France's Self-Inflicted Refugee Crisis

January 22, 2017 New Eastern Outlook

Following rhetoric regarding Europe's refugee crisis, one might assume the refugees, through no fault of Europe's governments, suddenly began appearing by the thousands at Europe's borders. However, this simply is not true.


Before the 2011 wave of US-European engineered uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) transformed into Western military interventions, geopolitical analysts warned that overthrowing the governments in nations like Libya and Syria, and Western interventions in nations like Mali and the Ivory Coast, would lead to predicable regional chaos that would manifest itself in both expanding terrorism across the European and MENA region, as well as a flood of refugees from destabilized, war-racked nations.

Libya in particular, was singled out as a nation, if destabilized, that would transform into a springboard for refugees not only fleeing chaos in Libya itself, but fleeing a variety of socioeconomic and military threats across the continent. Libya has served for decades as a safe haven for African refugees due to its relative stability and economic prosperity as well as the Libyan government's policy of accepting and integrating African refugees within the Libyan population.

Because of NATO's 2011 military intervention and the disintegration of Libya as a functioning nation state, refugees who would have otherwise settled in Libya are now left with no choice but to continue onward to Europe.

For France in particular, its politics have gravitated around what is essentially a false debate between those welcoming refugees and those opposed to their presence.

Absent from this false debate is any talk of French culpability for its military operations abroad which, along with the actions of the US and other NATO members, directly resulted in the current European refugee crisis.

France claims that its presence across Africa aims at fighting Al Qaeda. According to RAND Corporation commentary titled, "Mali's Persistent Jihadist Problem," it's reported that:
Four years ago, French forces intervened in Mali, successfully averting an al Qaeda-backed thrust toward the capital of Bamako. The French operation went a long way toward reducing the threat that multiple jihadist groups posed to this West Africa nation. The situation in Mali today remains tenuous, however, and the last 18 months have seen a gradual erosion of France's impressive, initial gains.
And of course, a French military presence in Mali will do nothing to stem Al Qaeda's activities if the source of Al Qaeda's weapons and financial support is not addressed. In order to do this, France and its American and European allies would need to isolate and impose serious sanctions on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two nations who exists as the premier state sponsors of not only Al Qaeda, but a myriad of terrorist organizations sowing chaos worldwide.

Paradoxically, instead of seeking such sanctions, the French government instead sells the Saudi and Qatari governments billions of dollars worth of weaponry, proudly filling in any temporary gaps in the flow of weapons from the West as each nation attempts to posture as "concerned" about Saudi and Qatari human rights abuses and war crimes (and perhaps even state sponsorship of terrorism) only to gradually return to pre-sanction levels after public attention wanes.


What's Really Behind US Claims of "Russian Hacking?"

January 19, 2016 New Eastern Outlook

Despite great effort recently put into bolstering the credibility of the "American intelligence community" in the wake of their assessment regarding alleged "Russian hacking," it should be remembered that this same "community" intentionally and maliciously fabricated a myriad of lies surrounding so-called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which led to a destructive war that claimed upward to a million lives - including over 4,000 US troops.


A community responsible for verified, self-serving lies, has no credibility. Nor do the media organizations that repeated those lies without questioning the very flawed factual and logical fundamentals underpinning them.

More recently, the evidence presented by this community and their partners across the Western media regarding alleged "Russian hacking" of the 2016 US elections is so weak, the logical fallacy of appealing to authority is essential to selling it to the global public.

What Do They Even Mean by "Russian Hacking?"

The sinister tone of "Russian hacking" suggests that Moscow somehow subverted the 2016 US elections through the use of information technology. Headlines across the Western media like CNN's, "US accuses Russia of trying to interfere with 2016 election," would help fan the flames of hysteria, claiming:
The Obama administration said Friday it was "confident" that Russia was behind recent hackings of emails about upcoming US elections in an attempt to interfere with the process. 

The announcement marks the first time the US administration has officially accused Russia of hacking into US political systems. Earlier in the week, the two countries broke off formal talks about a ceasefire in Syria. 

"We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement.
Claims of Russia "hacking into US political systems" invokes images of hackers based in the Kremlin using sophisticated cyber weapons to crack into voting machines, polling stations, and databases to skew election results. In reality, nothing of the sort happened - based not on Russian statements - but on the "American intelligence community's" own official reports on the incident.


Rex Tillerson, Biggest Gator in the Swamp

January 18, 2017 New Eastern Outlook 

When US business tycoon-turned-politician Donald Trump ran for office, "drain the swamp" became a popular campaign cry. Trump likely was implying that he would "drain" corrupt and redundant features of Washington's establishment and distance Washington's leadership from the suffocating corruption of special interests on Wall Street.


