The answer is obvious. Russia would not find it acceptable. 

That the US and NATO agreed on this arrangement regarding Germany illustrates that US and European policymakers understood wider NATO expansion would also be perceived as a provocation.

Since the reunification of Germany however, many more nations would be infiltrated by NATO-backed opposition fronts, their pro-Russian governments overthrown and subsequently made NATO members. This includes Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro. Nations like Georgia and more recently, Ukraine, have had their governments overturned and are on a path toward NATO membership. 


Knowing that NATO's expansion, including directly along Russia's borders, would be perceived as a provocation, but undertaking this expansion anyway indicates that policymakers driving NATO are disinterested in peace and stability and instead seek confrontation and conflict. In the Balkans and more recently in Ukraine, such conflict has exacted a terrible toll on both Europe and Russia not to mention those caught up directly in the fighting.

It was ironic that the likely passing of new sanctions against Russia was announced by US Vice President Mike Pence while giving a speech in Georgia, a nation that has received extensive US-backing in a bid to place yet another NATO member directly on Russia's borders.

Betrayal 2: Backpedaling on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty 

In 1972, according to the US State Department, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was signed, outlining limitations to anti-ballistic missile systems. The State Department notes:
In the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems the United States and the Soviet Union agree that each may have only two ABM deployment areas,1 so restricted and so located that they cannot provide a nationwide ABM defense or become the basis for developing one. Each country thus leaves unchallenged the penetration capability of the others retaliatory missile forces.
The purpose of the treaty was to prevent the US or Russia from developing missile defense systems that would negate their opponent's retaliatory strikes, thus eliminating the viability of a nuclear first strike. The treaty was a pillar used to balance power during the Cold War and prevent direct war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The State Department also notes:
On December 13, 2001, the United States indicated its intent to withdraw from the Treaty, and its withdrawal became effective 6 months later.
Since then, the US has pursued the construction of a multi-layered missile defense system encircling Russia with weapon installations positioned in several of the above mentioned NATO members included in NATO's post-Cold War expansion.

The process of withdrawing from the treaty and subsequently building an anti-ballistic missile network vis-a-vis Russia has now transcended the presidencies of George Bush Jr., Obama and now Trump with the current president presiding over the sale of Patriot missile systems to Poland, according to Newsweek.


Withdrawing from the anti-ballistic missile treaty and placing missiles along Russia's borders represents precisely the scenario Soviet policymakers feared when cutting a deal with NATO regarding Germany's reunification. It is unlikely Russia since the Cold War failed to imagine how NATO's expansion up to its borders would lead to greater confrontation and instability, even the prospect of war.

During the Cold War, despite the rhetoric and numerous close-calls, the US and the Soviet Union created an geopolitical architecture that defined deterrents which dissuaded either nation from escalating to full-scale war. Today, that architecture has been left in ruins, not because of Russian aggression, but because of serial American betrayals.

Building Upon Betrayal 

With post-Cold War promises betrayed and NATO troops sitting on Russia's borders, considerable resources have been invested in convincing the global public that Russia, not NATO is to blame for current tensions. Each provocation committed by the United States and its allies are carried out with explicit intentions to leverage whatever Moscow's response may be to further escalate tensions.

Sanctions are the least costly and least risky move the US can make both politically and in terms of adding pressure to Russia's political order. The goal is to eliminate Russia as a competitor in terms of industry, finance and geopolitics. To do this, the US seeks to pressure Russia into accepting a subordinate position within America's self-proclaimed "international order," or to overthrow and replace Russia's political order altogether.

It is an agenda that benefits un-elected special interests on Wall Street, in Washington, as well as in London and Brussels and goes far in explaining why this singular agenda of encircling and isolating Russia has continued to unfold post-Cold War regardless of who occupies the White House and what the political mood is among the public regarding Russia.

Sanctions under Trump further prove that this singular agenda continues to move forward and that those investing hope in US presidencies to stop it have invested poorly.

For Russia, continuing to build an alternative to America's "international order," as well as encouraging alternatives both within Russia and abroad to those special interests that define and drive that order, is key to preventing tensions from further escalating.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

Thailand: West Prepares Ground For Regime Change

August 4, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Ahead of a pivotal court case in Thailand, US interests - both political and across the media - are preparing the grounds for the next round of foreign-backed destabilization.

Image: The "two horsemen of US regime change," US Senator's John McCain and Joseph Lieberman, appear and surround the US proxies of choice ahead of any US-backed attempt to destabilize and overthrow a sovereign nation. Here they lend support to Yingluck Shinawatra ahead of her anticipated ousting from power in 2014. Efforts are now underway to have her and the party she represents placed back into power.
Efforts to reinstall US proxies into power in Thailand is part of a larger effort to transform Southeast Asia into a united front against a rising China in an attempt to reassert American "primacy" over the region. US support for the Shinawatra family dates back to Thaksin Shinawatra's time as adviser to US-based equity firm, the Carlyle Group, and continues to present day.

Read More: An enumerated list of Shinawatra's US backing.

Ousted Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, faces charges of negligence regarding a vote-buying rice scheme in which above market prices were promised to farmers if they put her political party, Pheu Thai, into power during 2011 elections.

As a global leader in rice production and exports for decades, Thailand's markets were immediately disrupted as funds quickly ran dry, quality plummeted, and regional competitors found favor with the nation's traditional trading partners instead.

In 2014 when Shinawatra was finally ousted from power after months of street protests and a military coup, government warehouses were overflowing with unsold, mold-infested rice.

Billions were lost in the program, and the provisional military-led government that took power has since spent years repaying farmers and attempting to mend the nation's agricultural industry.

It was a clear-cut case of a vote-buying scheme riddled with corruption and incompetence that ended with the nation's rice farmers more dependent on political handouts and more vulnerable to the realities of national and global economics.

What the West is Saying: The Lies 

Despite these facts, the West through its various lobbyists and the media outlets that host them, are attempting to frame this current political juncture in an entirely different light.

Image: Pavin Chachavalponpun poses as an impartial academic, but is in fact a long-time member of Thailand's US-backed opposition and a close associate of the Shinawatras. Here, Pavin Chachavalponpun shares a meal with convicted criminal, fugitive, and mass murderer, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Opposition lobbyist and Shinawatra confidant, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, who poses and is presented by the Western media as an impartial "academic" based at Kyoto University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, recently posted a summary of the latest talking points being used by US and European special interests and their political proxies in Thailand.