US Cultural Colonisation in Asia Pacific

August 31, 2016 (NEO - Joseph Thomas) - Ancient Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 – after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.

(Modern day "chief's sons (and now daughters) being recruited by the empire, indoctrinated in their ways, and sent back home to culturally colonise their homelands, just as Tacitus described nearly 2,000 years ago.)
Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.

In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilization', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.
Compare what Tacitus wrote nearly 2,000 years ago with the United States' Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Upon the YSEALI website, a description of the programme reads:
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.
At face value, the notion of the United States "training" the "leaders" of Asia makes little sense, considering such training would be endowing such leaders with American values serving American interests, not Asia's. Thus, their role as "leaders" is questionable. Their role as "facilitators" or "collaborators" seems like a much more accurate description.

The programme includes academic and professional fellowships to the United States.

The Academic Fellows Program is described as:
The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program brings undergraduates or recently graduated students between the ages of 18 and 25 to the United States for a five-week institute held on the campus of a U.S. college or university.

These five week institutes, held on the campus of a U.S. university or college, will include an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers. The program will conclude in Washington, D.C., to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.
This, quite literally, is the modern day version of what Tacitus described in his writings nearly 2,000 years ago, where the US is educating the youth of Southeast Asian states in the liberal arts, indoctrinating them into networks built to establish, maintain and expand American hegemony, encouraging an expressed preference for American culture, values and institutions while placing those of their homelands as subordinate.

(US "think tanks" are chaired, directed and sponsored by the largest corporate and financial interests on the planet. They represent the interests and objectives of a handful of elite interests, not the American people, and certainly not the Asian people. That the YSEALI exposes fellows to such mechanisms of US political power illustrates further just how similar this modern day programme is to what the Roman Empire did to indoctrinate and culturally colonise targeted peoples.)

It is interesting to note that "think tanks" are mentioned as part of the YSEALI experience. Those familiar with the board of directors and corporate sponsors of these think tanks will understand that it is within their halls, unelected policymakers representing immense corporate and financial interests, create foreign and domestic policy that is implemented regardless of who the American people vote into office and regardless of whether the American people agree with such policies or not, saying nothing of whether such policies even benefit the American people.

Those partaking in the YSEALI will likely believe they are at the cutting edge of "democracy," while in fact, they are instead becoming extra weight behind the bludgeoner of dictatorial corporate special interests.


What Syria's Kurds "Think" They are Fighting For Versus Reality

August 29, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Reports are emerging of widespread armed conflict between Kurdish militants and  Syrian forces. Concentrated in and around eastern Syria and the city of Hasaka, reports indicate that Syrian forces may be on the verge of completely withdrawing.


The Kurdish offensive is being backed by US forces, including airpower overhead and special operations personnel on the ground. Syrian attempts to use its own air force to counter the spreading conflict appeared to be checked by what was essentially a defacto no-fly zone established by the US over eastern Syria.

Reuters in their report, "Syria Kurds win battle with government, Turkey mobilizes against them," would state:
Syrian Kurdish forces took near complete control of Hasaka city on Tuesday as a ceasefire ended a week of fighting with the government, consolidating the Kurds' grip on Syria's northeast as Turkey increased its efforts to check their influence. 

The Kurdish YPG militia, a critical part of the U.S.-backed campaign against Islamic State, already controls swathes of northern Syria where Kurdish groups have established de facto autonomy since the start of the Syria war in 2011.
Analysts and those sympathetic to the Kurdish cause, including their perceived role in fighting terrorist organizations in Syria including the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS), see this as a positive development toward a greater and independent "Kurdistan."

However, the facts on the ground appear to suggest a much more likely and unfortunate future.

A Kurdish Version of Israel 

Although U.S. forces in areas controlled by the Kurds declined to be interviewed, there is evidence everywhere of their presence and the focus on Mosul. The United States, in both Iraq and Syria, has sought out proxy ground forces, backed by air power, to fight the Islamic State. It is a policy that recorded a recent success with the recapture of Ramadi by Iraqi forces, but Mosul, one of the first major prizes to fall into the hands of the Islamic State, will provide a significant test for both the Iraqis and Kurds. And U.S. officials say it could be many more months before local forces have the training and equipment needed to move on a city where the militants have hardened defenses.
But clearly, in light of recent fighting between US-backed Kurdish militants and Syrian forces, including a near direct confrontation between US and Syrian airpower, ISIS is not the intended target.

US "International Court" Ruling on China Falls Short

The Philippines needs a stable Asia to prosper, not regional militarization, and certainly not a confrontation with China.

August 27, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - A recent "international tribunal" ruling regarding China's claims in the South China Sea was more than just anticlimactic - it was indicative of the United States' waning influence as well as the waning legitimacy of the many international institutions it has used, abused, and thus undermined for decades.


The New York Times in an article titled, "Tribunal Rejects Beijing’s Claims in South China Sea," would claim:
An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. 
The landmark case, brought by the Philippines, was seen as an important crossroads in China’s rise as a global power and in its rivalry with the United States, and it could force Beijing to reconsider its assertive tactics in the region or risk being labeled an international outlaw. It was the first time the Chinese government had been summoned before the international justice system.
Despite the NYT's claims that the case was "brought by the Philippines," it was in fact headed by an American lawyer, Paul S. Reichler, of US-based law firm, Foley Hoag. Just like the court case itself, the apparent conflict in the South China Sea may be portrayed as being between China and its neighbors, but it is in reality a conflict cultivated by the US explicitly as a means of maintaining "primacy in Asia."

