Saving Face: America's TPP Disaster

December 2, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Long before US President-elect Donald Trump even began his presidential campaign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was already crumbling along with the rest of America's so-called "pivot to Asia" policy.

In late 2011, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would begin promoting what was called "America's Pacific Century." A US State Department archive containing Secretary Clinton's remarks on the subject would reveal the "pivot to Asia" being promoted as (our emphasis):

...a need for a more dynamic and durable transpacific system, a more mature security and economic architecture that will promote security, prosperity, and universal values, resolve differences among nations, foster trust and accountability, and encourage effective cooperation on the scale that today’s challenges demand. 

And just as the United States played a central role in shaping that architecture across the Atlantic – to ensure that it worked, for us and for everyone else – we are now doing the same across the Pacific. The 21st century will be America’s Pacific century, a period of unprecedented outreach and partnership in this dynamic, complex, and consequential region.

In both title and stated intentions, the "pivot to Asia" was a policy of, by and for the United States. Secretary Clinton would compare US intentions toward Asia Pacific with its alleged accomplishments across the Atlantic, even citing Afghanistan and Libya as success stories despite the fact that both nations were rendered and to this day remain decimated, dysfunctional failed states following US intervention.

From the Beginning the TPP was About Domination, Not Cooperation 

Secretary Clinton would mention the TPP specifically, claiming:
There is new momentum in our trade agenda with the recent passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and our ongoing work on a binding, high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership, the so-called TPP. The TPP will bring together economies from across the Pacific, developed and developing alike, into a single 21st century trading community. A rules-based order will also be critical to meeting APEC’s goal of eventually creating a free trade area of the Asia Pacific.
In reality, however, the TPP was never about creating a "trading community," it was about reasserting US domination over Asian-Pacific trade. Prominent US policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), published a paper authored by Robert Blackwill, Henry Kissinger and Ashley Tellis titled, "Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China." In it, the TPP is referred to specifically in the context of containing China, not fostering economic cooperation (our emphasis):
The congressional role in sustaining a successful U.S. grand strategy toward China is manifested primarily in three areas: giving the president trade-promotion authority so that he may quickly conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) freetrade agreements now being negotiated in Asia, reforming and providing the defense budgets necessary to maintain U.S. power projection and a credible Asian alliance system, and continuously holding U.S. administrations accountable for the implementation of their response to the rise of Chinese power.
Here, rhetoric about building stronger and more beneficial relationships with Asia-Pacific is dropped, and the reality of US policy serving a singular agenda, the containment of China's regional and global rise, is revealed. Throughout the report, the TPP is repeatedly cited as a means of competing with what US policymakers call "China’s asymmetrical economic advantages."

China's economic and geopolitical rise has in turn helped drive development across all of Asia. Immense infrastructure projects from highways connecting China to Thailand, dams powering Laos, ports and pipelines in Myanmar and rail projects region-wide alone have tangibly transformed Asia over the past decade in ways US economic and military ties have failed categorically to match.

Could Egyptian Support Tip the Balance in Syria's Favor?

December 2, 2016 (Jean Périer - NEO) - In recent days, a number of Arab media sources have begun speaking about Egypt’s growing involvement in the Syrian war. In particular, with special reference to the Lebanese agency As-Safir, a number of Arab media outlets reported that Egypt is allegedly sending troops to provide assistance to Damascus. Moreover, we are being told now that Egyptian pilots are already flying sorties in Hama, Syrian. In particular, it has been stated that Egyptian jets and cargo planes have been deployed to the province of Hama, and while fighters are bombing ISIS (the Islamic State), Egyptian transport planes are helping the Syrian army rapidly redeploy supplies and personnel.

At the same time, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson, Ahmad Abu Zeid, denied this information and told reporters of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that this information is false, since the doctrine of the High Command of the Egyptian state and its policies are based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

However, analysts say that Egypt has every reason to join the Syrian war on the side of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Just recently, the Egyptian and Syrian governments resumed diplomatic contacts that were brought to a screeching halt in 2012, when toppled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In late October , Cairo officially joined the group of states that are seeking ways to pursue reconciliation in Syria within the Vienna framework. In particular, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called Secretary of state John Kerry to involve the Egyptian delegation in peace talks. Syrian media sources have been vocal recently about the new security cooperation agreement that Cairo and Damascus just signed during the visit of the Syrian National Security Bureau chief, Ali Mamlouk, to Cairo.

