ASIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ASIA

Feb 15 10:52

Why the Syria ceasefire is a long shot

Washington and its allies are not interested in peace. They want regime change – by hook or by crook.

An end to the Syrian conflict is desperately needed. But the latest plan for a cessation of violence is unlikely to take hold, as the deal struck by international powers is based on fundamentally opposing premises.

In short, Washington and its allies want regime change, while Russia and Iran insist that President Bashar Al-Assad and his government are the legitimate ruling authorities in Syria. All sides are mandated by UN resolutions to respect the sovereign will of the Syrian people – to determine the political future of their country.

Feb 15 10:49

A Syrian Breakthrough – Israel Shamir

Now the deed is done, the corridor is blocked.

If and when Aleppo and the whole Aleppo district will be taken by the Syrian army, we would be able to congratulate Putin and Assad – and Syrian people – with a great victory.

The Russians raise alarms that a Turkish invasion into Syria is imminent. Russian media is foaming at the mouth about the perfidious Turks; a veritable Two Minutes Hate ritual (vide Orwell) on the state-managed TV channels being repeated a few times a day. The idea is to scare Turks stiff so they will not move while the operation in the North lasts. On the other side, the Russian opposition draws frightful scenarios of Janissaries slaughtering the Russian boys on the Syrian terrain. The Turkish media also tries to instil fear in the Russkies by saying what they can do.

Feb 15 10:45

Presidential Debates and Iran

The presidential candidates’ irresponsible remarks about Iran - as though it is a politically convenient football to be kicked around...

After watching both the Republican and Democratic debates on TV, I intend to exclude two main categories from my principle concerns in the upcoming presidential elections that will determine who will replace President Obama next year: one is the entire roster of the Republican Party, and the other, anything other than the foreign policy issues; the main area of my personal interest.

I am disregarding the entire Republican roster because I don’t think any Republican has a chance to beat Ms. Clinton in the general elections, at least this time around.

Feb 13 10:00

US sends extra Patriot missiles to S Korea amid rising tensions with North

The US military has deployed additional Patriot missile systems in South Korea, citing Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch.
The Seoul HQ of the US Forces Korea (USFK) said Saturday that the deployment of additional assets is part of an emergency readiness exercise being carried out in cooperation with the South Korean military.

"North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles against the expressed will of the international community requires the Alliance to maintain effective and ready ballistic missile defenses. Exercises like this ensure we are always ready to defend against an attack from North Korea," said Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, Commanding General of Eighth Army, the commanding formation of the USFK.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This deployment, coupled with the potential deployment of the THAAD system, is yet one more glaring demonstration (as if the American people need more demonstrations) of the reality that just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government can do, is absolutely no guarantee that the US government won't do it.

And I have a short memo, and question, to the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department: why is it that the only time you tend to pay attention to North Korea is when they test another, bigger, more sophisticated bomb?!?

Has it not occurred to you that this is the only way Kim Jung-un believes he can get your attention?!?

Instead of sanctioning and hurriedly deploying more weapons to South Korea, will someone, please pick up the damned phone, and call China's President, Xi Ping, and start the dialogue leading to a 4 way conference between North Korea, China, South Korea, and the US to replace the Armistice (which is just a cessation of fighting) with a genuine peace treaty?!?

Because when this happens, and with one of the iron-clad articles in the treaty stating that North Korea never develops weapons again, these countries would do a great job of ratcheting down the tensions in the region, noticeably.

Of course, what I am suggesting is...logical, which it may never have occurred to the American government, at least not so far.

Feb 13 08:13

FOIA REQUEST: U.S. BASE RELEASED 21,000 LITERS OF CHEMICAL AGENTS INTO OKINAWA DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

It seems Okinawan residents had good reason to sue the Japanese government and spend over 500 days protesting the relocation of a U.S. base on their land. They had long suspected that U.S. bases were polluting their waterways, and documents released by Freedom of Information Act request appear to prove them right. A recent drinking water contamination in Okinawa may have been caused by a series of accidents at Kadena Air Base, which led to the release of a minimum 21,000 liters of fire extinguishing agents over the period of 15 years. Some of these agents are toxic.