Image: Paul Reichler, an American, not a Filipino, and his American-British legal team represented the Philippines in an international court case that solely benefited the US. 
Facing Threats to "US Primacy in Asia"

The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published a paper titled, "Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China," penned by Robert Blackwill - a Bush-era administrator and lobbyist who has directly participated in Washington's attempts to maintain hegemony over Asia.

Blackwill's paper states clearly what interests the US has in Asia (emphasis added):
Because the American effort to 'integrate' China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.
The CFR paper constitutes a US policymaker openly admitting that the US perceives itself as possessing and seeking to maintain "primacy in Asia," primacy being defined by Merriam-Webster as, "the state of being most important or strongest."
The notion that the United States, from an entire ocean away from Asia, should proclaim itself "the most important or strongest" nation in Asia is in itself every bit in reality a threat to intentional peace and stability as the US claims Chinese primacy in Asia would be. 

The South China Sea "Conflict" as a Pretext

More specifically, Blackwill would mention the South China Sea conflict as the primary pretext with which to further tighten American control over an Asia the paper admits is slipping away.

Turkey Invades Northern Syria — Truth of Turkish "Coup" Revealed?

August 25, 2016 (The New Atlas) - Syria's conflict has escalated into dangerous new territory as Turkish military forces cross the Turkish-Syrian border in an attempt to annex the Syrian city of Jarabulus. The operation includes not only Turkish military forces, but also throngs of Western-backed militants who will likely be handed control of the city before expanding operations deeper into Syria against Syrian government forces.


With the beginning of the operation, aimed allegedly at seizing the city from militants of the so-called Islamic State as well as preventing the city from falling into the hands of advancing US-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara's move has made several things clear about the current geopolitical dimensions of the ongoing regional conflict.

The "US-Backed" July Coup Was Likely Staged 

First, with US warplanes providing close air support  for Turkish operations, claims by Ankara that the US was behind an attempted coup in July appear to have been fabrications and the coup itself likely staged.

US Vice President Joseph Biden made an official visit to Turkey just this week in what was the highest level visit by a US representative since the attempted coup in July. Vice President Biden discussed bilateral relations and joint US-Turkish military cooperation.


Reuters in its report, "With Biden visit, U.S. seeks balance with truculent Turkey," would claim:
Biden, who visited Latvia on Tuesday, will look to show support with Turkey, while raising concern about the extent of the crackdown, according to officials. Turkey will press its case for Gulen's extradition.

"The vice president will also reaffirm that the United States is doing everything we can to support Turkey's ongoing efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt while ensuring the rule of law is respected during the process," a senior Obama administration official told reporters, briefing ahead of Biden's visit on condition of anonymity.
It is difficult to believe that Fethullah Gülen could have orchestrated a violent military coup while residing in the United States without the explicit approval and support of the United States government. Thus, for the US to "hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt" would require the identification and detainment of those Americans who were involved.


Regarding US joint operations with Turkey specifically, the BBC in its article, "Syria Jarablus: Turkish tanks roll into northern Syria," would report:
An unnamed senior US official in Washington told BBC News before the start of the Turkish operation that it was "partly to create a buffer against the possibility of the Kurds moving forward".

"We are working with them on that potential operation: our advisers are communicating with them on the Jarablus plan.

"We'll give close air support if there's an operation."
It would be likewise difficult to believe that Turkey truly suspected the US of an attempted decapitation of the nation's senior leadership in a violent, abortive coup just last month, only to be conducting joint operations with the US inside Syria with US military forces still based within Turkish territory.

South China Sea: The Cambodia Connection

August 25, 2016 (New Eastern Outlook) - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, recently condemned US policy for destabilising the Middle East. The Phnom Penh Post in an article titled, "US policy destabilised Middle East, says Hun Sen," would report that:
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday lauded his own government’s efforts of bringing “peace” to Cambodia without “foreign interference” while calling out the US for destabilising the Middle East, where he said American policy had given rise to destructive “colour revolutions”. 


The Post also reported that:
“Please look at the Middle East after there was inteference by foreigners to create colour revolutions such as in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq, where Sadam Hussein was toppled by the US,” the premier said. 

“Have those countries received any achievement under the terms of democracy and human rights? From day to day, thousands of people have been killed. This is the result of doing wrong politics, and America is wrong.”
Cambodia has been under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen since 1998. To describe the nation as a "dictatorship" would be fairly accurate. However, unlike the simplistic narratives spun across Western and Eastern media alike, Hun Sen's rule has been marked by several turn-arounds, at least in regards to foreign policy.

From American Friend to American Foe

It was in 2006 that neighbouring Thailand underwent a military coup, ousting then US-backed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. From 2006 onward, Shinawatra, with significant Western support, attempted to manoeuvre himself back into power, both directly and through a series of proxy political leaders including his brother-in-law and his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. The latter would finally be removed from power by a second military coup in 2014. 

Throughout Shinawatra's attempt to return to power, Cambodia served as a base of operations for US-sponsored lobbyists, media operations, Shinawatra's own political party-in-exile as well as armed terrorists used on multiple occasions to attack Shinawatra's political opponents inside Thailand.