US Wages Cyberwar Abroad Under Cover of "Activism"

August 20, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for centre stage in American politics with fears of "Russian hackers" disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally.


Worst of all, it does so under the guise of "activism."

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, "Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand."

In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organise themselves more efficiently.

Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as "nongovernmental organisations" (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and directed agenda.

US-Backed Cyberterrorism 

The paper cites petitions created by the US-funded Thai Netizen Network on the US-based petition site, Change.org as well as distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) aimed at crippling essential government websites, a campaign defended by US-funded Thai Netizen as being "virtual civil disobedience."

The paper would claim (our emphasis):
The most innovative countermeasure was a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: an anonymous group, Thailand F5 Cyber Army, declared a cyberwar on the Thai government by encouraging netizens to visit listed official websites and continuously press F5 on their keyboards to refresh the pages. The goal was to overwhelm web servers and cause a temporary collapse of the websites of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Government House of Thailand, National Legislative Assembly, and Internal Security Operations Command. The group disseminated detailed instructions on the operation to its anonymous activists. It then demanded that the junta cancel its Single Gateway proposal. 

Most of the attacks were successful. Activists wanted to demonstrate the government’s technological ineptitude and its lack of capacity to manage the Single Gateway. Arthit Suriyawongkul, coordinator of the Thai Netizen Network, described the campaign as virtual civil disobedience—an online version of the nonviolent resistance practiced by civil rights groups in the United States. 

In another case, an activist group called Anonymous launched a #BoycottThailand campaign on Twitter and reportedly hacked government websites, snatched confidential information from official databases, and shared it online.

The Thai Netizen Network is funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) subsidiary, Freedom House, as well as convicted financial criminal George Soros' Open Society and a number of other foreign governments and corporate-funded foundations.


The role of a foreign-funded front coordinating efforts to undermine Thailand's national security, including promoting cyberterrorism as "civil disobedience," carries with it many implications. That the US is the foreign state promoting these activities in Thailand, undermines its own efforts to define and combat cyberterrorism back home.

What is Cyberterrorism?  

Cyberterrorism is described on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) website as:
...the use of computer network tools to shut down critical national infrastructures (e.g., energy, transportation, government operations) or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population.
Attacking government websites millions of people across Thailand depend on for information and services while pilfering the personal information of thousands of ordinary citizens clearly fits the definition of not only cyberterrorism because of the political motivations involved, but also malicious criminality in general.


Syria: As the War Continues, WMD Lies Linger

August 18, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Despite the now historical lies exposed in the wake of the devastating US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003, the United States has attempted to use similar lies regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) repeatedly as a pretext for similar wars including in neighboring Syria.


The Syrian government - perhaps in an effort to head off another round of accusations,  threats, and direct military aggression carried out by the US - is leveling accusations against the United States itself and terrorist organizations it has funded, armed, and backed for the past 6 years of using chemical weapons - primarily to create a pretext for wider war.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad stated at a press conference that the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun, Idlib chemical attack was staged by US-backed militants, including members of the so-called "White Helmets," a US and European funded front posing as humanitarian workers but who serve as auxiliaries for listed terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and its various Syrian affiliates.

As the Syrian military retakes territory from foreign-backed militants, munition warehouses and stockpiles, including those used for the production and deployment of chemical weapons for staged attacks, are being systematically uncovered. In them, chemical weapons - both lethal and nonlethal - provided by the United States and its allies are being discovered.

Mekdad would also point out that the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants did not serve any sort of tactical purpose, but was instead being used as a form of blackmail.

While Western-dominated "international" institutions will likely not accept any evidence provided by the Syrian government - the Syrian government's narrative emerges as a far more logical explanation for the last 6 years of conflict and accusations made regarding chemical weapon use.

Chemical Weapons are Political, Not Tactical 

Despite claims by the Western media made in an attempt to enhance US lies regarding WMDs, chemical weapons are particularly ineffective on the battlefield - with conventional weapons being many times more effective.

This was revealed in detail by a study produced by the United States itself, conducted by the US Marine Corps regarding the devastating Iran-Iraq War fought between 1980-1988 which saw the extensive use of chemical weapons.


The document titled, "Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War" under "Appendix B: Chemical Weapons," provided a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the 8 year conflict. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial.

The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added): 

Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.

We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.

Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.
According the US military's own conclusions, the use of chemical weapons only enhance conventional warfare, but are not suitable for wiping out large swaths of enemy troops. Conventional weapons are deemed far more suitable for waging modern war. 

The effectiveness of chemical weapons is such that the Syrian government could never justify their use, balancing their limited benefits against the knowledge the US was specifically seeking to use their use as a pretext for direct military intervention. 

Thus, neither the Syrian government nor the foreign-backed militants it is fighting would benefit from their use in turning the tide of any specific battle, but should the US use chemical weapon deployments as a pretext, could intervene directly against the Syrian government, delivering victory to foreign-backed militants.


In essence, the only beneficiary of chemical weapon use by any side in Syria would be special interests in the US seeking regime change in Damascus.

