ASIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


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Jan 22 08:46

NSA/ FBI AND DOJ Explosive Findings – Paul Craig Roberts

We have treason committed at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice and the Democratic National Committee. The main function of the National Security Administration is to collect the dirt on members of the house and senate, the staffs, principal contributors, and federal judges. The dirt is used to enforce silence about the crimes of the security agencies.

The blackmail mechanism was put into gear the minute the news reported that the House Intelligence Committee had assembled proof that the FBI, DOJ, and DNC created Russiagate as a conspiracy to unseat President Trump.

Jan 21 12:59

Neoconning the Trump White House

Washington's well-funded web of interventionist elites is quietly populating the president's national security circle, again.

What has been less obvious, but has become much clearer in these last few months, is that other neoconservatives are quietly filling the vacuum left by Obama’s cadre of liberal interventionists. Many of them had taken a pass on “Never Trumping” publicly, and are now popping up at the elbows of top cabinet officials.

Jan 21 11:09

Armageddon’s Crumbs: Apple Unveils $2500 Tax Reform Bonuses, Largest US Auto Dealer Beefs Up Benefits

May that bold-font fact be repeated endlessly ---

We’ll circle back to Apple’s “crumbs” (now I’m hungry) in a moment:

‘CRUMBS:’ IN ADDITION TO INJECTING $350B INTO US ECONOMY AND CREATING 20K+ NEW JOBS, APPLE ANNOUNCES $2500 BONUSES TO THEIR EMPLOYEES. THE CATACLYSMIC PARADE CONTINUES…HTTPS://WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM/NEWS/ARTICLES/2018-01-17/APPLE-IS-SAID-TO-GIVE-EMPLOYEES-2-500-BONUSES-AFTER-NEW-TAX-LAW …

Apple Gives Employees $2,500 Bonuses After New Tax Law
APPLE INC. TOLD EMPLOYEES WEDNESDAY THAT IT’S ISSUING A BONUS OF $2,500 WORTH OF RESTRICTED STOCK UNITS, FOLLOWING THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW U.S. TAX LAW, ACCORDING TO PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE APPLE INC...

Jan 19 08:40

“You Are Now Entering the American Sector” (Will Syria Be Partitioned?)

Do not take your eyes off the ball, remember that all this delicate pussyfooting is about power.

Russia avoided the Syrian quagmire despite dire predictions. Putin minimised his footprint, his war is almost over, ISIL has been defeated. Trump could also exclaim “Mission is completed!” – and fly home.

But, it seems he is eager to rush in where angels fear to tread. Trump does not mind doing for the Israeli Prime Minister what his predecessors, whether Democrats or Republicans, refused, namely, fighting Israel’s war by indefinitely extending the hostile and illegal occupation of Syria.

Jan 19 08:30

Why Is Putin “Allowing” Israel to Bomb Syria? The Saker

The truth is that “the Russians are *not* coming”. The key for Putin is to do what needs to be done to advance Russian interests but without triggering an internal or external political crisis.

Trying to reason with the Israelis or get them to listen to the UN has been tried by many countries for decades and if there is one thing which is beyond doubt is that the Israelis don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say. So talking to them is just a waste of oxygen. What about threatening them? Actually, I think that this could work, but at what risk and price?

Jan 17 06:49

Beijing blasts ‘illegal’ US & Canada-led summit for evoking Korean War ghosts

China has criticized the US and Canada for holding a summit of nations, most of which supported Seoul during the 1950s war on the Korean Peninsula, saying evoking Cold War ghosts has no place in the world today.

The summit in Vancouver brought together foreign ministers and top officials from 20 nations, who agreed to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang through additional economic sanctions on top of those imposed by the UN Security Council. China and Russia, which both border North Korea and are major players in the ongoing crisis, were not invited.

Commenting on the results of the event, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang dismissed the summit, saying it “has not the slightest legality and representativeness to speak of.”

>>>

Jan 16 07:56

Japan public broadcaster falsely reports N. Korean missile launch

The incident comes just four days after a public warning was issued to residents in Hawaii to “seek immediate shelter” from an alleged incoming ballistic missile which had been launched.

That alert was issued in error by the Hawaii Civil Defense, which apologized profusely and sparked debate online about US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding his country’s nuclear capabilities and the threat posed by the North Korean regime.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hmmmm...

