Thailand, International Oil, and the Future of Energy

April 1, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The Southeast Asian nation of Thailand is currently wrestling with a particularly contentious issue involving international oil concessions. In essence, foreign oil monopolies, particularly Western corporations including Exxon, Chevron, and British Petroleum (BP) have been given access to Thailand's oil and natural gas supplies, to explore, develop, and exploit for billions in profits year to year.

Much of this money, it is alleged, ends up leaving the country. What remains is often divided up amongst a handful of special interests leaving little if anything at all left for the actual people and nation that has provided this vast source of energy and riches.

Also of particularly contention is the domestic energy market itself. Being run mainly by foreign and local energy monopolies, many suspect the price of energy for consumers is arbitrarily or criminally manipulated. This in turn has a direct impact on the quality of life of Thailand's 70 million people as well as an impact on the overall economic development of the country. 

Raising suspicions further were admissions by the Saudis that they have been intentionally rigging global energy prices as a means of "pressuring Russia regarding Syria."

The New York Times in their article, "Saudi Oil Is Seen as Lever to Pry Russian Support From Syria’s Assad," admits:
Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to abandon his support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, using its dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government is reeling from the effects of plummeting oil prices. 
Image: Mega-energy infrastructure means mega-energy disasters. This oil spill in Rayong, famous for its fishing industry and tourism, has suffered immeasurably from a recent oil spill. 
In reality, Saudi Arabia is adjusting prices as per the demands of Washington and Wall Street, and in addition to pressuring Russia regarding Syria, it is also part of a plan to undermine and eventually overthrow the government of Russia itself. And if energy prices can be used as a weapon against a nation as big as Russia, surely they could be used as a weapon to manipulate, undermine, and endanger the sovereignty of Thailand.

Pentagon Admits that Israel is a Nuclear Power

March 31, 2015 (Vladimir Platov - NEO) - In early February, the Pentagon declassified reports on Israel’s nuclear weapons program which was carried out until 1987. According to these documents, Israeli scientists were capable of producing a hydrogen bomb by that time. Although these facts were largely ignored by the Western media, some analysts have noticed that the declassification of these secret reports suspiciously coincided with the recent, rapidly deteriorating relationship between the US and Israel. As Tel Aviv started a massive campaign of criticism aimed at the Obama administration, both in the US media and worldwide, the Pentagon’s revelations were quick to follow. It is also noteworthy that only the facts on the Israeli nuclear weapons program were declassified, while information regarding similar activities of NATO allies (in particular Italy, France, and West Germany) remained locked up.



The 386 page report “Сritical technology assessment in Israel and Nato nations,” was prepared in 1987 by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and examined the capabilities Israel had already had at that time to produce nuclear weapons. In particular, the study underlines the fact that Israel’s secret laboratories, engaged in the development of an atomic bomb, were on par with the key research nuclear arsenals of the US: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

According to this report, by the mid-80s Israeli experts were at the same stage of research and development of various nuclear weapons the hydrogen bomb in particular, reached by American scientists between 1955-1960. IDA experts were courageous enough to recognize that in certain areas the Israelis have even surpassed their American colleagues of the time, in particular those working in the “Raphael” Israeli secret lab, who had managed to propose unconventional ways of achieving nuclear fission that would have allowed them to create their own version of the hydrogen bomb.


Might Makes Right? US Can Save Fleeing Presidents, But Russia Cannot

Yemen, Ukraine, and the Hypocrisy of ‘Aggression’ 

March 30, 2015 (Eric Draitser - NEO) - The military intervention in Yemen by a US-backed coalition of Arab states will undoubtedly inflame the conflict both in Yemen, and throughout the region. It is likely to be a protracted war involving many actors, each of which is interested in furthering its own political and geopolitical agenda.


However, it is the international reaction to this new regional war which is of particular interest; specifically, the way in which the United States has reacted to this undeniable aggression by its Gulf allies. While Washington has gone to great lengths to paint Russia’s reunification with Crimea and its limited support for the anti-Kiev rebels of eastern Ukraine as “aggression,” it has allowed that same loaded term to be completely left out of the narrative about the new war in Yemen.

So it seems that, according to Washington, aggression is not defined by any objective indicators: use of military hardware, initiation of hostilities, etc. Rather, the United States defines aggression by the relationship of a given conflict to its own strategic interests. In Crimea and Ukraine, Russia is the aggressor because, in defending its own interests and those of Russian people, it has acted against the perceived geopolitical interests of the US. While in Yemen, the initiation by Saudi Arabia and other US-backed countries of an unprovoked war with the expressed goal of regime change, this is not aggression as it furthers Washington’s interests.

Language Versus Reality

On March 25, 2015 a coalition of Arab states initiated an aerial bombardment (as of writing there has yet to be a ground invasion, though it is expected) of Yemen for the purposes of dislodging the Houthi rebel government which had weeks before toppled the US and Saudi-backed puppet government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The war initiated by Saudi Arabia, along with its fellow Gulf monarchies and Egypt, was motivated purely by Saudi Arabia’s, and by extension the United States’, perceived interests.

IT Independence is National Security

March 29, 2015 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The NSA's "Equation Group" is apparently behind the infection with malware of hard drive firmware on computers used by nations considered "enemies" by the United State. The installation of the malware is believed to have required access to trade secrets of IT manufacturers as well as physical access to the soon-to-be infected computers. Popular Science in their article "The World's Most Sophisticated Malware Ever Infects Hard Drive Firmware"suggests that the NSA intercepted computers in transit through global logistical chains.



However, a simpler and more logical explanation remains, though it is one manufacturers vehemently deny; that the NSA had/has direct access to the factory floors of several IT giants. These include Western Digital Corpororation, Seagate Technology, Toshiba Corporation, IBM, Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics.

The infection of hardware starting on the factory floor is nothing new. Australia's Financial Review revealed in 2013 in an article titled, "Intel chips could let US spies inside: expert," that, "one of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology experts, Steve Blank, says he would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines."

Blank made his comments after it was revealed that many processors posses potential backdoors that could allow intelligence agencies to rig a computer's encryption process, rendering it virtually useless.

Such concerns have already prompted Russia to begin requiring computers used for the government sector to include Russian-made processors. With hard drives now potentially compromised, the NSA has once again given the world a reason to boycott US tech giants and those within America's sphere of influence, and replace them with locally produced alternatives manufactured under tighter security controls.

Besides access to factory floors, several high profile "cyber attacks" attributed to China targeting US tech giants, may have been in fact the NSA itself attempting to steal source code required to rewrite hard drive firmware.

Reuters in its report "Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program" would claim, "concerns about access to source code flared after a series of high-profile cyberattacks on Google Inc and other U.S. companies in 2009 that were blamed on China. Investigators have said they found evidence that the hackers gained access to source code from several big U.S. tech and defense companies."

When big US tech and defense companies aren't directly cooperating with the NSA, it appears they are pillaged regularly by them. This was also likely the case regarding Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, which was also recently compromised by the NSA and its British equivalent, GCHQ. The hijacking of the company's SIM cards required direct access to company trade secrets and likely involved the NSA and GCHQ stealing encryption keys from company servers.

US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation

March 27, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The "proxy war" model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.


Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the "Islamic State," pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American "soft power" and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.

Though Saudi Arabia claims "10 countries" have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a "coalition," it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with "coalition partners" added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.

The New York Times, even in the title of its report, "Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen," seems not to notice these "10" other countries. It reports:
Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country.  
The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.
Proxy War Against Iran 

Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.