Not only are outright lies regarding WMDs a known tactic repeatedly abused by the United States government worldwide, it has been caught repeatedly using this tactic in Syria. The number of ambiguous, unsubstantiated, or proven-false accusations made by the United States as it seeks a pretext for wider and more direct military intervention have multiplied over time as US-backed militants are pushed off the battlefield.

US Provocations, Lies, and Chemical Weapons 

Suspicious circumstances and familiar propaganda and diplomatic tactics were used by the US to rush the world to war - first in 2013 when an alleged chemical attack was carried out at the edge of Damascus. The attack followed multiple claims in 2012 by the US that the Syrian government was preparing such an attack, followed by threats of direct military intervention if the Syrian government did so.

This came at a time when it became apparent that quick regime change in Syria similar to that carried out by the US in Libya in 2011 was not possible and that only through direct military intervention would the US be able to topple the Syrian government.

In response, Syria relinquished its chemical weapons under a Russian-brokered deal, confirmed by UN inspectors. Despite this, chemical weapons continued turning up on the battlefield - followed by repeated attempts by the US to expand direct military intervention within Syrian borders each and every time.

No logical explanation has ever been provided by the United States - either by its politicians or its policymakers - as to why the Syrian government would repeatedly use ineffective chemical weapons in battles it was already winning with far more effective conventional weapons - and risk US military intervention.

Conversely, many of these attacks are carried out in areas held by terrorist organizations with direct access to the borders of their foreign sponsors. The more recent April 2017 alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun took place within the Idlib Governorate, directly on the border with NATO-member Turkey who has armed, supplied, and provided direct military support for Al Qaeda and its affiliates since the conflict began in 2011.

Consider the Source
Idlib has been controlled by Al Qaeda for years with even the New York Times and LA Times finally admitting as much.

The New York Times in a piece titled, "In a Syria Refuge, Extremists Exert Greater Control," would admit:
“Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,” Brett H. McGurk, the United States envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said last month. “Idlib now is a huge problem.”
The LA Times in a piece titled, "Humanitarian groups fear aid is being diverted to terrorist group after militant takeover of Syrian province," would reveal that torrents of supplies provided by the US, Europe, and their regional allies are still being poured into a city quite literally occupied by Al Qaeda, stating (emphasis added):
The recent takeover of the Syrian province of Idlib by an extremist organization has created a dilemma for the United States and other countries that send humanitarian aid to civilians and military aid to various rebel factions fighting the Syrian government. 

It has become impossible to provide assistance without inadvertently supporting Al Nusra Front, a former affiliate of Al Qaeda that has been deemed a terrorist group by the U.S. government.
In reality, Al Qaeda's domination of a region allegedly held by "rebels" provided billions in supplies, weapons, vehicles, training, and even direct military support by the West could only happen if Al Qaeda itself was receiving even more in state sponsorship - or were the recipients of this aid all along.



Both the New York Times and the LA Times in their articles, lace it with language meant to disarm readers from truly understanding the full scope of what the US has done in Syria. Claiming that the Al Nusra Front is a "former affiliate of Al Qaeda," for instance, is supposed to create in the minds of readers the notion that they are no longer Al Qaeda, or terrorists when they are in fact very much still both.

The LA Times would even go as far as suggesting Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front would provide Western-backed organizations with "independence and neutrality."

The LA Times also claims:
But cutting off the aid could spur a humanitarian disaster among the estimated 2 million civilians who live in Idlib and derail efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Efforts to "topple Syrian President Bashar Assad," however, can only be done with an armed opposition - and as both the New York Times and LA Times admit, the only armed militants left in Syria are Al Qaeda.

What both newspapers are actually saying is that Al Qaeda has been cornered in Idlib where the US and its allies are still flooding with support, and that support quite literally for Al Qaeda will continue in an effort to topple the Syrian government.

This means that the process of fabricating chemical weapon attacks and using it as a pretext to directly intervene - on behalf of Al Qaeda - will continue as well, either to topple the government outright, or create a safe-haven protected by the US military for Al Qaeda in Idlib.

It is in this context then, that "humanitarian organizations" in Al Qaeda-held Idlib are claiming they are being targeted by chemical weapons allegedly deployed by the Syrian government.

The Syrian government and its allies have all but won the conflict and they have done so using conventional military weapons. They are also attempting in every way to expose these lingering and repetitive lies regarding WMDs wielded by the US, by inviting UN inspection teams to further explore newly liberated Syrian territory and further confirm that the Syrian government did indeed give up its chemical weapons as it agreed to in 2013.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  

US Regime Change: Who are Thailand's "Activists"

Foreign agents hiding behind rights advocacy are not "activists." 

August 17, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) -  AFP recently published an article regarding Thailand's ongoing political conflict, portraying a so-called "student activist" the recent victim of what it calls, "increased ferocity under Thailand's military rulers."