Jan 15 09:06

Erdogan vows to ‘drown’ US-backed Syrian Border Force before it’s born, labels unit ‘terrorist army'

The Turks are going after the US supported terrorists in Eastern Syria and Erdogan means to drive the US Terrorist Special Forces advisers out with them.
The drones against the Russian base have really backfired. Can you say Asymetrical Warfare?

The Turkish president has called US-backed Syrian Border Force using Kurdish fighters a “terrorist army,” vowing to “drown” it before it’s complete. He also added that military preparations against Kurdish-held Afrin are ready.

“Our duty is to drown this terrorist force before it is born,” the Turkish leader said on Monday, as cited by AP.

“This is what we have to say to all our allies: don't get between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences,” Erdogan said, as cited by Turkish media. He added that Turkish forces will battle “until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000 of them.”

Jan 13 13:22

Korea: Peace Breaks Out Despite McMaster

This isn’t just about the Olympics: it’s the beginning of a new phase in North-South relations, and the start of the decoupling process that was begun, ironically, by this President when he brought up the US-South Korean trade imbalance and raised the possibility during the presidential campaign of withdrawing US troops and having the South take care of their own defense. This no doubt got the South Koreans – particularly then candidate Moon – to thinking that maybe it’s time to strike out on a more independent course … and start putting Korea first.

Jan 13 11:32

Who or What Is Feeding the Unrest in Iran? Philip Giraldi

Given the history of foreign interventions in the Middle East, is the United States or Israel plausibly involved in the demonstrations?
The answer to that is both yes and no. There is considerable evidence that the United States and possibly Israel, joined by Saudi Arabia, have set up several command centers in Iraq and Afghanistan to support the protests. They have been using social networking as well as radio broadcasts to encourage the people to get out and demonstrate. One such station called AmadNews, broadcasting from outside Iran, called on demonstrators to attack police stations and government buildings. It appears to be a US government front manned by Persian speaking Israelis.

Jan 12 07:31

Myanmar Military Forced 10 Rohingya to Dig Own Graves, Then Executed Them

The military of Myanmar has admitted that its soldiers killed 10 captured Rohingya Muslims, who they labelled “terrorists.” The executed Rohingya were reportedly forced to dig their own grave at gunpoint by both government forces and Burmese villagers.

"Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder," the military said in a statement on Wednesday. They claim the killed Rohingyas were captured by security forces after they clashed with the military.

Government forces had been conducting a "clearance operation" in a region about 30 miles north of the state capital of Sittwe when "200 Bengali terrorists attacked using sticks and swords."

Jan 11 13:51

Classical Liberalism Strikes Out

Is the Trump presidency an example of liberalism’s decay, or a last gasp to save the system?

We can see how the attraction for a strong, blustering, iconoclastic leader would arise in this context. The appeal of Trump arose from the pervasive sense of helplessness by a broad swath of Americans, especially those who have suffered most from the dissolution of families, churches, communities, and a range of constitutive bonds. On the one hand, I see the effort to exert some control over our destiny – by demanding an economy that works for average citizens, by insisting that a national culture amount to more than borderless non-judgmentalism, and rejecting the “political correctness” accompanying a sexual revolution whose wreckage is accumulating exponentially – as a “last gasp,” as you put it, and even an admirable one.

Jan 10 05:21

Reuters Journalists Covering Rohingya Crisis Charged in Myanmar

Prosecutors in Myanmar have formally charged two journalists from the Reuters news agency with violating the Official Secrets Act, signalling the case will go forward despite international condemnation.

>>>

(*It just goes to show since revolking Smith Munce; The United States Is The #1 Place On Earth For Running A Fake NEWS Item)

Jan 09 11:13

Surrounded by Neocons – Philip Giraldi

Neocons appearing in the mainstream media will continue to have their eyes on the ball and seek for more aggressive engagement in places like Iran and Russia. They are all the news that fits.

Both Cohen and Booth were vociferous founding members of the #NeverTrump foreign policy resistance movement.

Boot describes the new regime’s foreign policy as “kowtow[ing] to dictators and undermin[ing] American support for freedom and democracy around the world,” typical neocon leitmotifs.

Jan 07 13:15

Ruchir Sharma forecast the top 10 Economic trends of 2018

Looking at the likely big trends in 2018.