Yet since winning the election, almost overnight (and in many cases, all during his campaign even), Trump has surrounded himself with precisely the sort of flora and fauna found in the deepest, dankest swamps.

And perhaps the largest specimen Trump is stocking the swamp he now presides over with, is his pick for US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson is not only at face value the embodiment of both Wall Street and Big-Oil as a lifetime oilman joining Exxon in 1975, becoming president of Exxon Yemen in 1995 and serving as chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil from 2006-2016, but also epitomizes the conflicts of interest and unwarranted influence Wall Street and Big-Oil are notorious for.

Most ironic of all, the abuses Tillerson played part in almost up until the day he was recruited by Trump, exercising unwarranted power and influence through the United States government and the very State Department he now stands poised to lead, was done during, and more importantly, with the administration of President Barack Obama.


Fake News: The Latest Weapon in Information Space

January 16, 2017 New Eastern Outlook

The ability for technology and innovations to transform global economics and geopolitics is often underestimated, even sidelined in retrospect.


However, from the technological achievements that gave the British Empire mastery over the seas, to the industrial revolution that eventually disrupted and unraveled the empire's carefully constructed global system of mercantilism, the march of technological progress literally governors the rise and fall of global centers of power and the empires built around them.

Disruptive Information Technology

With the advent of information technology (IT), what once required immense capital and a substantial workforce to disseminate information across large segments of the population can now be done by a single individual for virtually no cost at all.

It is no longer necessarily the amount of resources one has at their disposal, but rather the power of their ideas and words that determine the efficacy of their message and the impact it has on society.

IT has leveled the playing field. The United States and Europe for decades, monopolized the flow of information across various forms of media. During World War II, the Allies easily outsmarted Axis powers and their less sophisticated, clumsy propaganda efforts. Between World War II and the Cold War, the US and British ruling circles not only held uncontested influence over their own populations, but through Voice of America and the BBC, they were able to project that influence abroad.

The cost of opening a radio station, a television studio, or a printing press to produce newspapers was prohibitive for the vast majority of people who may have disagreed with the "consensus" created by those who had the resources to produce mass media.

However today, not only does IT allow states once targeted by Western propaganda to better protect political and economic stability within their borders, they are able to get their side of the story out to Western audiences.

Beyond that, independent activists, journalists, and analysts can now write and speak before audiences of millions, contesting "mainstream" narratives promoted by circles of political and economic power worldwide.

The effects of this are evident everywhere we look.

The "alternative media," has already significantly disrupted manufactured "consensus" across a wide variety of interests from big-agriculture and big-pharmaceuticals, to agendas surrounding geopolitical conflicts everywhere from Ukraine to Syria.


Is the US Positioning Itself for Military Presence in Myanmar?

January 12, 2017 New Eastern Outlook 

The governments of the United States and United Kingdom have spent decades and millions of dollars creating the political opposition fronts that constitute support for Myanmar's new (and first ever) State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. This support includes backing Suu Kyi's saffron-clad street fronts who make up a nationwide network of "monk" alliances and associations.


And it is these alliances and associations that have served at the forefront of persecution against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Also for years, this violent persecution has unfolded in what was otherwise a media blackout across North America and Europe. When violence reaches fevered pitches, American and European media organisations intentionally introduce ambiguity as to who precisely is leading anti-Rohingya violence.

The conflict carries with it all the hallmarks of an intentional strategy of tension; used within Myanmar to galvanise Suu Kyi's otherwise morally and politically bankrupt opposition fronts and now, it appears to be ready for use within Washington's wider strategy of "pivoting to Asia."

Myanmar's "New Rohingya Insurgency" 

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based foreign policy think tank funded by some of the largest corporations on the planet, poses as a conflict management organisation. In reality, it introduces manufactured narratives that are then picked up and eagerly promoted across American and European media outlets, to shift public perception and pave the way for shifts in Western geopolitical aspirations.



Their most recent manufactured narrative involves what it calls a "Rohingya insurgency." Their narrative is already circulating across American and European media, including the Wall Street Journal whose article, "Asia’s New Insurgency Burma’s abuse of the Rohingya Muslims creates violent backlash." claims (our emphasis):
Now this immoral policy has created a violent backlash. The world’s newest Muslim insurgency pits Saudi-backed Rohingya militants against Burmese security forces. As government troops take revenge on civilians, they risk inspiring more Rohingya to join the fight.
The article also admits:
Called Harakah al-Yaqin, Arabic for “the Faith Movement,” the group answers to a committee of Rohingya emigres in Mecca and a cadre of local commanders with experience fighting as guerrillas overseas. Its recent campaign—which continued into November with IED attacks and raids that killed several more security agents—has been endorsed by fatwas from clerics in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Emirates and elsewhere. 