Feb 11 10:45

Indonesia to replace US-made F-5 fighters with Russia's Su-35 jets

The government of Indonesia intends to purchase ten Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said after the talks with the head of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. "I am going to Russia in March to sign the contract," the minister said, Defenseworld.net reports. According to the Indonesian official, it goes about the acquisition of ten aircraft, even though it was earlier said that Indonesia was planning to purchase 12 jets. Indonesia is sending its pilots and technical staff to Russia soon for training. It is expected that the state-of-the-art Russian-made fighter jets will replace the US-made F-5 aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force. Indonesia also has eleven Su-30 and five Su-27 aircraft. The Sukhoi Su-35 is a deeply modernized super-maneuverable multifunctional 4 ++ generation fighter jet. The aircraft uses fifth-generation technology that makes it superior to other similar class fighters.

Feb 09 14:55

US using Pyongyang nuclear tests as pretext for pivoting more towards Asia

UN sanctions imposed on North Korea over the past decade have failed to prevent Pyongyang from expanding its nuclear and missile programs, a UN panel of experts says, while the US has used the North’s activities as a pretext for expanding its military build-up in Asia.

Feb 09 14:44

5th Russian-built Kilo-class submarine arrives in Vietnam

The fifth of the six Kilo-class submarines that Vietnam purchased from Russia has arrived at Cam Ranh Bay, Thanh Nien news reported. The submarine, which was delivered by a Dutch-registered cargo ship, laid anchor near the Cam Ranh Port, according to the report. The sixth submarine is undergoing sea trials in Russia and is expected to arrive in the middle of 2016. Vietnam purchased the six submarines for $2 billion in 2009.

Feb 09 09:19

Asian markets: Japan's Nikkei down more than 5% following weak close on Wall Street

While China, Hong Kong, South Korea among other markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, remaining stock exchanges in Asia were trading lower on 9 February. This followed a negative Wall Street and FTSE close overnight.

Fears over a sell-off in the European banking sector gathered pace overnight after Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index – the gauge of the banking sector in Europe – recorded its sixth consecutive weekly decline, the worst streak since 2008. Worried investors as a result pulled out of Asian stock markets in search for safer havens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The PPT is fighting gravity today on the US markets.

Feb 08 14:19

The Neocons Do Not Want Peace In The World:Paul Craig Roberts

endless wars and endless reaping to benefit the banksters

Feb 06 08:59

Why the ‘Sultan of Chaos’ is freaking out

Picture sleepless nights at ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s palace in Ankara. Imagine him livid when he learns the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed by Russian air power, started a preemptive Battle of Aleppo – through the Bayirbucak region - cutting off Ankara’s top weaponizing corridor and Jihadi highway.

Who controls this corridor will control the final outcome of the war in Syria.

n/a
Feb 05 16:20

East Asia Is Invisible

Americans don’t care about East Asia.

That’s a strong statement. So, let me make a few qualifications. First, Americans love Chinese, Japanese, and (increasingly) Korean food. They like to visit East Asia. They will, on occasion, watch a Hong Kong action film or the latest from Park Chan-Wook.

Feb 04 08:15

Beijing Vs DC: The Battle for Southeast Asia

By Tony Cartalucci

The Straits Times published an opinion piece by the London-based Rob Edens. Wishfully titled, “South-east Asia fast becoming unfriendly territory for China,” it attempts to portray Southeast Asia as increasingly pivoting West toward Washington, coincidentally just as Washington was “pivoting” East toward Asia...

Feb 03 09:42

US SEEKS JOINT NAVAL PATROLS WITH PHILIPPINES IN DISPUTED SOUTH CHINA SEA

A U.S. diplomat said on Wednesday that the U.S. was open to the possibility of joint naval patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea aiming to continue to exercise “freedom of navigation” in the disputed waters. Philippines has asked the U.S. to patrol the area together after China began test flights from Fiery Cross Reef an artificial islands where Beijing has built airfields. “We do discuss that principle (joint patrols) with the Philippines and so I am not discarding that possibility,” U.S. Ambassador in Philippines Philip Goldberg told reporters.

Feb 01 13:57

Laos: The New Cold War Battleground You Don’t Know About

The “New Cold War” could be a potential description for the unfolding geopolitical lay of the planet as Russia reemerges as a world power, and China rises as a new one in the face of a prevailing Wall Street-Washington-London international order.

The most obvious battlegrounds taking shape in this “New Cold War” are Ukraine, Syria, and the South China Sea. Perhaps not as high-profile but no less important are the ongoing conflicts in and around Libya, the proxy war being waged across Yemen, and America’s enduring occupation of Afghanistan in Central Asia.

However, there are other struggles taking place that go virtually unseen by the general public, or are briefly mentioned – out of context in the news – before being quickly forgotten.