Ohio Attacker: What They Really Mean by "Influenced by Islam"

November 29, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Somali immigrant Abdul Razak Ali Artan is alleged to have carried out an attack, injuring 11 until he was eventually shot dead by police.

Alleged alternative media platform, Breitbart News, immediately set to work to link the attack to "Islam" and "refugees" in articles like, "Ohio State Attacker Posted Anti-US Screed to Facebook Movements Before Attack."

It mirrors similar, cherry-picked journalism Breitbart used to cover another attack carried out by a Somali-American in Minnesota earlier this year, in a wider campaign both Breitbart, and a larger segment of the establishment's right cover are engaged in to reintroduce the Bush-era "clash of civilizations" narrative into the alternative media.

Yet neither Abdul Razak Ali Artan's status as an alleged "Muslim" nor his being a Somali refugee had anything to do with his alleged radicalization.

The US and its Allies Radicalized Abdul Razak Ali Artan 

"Radical Islam" is a synonym for the legions of armed terrorists and ideological extremists cultivated by the United States and its Saudi and Qatari allies since the 1980s. Forming up organizations including Al Qaeda itself and its offshoots including Jabhat Al Nusra in Syria and the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS), these terrorists and ideological extremists have fought the proxy wars of the West and their allies from the mountains of Afghanistan to the shores of Libya, and everywhere in between.

These legions of terrorists and ideological extremists have also played an integral part in justifying the construction of an unprecedented, Western-wide domestic police state that , while predicated on "fighting terrorism," has been utilized to wage war on all enemies, foreign and domestic, of Western special interests.

The West's War on Thailand's Next King

November 29, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The first fatal mistake Western observers make when attempting to describe Thailand's monarchy is comparing it to European, or worse yet, Arabian institutions. It is neither.

With the passing of the universally revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the upcoming coronation of his successor, Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Western observers are indulging deeply in this mistake once again - many doing so intentionally for politically-motivated reasons.

Thailand, a nation of nearly 70 million people, and a significant political, military, and economic power in Southeast Asia, remains the only nation in the region to avoid colonization by European powers. It managed this through the leadership of its monarchs and the unity they have historically fostered throughout Thai history.

For nations seeking to subjugate Thailand as a nation and Asia as a region, Thailand's monarchy poses a significant and formidable obstacle to their ambitions - and an obstacle they have worked for decades to eliminate through every means from propaganda to terrorism.

For nations wishing to create stronger ties with Thailand, understanding the importance of this institution, rather than attempting to judge the nation by Western standards, is key.

During this crucial transitional period, it is important for nations seeking closer relations with Thailand to avoid repeating the torrent of disinformation intentionally put out by the Western media as part of its calculated "pivot to Asia" in which it seeks to undermine regional strength and reassert Western domination by tearing down political leaders and institutions that stand in its way.

The Thai Monarchy 

Thailand's monarchy - officially a constitutional monarchy - stretches back seven centuries, with the current dynasty reigning for over 230 years. It has developed and currently rules as a uniquely Thai institution with its own history and its own social contract with the Thai people. Contrary to disinformation spread by the increasingly discredited Western media and the circles of lobbyists that have infiltrated and tainted their ranks, the reverence, loyalty, and respect Thai people view this institution with is real.

Fake News Alert: CNN Finally Admits White Helmets Staged Fake Video

November 27, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - CNN, among many other establishment media platforms, has long promoted the US-European funded "Syrian Civil Defence" also known as the "White Helmets."

Yet on November 25, they published an article titled, "Syria's White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video," in which they admit:

It's a familiar scene: Syria Civil Defence, also known as the "White Helmets," rushing to rescue a man covered in rubble, but unlike thousands of other videos from Aleppo, this one is staged.
CNN would continue by claiming:
The nearly one-minute long video has been the subject of criticism on social media. On Wednesday Syria Civil Defence released a statement calling it an "error of judgment".

"This video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defence volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral 'Mannequin challenge.' This was an error of judgment, and we apologize on behalf of the volunteers involved," the statement read.
Ignored by both the "White Helmets'" and RFS' as well as CNN's explanation of the video is the fact that the now admittedly staged video - besides the "mannequin challenge" style - is virtually indistinguishable from the "thousands of other videos from Aleppo" cited by CNN.

Just like "thousands of other videos from Aleppo" cited by CNN, the "victim" being "rescued" by the "White Helmets" is covered in dust and what appears to be blood, but otherwise uninjured. Unlike in a real bombing, those "rescued" by the "White Helmet" have their limbs intact, no deep, visible wounds, and lack any of the burns or trauma associated with weaponry used in modern combat.