As the new year rolls outs, NDTV’s Prannoy Roy has a fascinating discussion with author and global investor Ruchir Sharma about his 2017 prediction, which was 90 percent accurate and his forecast of top 10 economic trends for 2018. From global growth to whether unemployment will fall or rise this year to the stock market, they look at the likely big trends.

Jan 05 12:14

Why there won’t be a revolution in Iran – Pepe Escobar

Regime change is unlikely but what is in play is setting the scene for a further renewal of economic sanctions

What Rouhani should have explained to Iranians in detail is the direct consequences of hard economic times and United States sanctions, which are affecting the country.

These were coupled with financial threats against western firms now back in business, or at least contemplating opening up operations, in Iran.

Jan 03 12:12

Neocons return to power

Neoconservative fingerprints all over Trump National Security Strategy document.

President Donald Trump’s 2017 National Security Strategy report tells us how he sees the world, or rather how the Washington foreign policy elites do.

From a candidate who ran on a message of change, it is striking that the report is essentially a defense of status quo policies and views.

Jan 03 10:59

2018 – War or No War? The Saker

Imbeciles and cowards. I also happen to think that they are traitors to their country and their people. Patriots they are not.

Trump Administration now has released a National Security Strategy which clearly show that the Empire is in “full paranoid” mode. It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year.

Jan 03 08:08

Big four banks expected to cut 20,000 jobs in 2018 as technology replaces humans

Australia's big four banks will slash 20,000 full-time jobs throughout the year in an effort to cut costs and make way for new technology, experts predict.

NAB got the ball rolling in September when it announced it will cut its job force by 6,000 to make way for 2,000 digital jobs, paving the way for Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac, CLSA analyst Brian Johnson told the Australian Financial Review.

'We think the rest will follow,' Mr Johnson said.

Jan 03 01:30

Six times as many Dislikes as views!

Currently at 6,000+ thumb downs and only 952 views
YouTube pulls the handbrake and Zio-bots thumb down at the same time.

Jan 02 13:53

Trump’s grandstanding on national security could end in tragedy

“Trump believes everyone will do his bidding because he says so. Hello!”

None of the capitals singled out in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy as being the United States’ prime adversaries – Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Pyongyang – appear to feel particularly threatened by the fire and brimstone in that document, which was unveiled on Monday.

Jan 02 12:00

How Much Death and Destruction Awaits Us in 2018? Paul Craig Roberts

The Anglo-Zionist empire is trying to overturn the Iranian agreement and to restart the attempt to overthrow the government of Syria.

The New Year is one full of economic, political, and war threats.

Jan 02 09:10

An Apology and Explanation - Robert Parry

The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is just the most dangerous feature of this propaganda process – and this is where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly come together. The U.S. media’s approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. Does any sentient human being read the New York Times’ or the Washington Post’s coverage of Russia and think that he or she is getting a neutral or unbiased treatment of the facts? For instance, the full story of the infamous Magnitsky case cannot be told in the West, nor can the objective reality of the Ukrane coup in 2014. The American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the “other side of the story.” Indeed to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a “Putin apologist” or “Kremlin stooge.”

Jan 01 13:35

Dealing With North Korea

If I were President of the United States,this is how I would deal with Kim Jong-un and the North Korean situation.

First, realize that Un’s theatrics are, from his own point of view, perfectly rational. He is not stupid. He looks at what happened to Muammar Gaddafi of Libya; murdered by mobs after kow-towing to the Great Satan. He notes the demise of Saddam Hussain of Iraq, another country that got on the wrong side of our imperialist nation; a similar dismal end befell him, too. It does not take much brain power to realize that Un’s only hope of escaping a similar fate would be, roughly, the one he has adopted: belligerence, nuclear armament, bellicosity, etc.

Here is what to do about the situation.

Dec 31 06:59

Re-reading the Greats: Jean Paul Sartre, Pepe Escobar, et. al.

For our bi-polar world....

I’ve been reading Pepe Escobar’s articles for over 30 years–since the time I would read re-prints of his “Asia Times” articles in The Japan Times–my daily reading when I lived in Japan. These days, I mostly catch his work at a number of excellent global websites.

Dec 31 06:46

Did the CIA stop a bloodbath in Saint Petersburg? The Saker

I am not holding my breath for the future, but any positive development deserves some recognition, especially in our otherwise very depressing times.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked his US counterpart Donald Trump for help in preventing a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. Data provided by the CIA enabled Russian security services to find and detain terrorists

The Russian leader expressed his gratitude in a telephone call, adding that the Russian security services would also always share information with their US colleagues, were they to obtain data on any planned attacks on US soil.