Feb 01 04:46

Asian Markets Close Mixed: Weak PMI Data Weighs on China

Asian markets traded mixed on Monday with China taking the biggest hit to close in the red. The weak Chinese PMI manufacturing data coupled with decline in oil prices, drove the equity stocks in the region to close mix.
***
SSE Composite index in China closed down 1.78% on Monday after PMI index disclosed contraction in manufacturing and services sector of the country. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing sector in January dropped to 49.4, its lowest level in three years, from December’s 49.7, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
***
>The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) also injected around $1.5 billion in cash in the country’s financial system
>China’s Energy sector performed poorly during today’s trading session.
>Hang Seng in Honk Kong closed down 0.45%, erasing early gains.
>Oil prices plunged on Monday during Asian trading hours

Jan 30 07:02

Sexual counter-revolution: how the "celibacy syndrome" is ruining the economy of Japan

The Japanese youth no longer wants to go on dates, get married and even have sex. This phenomenon, dubbed "celibacy syndrome", was recorded a few years ago, and the situation is only getting worse. A natural consequence of the "celibacy syndrome" — what a surprise! — reduction of fertility. In 2015 in Japan came to light one million eight thousand newborns, and one million three hundred two thousand old people died. Some simple calculations show that for the year the population decreased by almost 300 thousand people. According to demographic calculations, there will be 30 per cent less Japanese by mid-century... By the end of 2014, the debt of Japan has reached to 1.03 quadrillion yen. Quadrillion! A normal person need a dictionary to understand that we are talking about the one with 15 zeros. You can transfer this amount to more than the usual US dollars, but no relief will bring. Eight trillion 654 billion dollars too incredibly much.

Jan 30 06:08

Japan joins negative interest rate club

Jan 30 05:03

Islamic Extremism in Southeast Asia

The recent wave of international terrorism, which has swept across the world over the last couple of years, is a strong reminder that no region, not even remotest corner of our planet is secure. January 2016 has seen deadly blasts in different cities - from Turkey to Indonesia - taking too many innocent lives... RIAC gives an overview of extremist organizations present in the ASEAN countires.

Jan 29 04:50

Japan adopts negative interest rate in surprise move

In a surprise move, the Bank of Japan has introduced a negative interest rate.

BBC: The benchmark rate of -0.1% means that commercial banks will be charged by the central bank for some deposits.

It is designed to encourage them to use their reserves to lend to businesses in an attempt to counter Japan's economic slump.

The charge does not directly apply to ordinary customers' accounts.

The country is desperate to increase spending and investment.

Desperate

One of the side effects of a moribund economy is falling prices - something that can send an economy into a downward spiral

Jan 28 11:07

The admiral in charge of Navy intelligence has not been allowed to see military secrets for years

For more than two years, the Navy’s intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He’s not allowed to know any secrets.

Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations.

More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why on earth has the Navy allowed this to fester in this way?!?

the only answer that makes sense is the scope of the corruption here is mind-blowing, that any prosecution of the case would forever shake the public's confidence in Naval acquisition programs.

As reported in November of the New York Times last year:

The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks. Among those arrested on corruption charges are a senior agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and a Navy commander who escaped Cambodia’s “killing fields” as a child only to make a triumphant return to the country decades later as the skipper of a U.S. destroyer. The investigation has also ensnared a Navy captain who was relieved of his ship’s command this month in Japan. The chief executive of the Singapore-based defense contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and another company official were arrested last month at a San Diego harborside hotel after federal investigators lured them to the United States by arranging a sham meeting with Navy officials, according to court records and people involved in the case. The unfolding investigation is shaping up as the biggest fraud case in years for the Navy. Federal prosecutors allege that Glenn Defense Marine, which has serviced and supplied Navy ships and submarines at ports around the Pacific for a quarter-century, routinely overbilled for everything from tugboats to fuel to sewage disposal.

Jan 27 15:40

Japan superior immigration policies?

Jan 27 07:59

The War on Cash: A Country by Country Guide

slaves ARE property. they don't OWN property

Jan 26 03:57

Asian stocks drop as oil retreats

***
Chinese and Japanese shares drove losses in the region with markets in Australia and India shut for holidays and U.S. index futures declined. American oil extended last session's selloff, falling to $29.47 amid expectations U.S. stockpiles data will intensify concerns over the global glut.

Jan 25 16:42

Petraeus: ‘It’s Time To Unleash America’s Airpower in Afghanistan’

In an Op-Ed printed in the Washington Post, former General David Petraeus says it is time to “unleash our airpower in support of our Afghan partners in the same way that we support our Iraqi and Syrian partners against extremists.”