Rohingyas have “never been a radicalized population,” ICG notes, “and the majority of the community, its elders and religious leaders have previously eschewed violence as counterproductive.” But that is changing fast. Harakah al-Yaqin was established in 2012 after ethnic riots in Rakhine killed some 200 Rohingyas and is now estimated to have hundreds of trained fighters.
The Wall Street Journal and ICG both apparently expect readers to believe that Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants in Myanmar simply to "fight back" against Aung San Suu Kyi, her government and her followers' collective brutality against the Rohingya.


3 Realities You Aren't Being Told About Afghanistan

January 11, 2017 New Eastern Outlook

US commander of US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) General John Nicholson's December 2016 briefing was paradoxical and perhaps indicative of the bankrupted foreign policy that defines America's occupation in Afghanistan.


The US Department of Defense published General Nicholson's full briefing titled, "Department of Defense Press Briefing by General Nicholson in the Pentagon Briefing Room." In it, three truths in particular emerged.

1. "Stronger Afghan Military" Still Requires Years More of US Hand-Holding

The briefing paradoxically claimed that America's proxy regime in Kabul it has attempted to prop up for the past 15 years is gaining strength and independence from US-NATO assistance, even as US Marines prepared to deploy back to Afghanistan's Helmand province for what the Pentagon announced will be years more of US troop rotations.

The Washington Post in an article titled, "Thousands of Marines fought in southern Afghanistan. Now, the service is going back," would report that:
About 300 Marines with a unit called Task Force Southwest will deploy, advising the Afghan army’s 215th Corps and Afghan national police with the 505th Zone. The forces will work in part from a large Afghan installation known during earlier Marine operations as Camp Leatherneck, but will be based in other locations and could face combat, senior Marine officers said Friday.
The Post would also report:
Senior Marine officials did not say why the service will take over the mission in Helmand, but it is expected that there could be several rotations of Marine task forces there in coming years.

In other words, promises of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan, promises that formed the foundation of political campaign promises for years, were made in vain with US troops facing an unending, futile commitment to occupying the Central Asian state for years to come, just as US troops did in Vietnam during the 1960s-1970s.

Likewise, claims by military commanders and US policymakers that Afghanistan's government is becoming increasingly "independent" defies even the most basic admissions the US military and government themselves provide in terms of statistics and US troop deployment schedules.

Like the now non-existent South Vietnamese government, the current Afghan government cannot sustain itself without a significant foreign presence, because despite the immense amount of monetary, military and political resources poured into it, it lacks legitimacy in Afghanistan itself where it matters most.


Trump's Taiwan Phone Call Gaff No "Accident"

January 6, 2017 New Eastern Outlook 

President-elect Donald Trump's "accidental" phone conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was neither a gaff nor a decision Trump and his advisers unilaterally made.


It is merely the latest evolution of US foreign policy in Asia Pacific amid the collapsing "Pivot to Asia" policy pursued under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.

Looking from an even wider perspective, both Trump and Obama's policies are merely the latest iterations of US policy over the last century aimed at encircling, containing and dominating not only China's rise upon the international stage, but in achieving, maintaining and even expanding American primacy over Asia.

The Washington Post in an op-ed titled, "Trump's Taiwan call wasn't a mistake. It was brilliant," would admit:
The phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen was reportedly carefully planned, and Trump was fully briefed before the call, according to The Washington Post. It's not that Trump was unfamiliar with the "Three Communiques" or unaware of the fiction that there is "One China." Trump knew precisely what he was doing in taking the call. He was serving notice on Beijing that it is dealing with a different kind of president — an outsider who will not be encumbered by the same Lilliputian diplomatic threads that tied down previous administrations. The message, as John Bolton correctly put it, was that "the president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it's in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to."
Use of the term "brilliant" here is, however, inappropriate.

US policy in Asia Pacific is predicated on decades of Washington presumptions that it, not any actual nation residing in Asia Pacific, should take and hold what US policymakers themselves refer to as "primacy" over the region. However, gradually over time, China as well as many nations described as "allies" of the United States, have incrementally moved out from under the long shadow cast from North America across the Pacific.