Dec 29 18:39

An Intro To The Rohingya Crisis

By Brandon Turbeville

As the Syrian military gains more and more ground by the day, the United States seems ready to at least partially direct its focus in other areas of the world like North Korea. Indeed, the “Pivot to Asia” is now in full swing and all the horrific consequences that may result from it are on display. While not engendering the media hysterics that North Korea has warranted, Myanmar is clearly on the list of countries that is set to be bullied, destabilized, and possibly destroyed if it does not give in to the agenda of the Western Communo-Fascist establishment.

Unlike in countries such as Libya and Syria, however, where the U.S. funded proxy fighters to destroy the sitting governments, Myanmar is a bit more complicated. Here both the government and the so-called “rebels” are being supported in some manner by the United States and its “allies” such as Saudi Arabia...

Dec 29 06:58

Russia warns ties with Japan to be affected by deployment of US missile defense systems

The deployment of US-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems in Japan will affect ties between Moscow and Tokyo, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Thursday. Tokyo’s decision causes “deep regrets and major concerns,” TASS quoted the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, as saying. Such actions “will negatively influence the general atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations on a peace treaty,” according to Zakharova.

Dec 27 10:47

Vietnam unveils 10,000-strong cyber unit to combat 'wrong views'

Communist-ruled Vietnam has stepped up attempts to tame the internet announcing a new, 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit.

The cyber unit, named Force 47, is already in operation in several sectors, Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Lt. Gen. Nguyen Trong Nghia, deputy head of the military's political department, as saying at a conference of the Central Propaganda Department on Monday in the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.

"In every hour, minute, and second we must be ready to fight proactively against the wrong views," the paper quoted the general as saying.

Vietnam has stepped up calls for closer watch over social networks and for the removal of content that it deems offensive, but there has been little sign of it silencing criticism when the companies providing the platforms are global.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They must be pretty scared of opposition thinking, if they are taking an action like this.

Dec 27 08:39

Christmas Gifts – Good News from Around the World

The world is full of good news, suitable for Yuletide.

Merry Christmas to you, dear readers! It is a beautiful and serene time of hope, when the darkest time of the year is already behind us. Though the light is still not perceptible, but we know and feel that the change is coming.

The recent vote in the United Nations has been such a glimpse of light, a harbinger of Sun.

Dec 27 06:12

US SPY SATELLITES CATCH CHINESE SHIPS ILLEGALLY SELLING OIL TO NORTH KOREA

A government source said, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.” Meanwhile, on paper, China’s trade with North has recently collapsed after U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of sanctions in September targeting North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.

Back in November, the US. Treasury Department sanctioned an additional six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their ships after the satellite pictures surfaced. In the above picture, the North Korean ship named Ryesonggang 1, was easily identified and connected to the illegal sale of oil from China.

According to Chosun Media, "the department noted that the two ships appeared to be illegally trading in oil from ship to ship to bypass sanctions."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This puts China on the horns of a dilemma, as she really, really cannot interdict all transactions, unless she puts herself on a blockade on North Korea, which is what the US government sees as something they want to see happen.

Dec 26 12:26

Kyrgyz president warns about IS ideology spreading in Central Asia

President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Zheenbekov has warned about a threat of increasing expansion of Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) ideology in Central Asian countries. "The ideology of Islamic State and other such radical groups is increasingly spreading in Central Asia, with active propaganda and recruiting of citizens of our states. I think it will be impossible to ensure collective security, reliable protection of state borders and withstand the present-day challenges and threats without efficient cooperation between the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the sphere of border security," he said at an informal meeting of the CIS leaders.

Dec 26 07:35

Japan's Largest Bank Is Preparing A Contingency Plan For A Bitcoin Exchange Collapse

The February 2014 collapse of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was, for more than 24,000 investors around the world, a traumatic event. It also ushered in a two-year crypto bear market that saw the price of a single bitcoin plunge from a peak of $1,200 to a low of around $200 before the torrid bull market of the present day began. And as the bankruptcy and legal issues surrounding the collapse continue to wend through the Japanese legal system, none of these investors have received a single crypto cent of remuneration – despite the ballooning valuation of the exchange’s remaining assets.