Jan 25 09:00

East Asia cold snap 'kills 85 in Taiwan'

A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has killed at least 85 people in Taiwan and stranded 60,000 tourists in South Korea.

Taiwanese media reported deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend.

Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights.

The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.

Jan 22 08:08

Missoula Doolittle Raider Thatcher to join Living Legends of Aviation

Missoula’s David Thatcher, one of two remaining crew members of the famed Doolittle Raiders of World War II, will be feted again Friday night.

Thatcher and his wife, Dawn, are in Beverly Hills, California, where he’ll be inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation at a $5,000-a-plate dinner ceremony hosted by John Travolta.

Thatcher, 94, will be joined by the other Doolittle survivor, Dick Cole of Texas, who turned 100 in September.

Jan 21 06:05

Every false flag in the making is detected ahead of time by somebody’s intelligence services

Every false flag in the making is detected ahead of time by somebody’s intelligence services—usually more than one country—because spying today is so effective and so universal. Officials in possession of this secret information often pass it on to the country that’s targeted, in the sincere belief that a heads-up will be appreciated.

But often the information isn’t welcomed—-because the fix is already in. Treasonous assets within the targeted country’s chain of command, who are prepared for the possibility of a leak, take measures to block the information from reaching those who might act on it in a meaningful way.

Jan 21 05:50

Terrorists interested in recruiting adherents among prisoners — CIS anti-terrorism center

"The expert meeting was held not only due to a general increase in terrorist activities in the world and the activities of international terrorist and extremist organizations but also due to the need to promptly track and prevent major threats to the national security for CIS member-countries in Central Asia," the Anti-Terrorism Center said. "Currently, we register interest of international terrorist organizations in recruiting adherents from among prisoners with a view to using the destructive potential of criminal elements while committing acts of violence up to incitement to carrying out terrorist attacks and involvement in anti-constitutional actions."

Jan 20 14:45

Planet of Fear

same silliness different day

snip: And that once again feeds the warmongering hordes, for which that «good old-fashioned world war» is the easiest ticket out. Cancel all the old debt; issue loads of new debt; turn ploughshares and iPhones into cannons. And after a little thermonuclear exchange, welcome to full employment and a new (waste)land of opportunity.

Jan 19 23:29

Offensive propaganda or new propaganda offensives?

Obama administration announced new online initiatives to bolster its foreign policy narratives and as a means to counter others, for example, this network, RT.

Maybe a better course of action would be for the US State Department to ask itself why fewer and fewer people trust and believe it?

CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda, Don DeBar and James Carden.

Also see: Uncle Sam Got a Shiny New Propaganda Bullhorn for Christmas

Jan 19 23:25

Russian Red Scare No Longer Works

The EU has no-one else to blame for its present stresses and strains but itself, owing to its craven subservience to Washington's reckless policies.

The American and British governments are launching yet another media campaign to demonize Russia, with tall claims that the Kremlin is infiltrating European political parties and news media. The dastardly Russian aim, we are told, is to destroy the European Union.

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Washington and its trusty sidekick in London are desperately seeking to turn back the clock to the “good old days” when they could control their public through scare stories.

Jan 19 04:13

More Islamic State Terrorism in Jakarta, Indonesia? A First Glance Only Raises Questions

Though the actual people pulling the triggers in these terror acts may be Islamic extremists, in every case there are invisible imperialistic government forces from the West that are pulling the strings from behind the scenes, most often CIA handlers who coordinate state sponsored covert operations working directly with the alleged terrorist patsies, financing, arming and training them. Former career military intelligence and CIA officer and whistleblower Robert David Steele said:

Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.

Regarding the violence in Jakarta, Robert David Steele believes that the CIA cannot be discounted as possible perpetrators. Several months ago his open source intelligence network "documented expectations that CIA planned to begin covert operations in Indonesia to further inflame the equation of Islam with terrorism."

Jan 18 13:19

Japan demands Russia's return to G8

The Japanese PM Shinzo Abe claimed about necessary return of Russia into the ranks of world leading economies. According to the Financial Times, Abe recognized an important role Moscow plays in the Middle Eastern affairs as well as those of the whole world. He also added that it is indispensable to improve constructive cooperation with Vladimir Putin to solve dispute over the Kuril Islands. Abe announced about his intention to set off to Moscow as the G7 representative or to invite the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tokyo.
He noted that Russia should take part in the settlement of such problems as tensions between Iran and the Saudi Arabia, war in Syria, and threat of radical Islamism.

