YSEALI: America's Quiet Colonisation of Southeast Asia

September 22, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The US State Department's Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) claims on its official US government website to build "the leadership capabilities of youth in the region and promotes cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges."


It not only consists of US-based educational and professional "fellowships" for Southeast Asian participants, but also a funding component to help alumni establish foreign-funded organisations posing as "nongovernmental organisations" (NGOs), enhancing the already large presence of US-funded organisations operating across Asia in the service of American interests.

Under an initiative called, "Generation: Go NGO!," YSEALI claims:
This is an opportunity for young NGO leaders to advance their professional skills and competencies with the aim to grow, scale, and take the organizations they work for, or those they founded, to new heights. 

From developing baseline metrics to creatively pursuing financial and in-kind resources to assertively applying social media to advance mission, this workshop will bring together individuals from across ASEAN to learn and collaborate on ways to build capacity, message, and impact.
Beyond this, YSEALI also conducts other workshops across Southeast Asia to help prepare what is essentially a parallel political establishment that serves not Southeast Asian institutions or the population, but the US State Department and the corporate and financial interests it represents, quite literally an ocean and continent away.


US Aid to Israel Aids Who and Toward What End?

September 22, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Recently, the United States just renewed military aid to Israel in a decade-long, $38 billion deal - the largest of its kind in American history. It represents a significant increase in aid, roughly $3.8 billion a year - expected to be supplemented by additional assistance through US Congress - up from $3 billion per year previously.


The Atlantic in an article titled, "Why Does the United States Give So Much Money to Israel?," attempted to explain the reasoning behind the otherwise unreasonable and unprecedented assistance by claiming:
Defenders of the deal would say it’s necessary. Dalton described the uptick in spending as a natural extension of the long-standing relationship between the United States and Israel, “as well as close ties between those countries and their peoples.” She described the “fraught neighborhood” surrounding Israel: war-torn Syria to the northeast, Hezbollah-influenced Lebanon to the north, and an Islamist insurgency in Egypt’s Sinai to the south, all of which help explain the historically high promise of $5 billion in missile funding over the next 10 years.
However, experienced geopolitical analysts will point out that the United States does not have "friends," "allies," or "relationships" - only interests and those who serve them. And while the Atlantic attempts to explain the deal as a means of maintaining a "relationship," it and other publications admit that there are "strings attached." If examined carefully, these strings reveals just what interests this supposed "relationship" serves.

CNBC would say just that in its article, "Big US military aid package to Israel has strings attached," claiming:
...it's structured so that more Israeli defense spending goes to U.S. companies. Israel's long-standing special arrangement for funds from the United States previously allowed Israel to spend 26 percent of the money in Israel — on Israeli-made defense products. But that provision is being phased out over the first five years of the deal.
In other words, the ten year, $38 billion aid package is first and foremost welfare for US defense contractors, not Israel whose own defense spending adds up to $16 billion per year - dwarfing annual US "aid." The deal is to encourage further Israeli dependency on America - dependency that lends Washington further leverage over both Israel and the region.

America in Asia: Arrogant, Unapologetic, and Ready for More Conflict

September 19, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The United States exists an entire ocean away from Asia, yet its policymakers, politicians, and even Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter have declared America's "primacy" over the region, vowing to assert itself and its interests above all nations actually located in Asia. 


In a June 2016 Reuters article titled, "U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China Sea row," Secretary Carter is quoted as saying:
The United States will remain the most powerful military and main underwriter of security in the [Asian] region for decades to come – and there should be no doubt about that.
The US, by presuming to dictate all that takes place across Asia, has all but declared itself a hegemon.

Reiterating the notion of American primacy and exceptionalism is a full-time occupation for the US State Department's employees. This includes US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian who pointed out to followers on Twitter that she had "spoke to some Lao shop owners" following US President Barack Obama's recent visit to the Southeast Asian nation, and "they said [President Obama's] visit was the most exciting and significant event in decades."

Of course, for the nation of Laos, the most significant event regarding the US is undoubtedly the 2 million tons of munitions the US dumped on it between 1964 and 1973. These 2 million tons include cluster bombs consisting of some 266 million submunitions, an estimated 30% of which were left unexploded and remain to this day an enduring, deadly hazard to Laos and its 6.8 million people.


There are an estimated 80 million submunitions still littering the country, or about 11 for each man, woman, and child that lives in Laos. 20,000 people have been killed by unexploded US munitions and many more maimed which includes losing limbs.


Facebook, Internet.org, and the End of Net Neutrality

September 16, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - American-based aerospace company SpaceX is one of the few Western enterprises pursuing a greater purpose in a nation otherwise obsessed with power and profit. When its rocket was recently lost on the launch pad amidst an anomaly it took with it a satellite to be used by Facebook, an example of the latter. 


The Guardian in an article titled, "SpaceX rocket explosion: Mark Zuckerberg laments loss of Internet.org satellite," would report: 
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg struck a bitter tone in his response to the explosion of the SpaceX rocket carrying a satellite intended for use on his Internet.org project in Africa. 

Writing on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said: “As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.”
However, while technically Facebook's Internet.org would provide "connectivity" to people across the continent, it would not be providing them with access to the actual Internet.

Instead, it is Facebook's version of the Internet, where the concept of net neutrality - the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites - does not exist.

On Facebook's version of the Internet, only those willing to pay large sums of money can have access to audiences while others who do not pay, no matter how popular or meaningful their message may be, are essentially silenced. This is already a reality across Facebook's social network itself, and this network is one of several "Free Basics" offered on Facebook's Internet.org.

Internet.org by Facebook Aims to Control the World, Not "Connect" It 

A visit to Facebook's Internet.org reveals meaningless slogans and images of smiling brown people.

Looking past the superficiality at what Internet.org truly represents, it is clear that it is an attempt to takeover and monopolize the telecom industry and in particular, the entire Internet across the developing world. Not only does Facebook's "Free Basics" limit users to information highly controlled by Western corporate-financier special interests and Facebook's own net neutrality-usurping algorithms, but because the infrastructure employs methods including space-based satellites, the governments and communities exposed to this upturned version of the Internet have no say or control over it.

Obama's Ungraceful Exit from Air Force One, America's Ungraceful Exit from Asia

September 13, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - When US President Barack Obama attempted to leave Air Force One upon arriving at Hangzhou, China, just southwest of Shanghai, he found that no staircase or red carpet awaited him. Instead, he and his staff were forced to use an alternative exit from the aircraft, only to find additional restrictions placed upon them on the tarmac.


The New York Times in its article, "Bumpy Beginning for Obama in China, Starting on the Tarmac," would note:

There was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. Obama used an alternative exit.
On the tarmac, a quarrel broke out between a presidential aide and a Chinese official who demanded the journalists traveling with Obama be prohibited from getting anywhere near him. It was a breach of the tradition observed whenever the American president arrives in a foreign place. 

When the White House official insisted the U.S. would set the rules for its own leader, her Chinese counterpart shot back. 

"This is our country! This is our airport!" the Chinese official yelled.
Rather than accept and adapt to the conditions set forth by their Chinese hosts, the President's staff quarrelled with them, marking yet another ungraceful bout of American exceptionalism where even in another's country, America's will is expected to be fulfilled.

Reflecting on the event, President Obama made cryptic comments seemingly both attempting to downplay the event as a mere oversight, but alluding to the fact that it was more than a mere oversight by their Chinese hosts.

And in fact, it was no oversight. It was a clear message to America that the age of American exceptionalism, particularly in Asia, is over.