Dec 26 07:11

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russia, China among few in UN that continue to back Myanmar

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The document calls on the authorities to stop military operations, put an end to human rights violations, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and provide the Rohingya with civil rights. The motion, prepared by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, blamed the crisis on Myanmar. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia, China and a number of other states, voted against it, standing in opposition to the majority of Western and Islamic countries. The resolution was supported by 122 states. Russia, China, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Belarus, Syria, Zimbabwe and Myanmar itself (Burma) voted against. Twenty-four countries abstained.

Dec 24 07:52

A Christmas Song Jethro Tull


Once in Royal David's City stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby.
You'd do well to remember the things He later said.
When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
You'll laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
You're missing the point I'm sure does not need making;
That Christmas spirit is not what you drink.
So how can you laugh when your own mother's hungry
And how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
Remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.
Hey, Santa... pass us that bottle, will you?

Dec 22 03:02

The U.N. General Assembly Rebukes the Trump Administration

Almost all of the world’s most powerful states supported the resolution and voted against the U.S.

When that many allied and friendly governments tell the administration that they are in the wrong, it would be wise to rethink the decision that earned the U.S. this rebuke.

Dec 22 01:55

That UN Vote: “How are the mighty fallen”

“How are the mighty fallen!” is a statement that ranges far beyond Gath and Ashkelon. And it is repeated throughout the centuries as empires stumble and fall.

For those keeping score on the Trump Administration versus the United Nations, the final vote on the Status of Jerusalem resolution is recorded above.

The official count was 128 to 9 against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and his pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Thirty-three members of the UN General Assembly abstained.

Dec 19 05:20

Trump: 'No Choice' but to Deal With North Korea's Challenge

In the course of his speech on the National Security Strategy, President Trump offered few specifics, but did take time out to talk up the need to move against North Korea, saying that the US “has no choice” but to deal with North Korea and its “challenge.”

Trump didn’t elaborate on what that would entail, but in past comments has repeatedly lambasted calls for diplomacy with North Korea, while threatening to “totally destroy” the country militarily.

Today’s comments were in a speech where the one recurring theme was protracted US military operations around the world>>>

Dec 19 05:06

Who to Believe on Washington's Korea Policy, Tillerson or Trump?

President Trump has often said that his foreign policy objective was to keep his enemies guessing. If that’s the goal, you could say that he’s doing a good job. The problem is who does he think his enemies are, because the American people are often left guessing as well.

US policy toward North Korea last week is a good example of how the Trump Administration is wittingly or unwittingly sowing confusion among friend and foe alike. In what looked like a breakthrough, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced last Tuesday that the US would be willing to sit down and talk with North Korea “without preconditions.” Previously the US had demanded that North Korea agree to end its nuclear weapons and missile programs before Washington was willing to sit down to formal talks.

The State Department shift toward actual diplomacy with North Korea was quickly quashed>>>

Dec 18 10:17

Russia-gate’s Litany of Corrections – Robert Parry

It’s especially important for journalists to strive for genuine fairness and not act as if journalism is just another cover for partisan hatchetmen.

The U.S. mainstream media’s year-long hysteria over Russia’s alleged role in the election of Donald Trump has obliterated normal reporting standards leading to a rash of journalistic embarrassments that have both disgraced the profession and energized Trump’s backers over new grievances about the MSM’s “fake news.”

Greenwald noted, “So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all.”

Dec 17 10:32

Debunking the Flagwaving Myths About an Attack on North Korea

All the threats coming out of US politicians are nothing more than delusional hot air. The current barrage of US threats to engage in yet another genocidal war are both illegal under international law and politically counter-productive. The fact is that the US is unlikely to be able to politically survive a war against the DPRK and that it now has no other option than to either sit down and seriously negotiate with the North Koreans or accept that the DPRK has become an official nuclear power.

Dec 17 10:13

Jerusalem in My Heart – Israel Shamir

The Palestinians do know and do remember, how they were thrown out of their homes, and how the Jews moved in.

Trump is not different from his predecessors. All American Presidents declared Jerusalem – the eternal united and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. Obama did it, and so did Bush. True, they said it while running for the office, and they avoided repeating the mantra while in the White House, but they never repudiated it, either.

Ninety out of a hundred US Senators approved of Trump’s statement. Ten abstained, probably being unable to support Trump for any reason at all. Still, it was a most-approved step of the President.