The article titled, "Thai student leader pleads guilty to lese majeste," claims:
A prominent student leader on Tuesday pleaded guilty to defaming Thailand's royal family by sharing a news story about the kingdom's new monarch on Facebook, his lawyer said. 
Jatupat "Pai Dao Din" Boonpatararaksa, 25, is the latest anti-junta activist to be hit with the country's draconian lese majeste law which bans any criticism of the monarchy.
However, the article categorically fails to mention that Jatupat Boonpatararaksa is member of a foreign-backed opposition front aimed at carrying out destructive regime change just as US-European interests have done everywhere from South America and Eastern Europe, to North Africa and the Middle East.


Continuity of Agenda: Trump's "Fire and Fury" Brewed Under Bush, Obama

August 12, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The United States has issued a provocative threat to North Korea of "fire and fury." Following it up, the Guardian would report in its article, "Trump on North Korea: maybe 'fire and fury' wasn't tough enough threat," further threats being made:
Donald Trump has issued another provocative warning to North Korea, suggesting that his threat to unleash “fire and fury” on the country was not “tough enough”. 

The US president told reporters that North Korea “better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world”.
The Guardian never explores precisely what "trouble" was being referred to or the other "few nations" the US was hinting at.


However, the threats come amidst a barrage of familiar talking points, fearmongering, and fabrications that have proceeded all of America's military aggression worldwide - most notably Iraq in which "intelligence" was intentionally fabricated to bait Americans and the world into a devastating war with that cost over 1 million lives, trillions of dollars, and the effects of which are still being felt both in Iraq and throughout the Middle East today.

The Conflict with Korea Didn't Start Under Trump 

The Guardian and others across the Western media fail to place these most recent threats by the US against North Korea into a larger context regarding US-Korean relations, which stretch back to post-World War II and the Korean War which - officially - is only observing a sometimes fragile armistice yet to be fully resolved.

The South Korean government, as noted by The Week's article, "It's time for the U.S. military to leave South Korea," takes full advantage of America's military presence, using its resources to influence Asia regionally instead of tending to its own defense against threats - real or imagined - from its northern neighbor.

More likely, this arrangement is preferred by the US who uses the client regime occupying Seoul as a vector and proxy for US influence and policy throughout Asia, much in the same way it manipulates and interferes in the Middle East through proxies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and Turkey.

In order to justify and perpetuate America's presence not only on the Korean Peninsula, but in Asia itself, the US and its South Korean partners have repeatedly and intentionally encircled and provoked North Korea - not only in terms of rhetoric and in the form of military drills - but through active attempts to infiltrate and overthrow the government.

Ongoing Attempts at Destabilization and Regime Change

The US State Department through fronts posing as charities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have attempted to flood North Korea with media aimed at undermining political stability in the country.


Facing Defeat in Syria, ISIS Inexplicably Expands Globally

August 11, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Throughout human history, when a military force and its economic center has been defeated, it contracts, then collapses. For the first time in human history, the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS), has managed to reverse this fundamental aspect of reality - but not without help.


Facing defeat in Syria as government forces backed by its Russian and Iranian allies close in on the terrorist organization, stripping it of territory it seized, it has managed to spread far beyond Syria's borders, establishing itself in Libya, Afghanistan, and even as far as Southeast Asia where it has seized an entire city in the Philippines' south, and carried out attacks and conducting activities everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia to allegedly Thailand's deep south.

It should be remembered, according to Western governments and their media, the territory ISIS holds in Syria is allegedly providing it with the summation of its financial resources and thus the source of its fighting capacity. According to official statements, the US and its European allies allege that ISIS fuels its fighting capacity with "taxes" and extortion as well as black market oil sales - all of which are derived from territory it holds in Syria.

The Washington Post in a 2015 article titled, "How the Islamic State makes its money," would note:
Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel — all of these things cost money. The recent terrorism attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State has claimed as its own work, suggest the terrorist organization hasn't been hurting for funding. David Cohen, the Treasury Department's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, described the Islamic State last October as "probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted" — deep pockets that have allowed the group to carry out deadly campaigns in Iraq, Syria and other countries. 
To explain where ISIS actually makes its money, the Washington Post claims:
Unlike many terrorist groups, which finance themselves mainly through wealthy donors, the Islamic State has used its control over a territory that is roughly the size of the U.K. and home to millions of people to develop diversified revenue channels that make it more resilient to U.S. offensives.
The Washington Post would also claim:
 Its main methods of generating money appear to be the sale of oil and antiquities, as well as taxation and extortion. And the group's financial resources have grown quickly as it has captured more territory and resources: According to estimates by the Rand Corporation, the Islamic State's total revenue rose from a little less than $1 million per month in late 2008 and early 2009 to perhaps $1 million to $3 million per day in 2014.
With this territory quickly shrinking and the intensity of fighting against what remains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq expanding, it is seemingly inexplicable as to how ISIS is expanding globally, instead of contracting and collapsing.

The Washington Post's already implausible thesis regarding ISIS finances - based on official statements from the US Treasury Department and US corporate-funded policy think tanks like Rand - appears to be the only thing contracting and collapsing.

ISIS Enjoys Global Reach Many Nation-States Lack