Jan 18 08:41

The "Putin Is Isolated" Meme Officially Dies As Japan Calls For Closer Ties With Russia

One of the great ironies of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record is the extent to which Washington started 2009 with designs on normalizing frosty relations with Russia and started 2015 with the worst US-Russo dynamic since the Cold War.

To be sure, not all of that was Washington’s fault - but most of it was.

Jan 17 11:49

This land is our land: American democracy, at a theater near you

Democracy has been projected on to a fictitious screen of good guy and bad guys. The people watch as impotent spectators, no longer even aware of the real story out there.

Ever since armed white ranchers took over federal property in Oregon the unfolding drama has resembled a parody of a Hollywood Western. Trouble is, no-one is quite sure who’s wearing the white hats as opposed to the black ones.

Jan 16 15:15

ISIS: US-Saudi Plague Reaches Indonesia?

By Tony Cartalucci

Coordinated bombings and mass shootings struck Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta on Thursday leaving several dead and many more wounded. The pattern matched that of attacks carried out last year in Paris, France, where known terrorists Western intelligence agencies were tracking, some for years, were somehow allowed to mobilize large caches of weapons in Belgium and execute their coordinated mass murder with virtually no effort to stop them ahead of the attacks.

The so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” quickly claimed responsibility for the attack and the Western media has begun stoking fears that the terrorist organization has now spread to Southeast Asia...

Jan 15 09:28

More Islamic State Terrorism in Jakarta, Indonesia? Who is Pulling the Strings?

And why? Where does Indonesia fit into the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?” According to the West’s official narrative, Indonesia doesn’t fit in at all except in the most abstract, ideological way imaginable.

But if you understand that:

1. The US and its allies created ISIS on purpose to fight its proxy wars in the Middle East, North Africa, Central, East, and Southeast Asia for it;

2. The US is NOT fighting ISIS by any means, and is only using the organization’s existence in Syria and beyond to justify extraterritorial military aggression and meddling across the globe;

3. Indonesia has been defying US pressure to join Washington’s proxy conflict with China in the South China Sea and;

4. Indonesia has been fostering closer economic and military ties instead with China itself …

…then ISIS attacking Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta makes perfect sense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

ISIS is the Frankenstein monster, created by a US foreign policy, which is wielded like a club against any country which would dare to take steps to distance itself from American hegemony.

Jan 15 09:15

Philippines urges patrols with U.S. amid sea dispute with China

The Philippines has asked the United States to hold joint naval patrols, a defense ministry spokesman said on Thursday, amid a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Foreign and defense ministers from the United States and the Philippines met in Washington this week for the second time in more than three years to discuss trade and security, focusing on the South China Sea.

"We are suggesting that we also patrol the area together," Peter Paul Galvez told reporters in Manila. "There is a need for a more collaborative presence in the South China Sea."

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus underscored the importance of the U.S.-Philippine relationship, but declined to comment on the Philippine request for joint patrols.

A Pentagon spokesman, Commander Bill Urban, said the United States engaged "in numerous joint defense activities" year round with its ally, including exercises, capacity building, training, and intelligence sharing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These joint patrols would be a poke in the eye to China; and there is only so far it can be provoked without the government believing that it has to respond, perhaps militarily.

Unfortunately, just because a tactic is potentially the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government can do, is absolutely no guarantee that it will not do it.

Apparently, with a stock market in flux, and the economy collapsing ( the Dow Jones average is below 400 as I type this), the Administration is looking for a war, any war, with which to deflect the anger of Americans about the horrific economic mismanagement, courtesy of the Fed, which has led to this horrendous moment in the US economy.

When Wall Mart is closing 154 stores in the US (as was announced today), you know that the financial excrement is about to hit the ventilation system, and in an industrial-strength way.

Jan 15 08:14

Jakarta Blasts: ISIS Inc Strikes Again

By Tony Cartalucci

We are to believe that the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) – named so because it allegedly exists and primarily operates in Iraq and Syria – is fighting the Syrian government, nonexistent moderates the US claims it is arming and funding to the tune of several billions of dollars a year since 2011, the Iraqi government, the Kurds, Russia, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Iran. And also, allegedly, ISIS is fighting the combined military power of the United States, France, England, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar.

Yet we are expected to believe that ISIS has the time, energy, resources, and inclination to attack Indonesia in a spectacular, large-scale bombing and mass shooting?...

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