Dec 16 10:58

The Enemy Within – Justin Raimondo

It’s called the “intelligence community”

Of course it was the purest coincidence that no less than three major media outlets got the Trump email story wrong. Yes, those “multiple sources” sure were busy.

It’s absurd to think that this episode is a case of simply getting it wrong: this was undoubtedly a deliberate lie, planted in the media by the same rogue “intelligence community” that invented Russia-gate. It didn’t matter that the truth would eventually come out: look at how many times the original story was tweeted and retweeted over social media, and then consider how many people don’t know it’s been debunked.

Dec 15 07:29

Japan imposes new sanctions on North Korea

Japan froze the assets of 19 companies on Friday to step up pressure on North Korea to return Japanese citizens that it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s and to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development.

The companies, which have already been sanctioned by the United States, deal in finance, coal and minerals, transport including shipping and the sending of North Korean workers overseas.

A Foreign Ministry official said the unilateral move shows Japan's commitment to sanctions ahead of a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York later Friday to discuss the North Korea situation.

Dec 14 11:39

Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar, face official secrets charges

Myanmar’s government said on Wednesday that police had arrested two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The reporters had been working on stories about a military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rahkine State that has caused almost 650,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The reporters had to know what they were getting into; hopefully, their respective governments will get negotiations going to get them out of this dictatorship, and back home safe and sound.

Myanmar can be hazardous to one's health, if one is of an ethnic minority not of the goverment's liking, or a reporter, intent on getting the story straight on its ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas.

Dec 14 09:14

Rohingya crisis: At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims killed in one month, say Doctors Without Borders

International aid group Doctors Without Borders said its field survey has found at least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed between August and September in a crackdown by Burma's security forces.

The group, known by its French acronym MSF, said in a statement made available Thursday that it had conducted the survey in refugee camps in Bangladesh and estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya died in Burma's Rakhine state between 25 August and 24 September. About 630,000 Rohingya have fled Burma into Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has proven herself to be an absolute zero when it comes to human rights in her country, right up there with noted war criminal Henry Kissinger, who was also awarded the same prize.

She should be stripped of every peace prize she has ever won, and the country of Myanmar be adjudged for what it has been allowed to become, under her watch; a wretchedly apartheid nation which commits genocide on all its "others" and its less fortunate.

Dec 14 08:00

N. Korea: Trump taking dangerous step to nuclear war by seeking naval blockade

US President Donald Trump is taking an "extremely dangerous" and "big step" towards nuclear war by seeking a naval blockade, North Korea has stated, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Pyonyang also said it will take "merciless self-defensive" measures against any blockade, as it would consider such a move an "act of war.">>>

Dec 12 07:40

Russian Defense Ministry seeks to develop naval cooperation with Japan

Russia’s Defense Ministry seeks to boost naval cooperation with Japan and is ready to work jointly on a draft deal on assisting a rescue and search effort for crews of distressed submarines, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said after a meeting in Tokyo with Chief of the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defense Force Katsutoshi Kawano.

Dec 12 07:27

Riyadh to Decrease Oil Exports to Asia Next Year

Saudi Arabian Aramco plans to reduce its January crude oil shipments to Asia in an effort to rebalance the international oil market.
The supply of oil to the United States and Europe will remain steady while exports to Asia will be cut by more than 100,000 barrels per day.

Dec 09 13:22

Jerusalem’s fate – Grant F Smith

Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem signals Washington now deems this to be Israel’s capital.

How this is in America’s interest is difficult to fathom.

The law of unintended consequences is surely in play.

Dec 07 08:09

Asia’s Other Nuclear Standoff

By roping India and Japan into its standoff with China, the U.S. is raising the nuclear stakes in Asia – including, dangerously, between India and Pakistan

Dec 06 09:11

Australian internet slows to a crawl after undersea cable cut for the second time in six weeks – and it may not be fixed for MONTHS

An undersea internet cable linking Australia with Asia has been cut, just six weeks after being repaired.

The 39,000 kilometre SEA-ME-WE3 cable linking Perth and Singapore took 50 days to fix after suffering multiple cuts in August.

Internet users are now facing the prospect of slow speeds for weeks, and no time-frame has been given for when repairs might be completed.

Dec 06 07:35

The Dog That Didn’t Bark – Israel Shamir

The media dog keeps silent...

Now the glorious if a tad too long name of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (or MBS) should join the list of the great solution-makers. He faced the problem of having a broke country, an empty treasury, and a lot of very rich citizens with full coffers.

Trump faces a similar problem; in the US, the top dogs have the whole hog, while the state is in multi-trillion debt.

Dec 06 06:14

Syria war, Sochi peace – Pepe Escobar

In a well choreographed Sochi summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin defines a peaceful future for Syria after the liberation of the country from militants

The main take away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society.”

Dec 06 06:09

Is Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

Why did he not tell the FBI the truth?

As national security adviser to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship.

Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful.

My understanding is that Flynn simply forgot about the one meeting when asked.

Dec 06 05:17

Rare Conversation with Jared Kushner, Saban Forum – 2017

A lot of countries in the Middle East want the same thing – economic progress, peace for their people.

Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East peace, said Sunday that Israel needs to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians before it can form an alliance with the greater Arab world.

Dec 04 11:49

The Philippines: when the police kill children

After school, Kulot would earn less than a cent and a free meal for hauling buckets of fish for sale around the neighbourhood.

On the weekends, he mixed cement or loaded sand and gravel at nearby building sites, handing over almost all his earnings to his mother.

Neighbours remember him as everyone's favourite errand boy.

Then, in mid-August, Kulot went missing. He was 14 years old.

WATCH: Another child dies in Duterte's war on drugs
Eighteen days later, his body was found 100km from his home, in a creek called Kinamatayang Kabayo (A Horse's Deathplace).

His face was wrapped in plastic and bound with tape.

Police say his body bore signs of torture and at least 26 stab wounds, many inflicted after he died, some so deep they pierced his heart and lungs.

At the time of his death, the Philippines was already reeling from the murders of several teenagers suspected to have been killed as part of the government's war on drugs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My prediction that all the tortures and murders, particularly of children, are going to turn the Philippine people against Duterte, and his anti-drug war is going to simply leave the drug situation worse than it was before.

There is one European country which has had a successful anti-drug program, and that is Portugal.

What happened after Portugal decriminalized drugs, from weed to heroin

The results were stellar, in the general wratcheting down of drug use by Portugal's citizens.

Of course, because it actually worked, other countries, like the US government, are loathe to try it, because too much money, filtering into too many pockets, makes it too lucrative a trade to decriminalize.

Nov 28 10:35

Is the Islamic State a “Geopolitical Tool”? US Looks to Southeast Asia to Unleash Its ISIS-Daesh Hordes

Western think tanks have been increasingly busy cultivating a narrative to explain the sudden and spreading presence of militants linked or fighting under the banner of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) across Southeast Asia.

This narrative – these think tanks would have audiences believe – entails militants fleeing Syria and Iraq, and entrenching themselves amid supposedly sectarian conflicts in Southeast Asia. The think tanks conveniently never mention how tens of thousands of militants are funding the logistical feat required to move them to Southeast Asia or sustain their militant operations in the region once they arrive.

Among these think tanks is the so-called International Crisis Group (ICG). In its report, “Jihadism in southern Thailand – A phantom menace,” it claims:

The decline of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the advent of ISIS-linked violence in South East Asia evince the possibility of a new era of transnational jihadist terrorism in the region.

Nov 26 08:32

Japan is building its own long range, air-launched cruise missile – the ‘Japan Tomahawk’

Japan is developing its own long-range cruise missile amid escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula. The missile, described as the Japanese Tomahawk, will reportedly be capable of being launched from aircraft, ships and land.

Research on these missiles will begin next year, reports Yomiuri, a Japanese news outlet. This will be Japan’s first full-fledged cruise missile. Apart from being a deterrent to North Korea, the so-called Japanese Tomahawk will also serve to “recapture remote islands occupied by enemies”, says the report, likely referring to the long-running feud that Japan has with China over a remote island in the South China Sea.

The report makes no mention of details such as the missile’s potential range, power or design. It is also not clear if the cruise missiles will be a whole new system built ground up or if it will simply be an upgrade of existing missiles.

Nov 24 05:59

US, South Korea to Hold Joint Air Force Drill in Early December

The air forces of South Korea and the United States are scheduled to hold a regular joint drill next month, deploying six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters in the exercise, a South Korean defense ministry official said on Friday.
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The exercise comes as North Korea continues to press forward with developing its nuclear and missile program, in defiance of global condemnation and sanctions, though it has not held tests for two months.

Pyongyang strongly protests against joint drills of this nature, which it views as aggression against the isolated state.

Nov 20 07:13

China proposes three-phase solution to Rakhine issue in Myanmar: FM

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday that China proposed a three-phase solution to help settle the issue in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
China believed that the Rakhine issue can be addressed by a solution acceptable to both Myanmar and Bangladesh through consultations between the two neighboring countries, Wang told a joint press conference with Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

The international community and the United Nations Security Council should encourage such efforts by creating conditions and good atmosphere for the consultations, he added.
The Chinese top diplomat said the Bangladesh government pledged to continue bilateral talks with Myanmar over the issue when he visited the country Saturday. Myanmar also expressed the same attitude, he said.
Wang said the Rakhine issue is a complicated one touching on history, ethnicity and religion, which calls for both an urgent and long-term solution.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Chinese Foreign Minister Yi is proposing is completely rational, but unfortunately, does not address the centuries of prejudice against the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

I never thought, earlier in my life, that I would have to say, that there would be a group of hyper-nationalistic Buddhists who would want to exterminate another religious group in their country with extreme prejudice; unfortunately, however, that is precisely what I am seeing happening in Myanmar right now.

Even the UN is characterising this behaviour, on the part of these Buddhists, as textbook ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.

I sincerely hope that this can get sorted, in a civil and humanitarian way.

Nov 17 05:22

Let’s Stop Glorifying War

When’s the last time our media covered war honestly? When’s the last time you saw combat footage of American troops under fire, or of American troops killing others in the name of keeping us safe from enemies? When was the last time you saw an American soldier panicking, firing wildly, perhaps killing members of his own unit (fratricide) or innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of war? Maybe in the 1960s during coverage of the Vietnam War?

War is not glorious. It may feature noble deeds and remarkable sacrifices, but it also features brutality and many other bloody realities. War breaks men (and women) down. It does so because war is unnatural. Yes, war is many things, but it most certainly is about killing. Occasionally, the killing is even necessary. (Just ask those enslaved by the Nazis or the Japanese whether they greeted Allied troops as liberators.)

Nov 16 05:59

Philippines' Duterte lauds China's help at 'crucial moment' in Marawi battle

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday heaped praise on visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for what he said was China’s “critical” role in expediting the end of a five-month war with Islamist insurgents in a Philippine town.

Nov 15 05:15

THRESHOLD OF A NUCLEAR CONFLICT IN SOUTH ASIA

One cannot ignore the dual policy of Washington regarding to whom they allow to have nuclear aspirations, and against whom they raise international dudgeon and impose sanctions. We should also remember that today, the threat of nuclear confrontation is exacerbated in five different regions, the least noticeable of which in many publications of American and Western media is South Asia. It is generally accepted that there are, in fact, nine nuclear powers in the world today: The United States, Russia, France, Britain, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the DPRK. There is a total of about 15,000 nuclear warheads at their disposal (according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SPRI), January 2017). However, only those who signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) of 1968 are officially considered as nuclear powers.

Nov 15 04:01

US CUTS FUNDS FOR DISARMING EXPLOSIVES IT DROPPED ON CAMBODIA

In an article by Thai PBS titled, “US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia,” it’s revealed that next year’s meager $2 million in US government funding for demining operations of US unexploded ordnance (UXO) in eastern Cambodia leftover from the Vietnam War has been discontinued without warning or explanation. The move caused confusion across Cambodia’s government, as well as across partner nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia participating in the US program. Speculation over the move revolves around growing tensions between Washington and Phnom Penh as the United States desperately attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific, while Asian states – including Cambodia – continue to build closer and more constructive ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington’s waning influence. Cambodia has recently exposed and ousted a myriad of US-funded fronts posing as NGOs and independent media platforms executing a campaign of US-backed political subversion.

Nov 14 09:54

TPP Moving Ahead Without US As Trump Fooled By "Warm" Welcome In Asia

In his speech (see here) at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) on Friday, Trump slammed China, the WTO and his predecessor’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement as issues holding back his America-first “Indo-Pacific dream”. Without referencing it specifically, Trump criticised the TPP which he said would “tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty and make meaningful enforcement (of WTO rules) practically impossible”. Trump stated that the US would conduct trade with Asian nations based on bilateral agreements. Over the weekend, Japan – the largest remaining member of the TPP and traditionally subservient to US wishes – and a host of other nations announced that they would move forward with a revised TPP, regardless of US withdrawal. According to the FT.

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