The Trump administration has further exacerbated the extremely tense standoff on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching attack drones to South Korea and sending special forces units to participate in massive war games already underway. The military build-up takes place as the White House considers launching strikes on North Korean nuclear and military sites.
US Forces Korea announced on Monday that the company of Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) will be permanently stationed at Kunsan Air Base, south of Seoul. “The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to US Forces Korea and our [South Korean] partners,” it stated.
While the US announcement emphasized reconnaissance, the Gray Eagle drones can also carry up to four Hellfire missiles that have been used to carry out assassinations and strike military targets. The lethal drones can stay aloft for up to 24 hours.
The South Korean military was in no doubt as to the purpose of the deployment. An unnamed official told the Yonhap news agency: “In case of a war on the Korean Peninsula, the unmanned aircraft could infiltrate into the skies of North Korea and make a precision strike on the war command and other major military facilities.”
The dispatch of attack drones to South Korea coincides with the involvement of US special forces in annual Foal Eagle war games, including SEAL Team 6, the highly-trained assassination squad that killed Osama bin Laden. The SEAL team will take part in the joint exercises in South Korea along with US Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets, according to Yonhap.
A military official told the news agency that bigger numbers and more diverse US special operations forces were taking part, in order “to practice missions to infiltrate into the North, remove the North’s war command and demolition of its key military facilities.” The joint Foal Eagle drills are the biggest ever, involving more than 320,000 troops backed by a US aircraft carrier strike group, stealth fighters and strategic bombers.
Commenting on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to Japan, South Korea and China later this week, State Department spokesman Mark Toner absurdly claimed that the US military was taking “defensive measures” against “an increasingly worrying, concerning threat from North Korea.”
Neither the drones nor the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system to which Toner was referring are “defensive” in character. The drones, along with the special forces units, are rehearsing for pre-emptive attacks on North Korean military sites and “decapitation raids” to kill North Korean leaders. This is in line with an aggressive new joint operational plan, OPLAN 5015, agreed to between the US and South Korea in late 2015.
The THAAD deployment is part of the Pentagon’s broader build-up of anti-ballistic missile systems and military forces in Asia, primarily for war against China. Beijing has repeatedly voiced strenuous objections to the THAAD installation in South Korea, which has a powerful radar system capable of peering deep into the Chinese mainland and giving the US military much greater advance warning of Chinese missile launches in the event of war.
The Trump administration, which is currently reviewing US strategy towards North Korea, is exploiting North Korea’s test launch of four ballistic missiles last week to advance longstanding military preparations on the Korean Peninsula. According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House is actively considering “regime change” in Pyongyang and military strikes on North Korea.
“We have to look at new ideas, new ways of dealing with North Korea,” US State Department spokesman Toner blandly declared. “China understands that threat. They’re not oblivious to what’s happening in North Korea.”
The reference to China underscores the aims of Tillerson’s upcoming trip. Firstly, he intends to brief Washington’s Japanese and South Korean allies on US plans and to encourage closer military cooperation in the event of conflict. Then he will fly to Beijing, where he will attempt to bully the Chinese government into taking tougher punitive action against Pyongyang.
The mounting US threats towards North Korea are also directed against China, which the Trump administration is targeting as the chief obstacle to maintaining US dominance in Asia and internationally. Tillerson has provocatively declared that the US should block Chinese access to islets under Beijing’s administration in the South China Sea. The only way to carry out such a reckless plan would be through a US military blockade—an act of war that could provoke conflict between the two nuclear-armed powers.
Tensions in the South China Sea have been further strained by the decision of the Japanese military to dispatch its largest warship, the JS Izumo, for three months of operations, including in disputed waters. According to Reuters, the Izumo will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and US naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July. It will also train with the US navy in the South China Sea.
Over the eight years of the Obama administration and its “pivot to Asia,” the US has engaged in a systematic military expansion throughout the Asia Pacific, strengthened alliances and strategic partnerships and greatly aggravated dangerous regional flashpoints, including the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea. The Trump administration, which has been critical of the “pivot” for not being sufficiently aggressive, is now embarking on a course that greatly heightens the danger of war.
The response of the North Korean regime to Washington’s actions is reactionary through and through. Its nuclear and missile tests, along with its bloodcurdling threats and Korean chauvinism, in no way defend the Korean people, but do provide the US with a pretext for its military build-up in North East Asia. According to the 38north.org web site, affiliated with John Hopkins University, commercial satellite imagery indicates that Pyongyang could be preparing for another nuclear test.
Confronted with an intense political crisis in Washington, the Trump administration is not simply considering, but actively preparing for reckless provocations and military moves against North Korea that have the potential to trigger a cataclysmic war that draws in the entire world.
Copyright © Peter Symonds, World Socialist Web Site, 2017
NATO Weapons to Al Qaeda Near Damascus, Seized by Government Forces
NATO weapons (Made in the UK) in possession of terrorists from al-Qaeda group were found and seized by a Syrian Arab Army unit in Damascus Countryside.
The first truck loaded with weapons, described as the smaller one, had a full arsenal of missiles and munition made in UK and hidden under boxes of vegetables. It was coming from Daraa city in the south where the SAA is fighting a fierce battle against a new wave of terrorists attacks re-enforced from Jordan.
SAA Seizes 2 Shipments of NATO Weapons to Al Qaeda Near Damascus
The second truck heading to Kiswa city south of the Syrian capital Damascus loaded with automatic machine guns, firearms, and live munitions. The arsenal was boxed and wrapped with aluminum foils to avoid detection by the SAA checkpoints.
This shipment of weapons was shipped the same time the NATO sponsored terrorists of FSA blew up civilian buses in the heart of Damascus killing scores of mostly Iraqi pilgrims on a religious visit to shrines in Bab Sgheir cemetery in the old famous Shaghour neighborhood.
It’s of no surprise the NATO’s full engagement arming terrorists fighting to destroy Syria and turn it into a failed state, similar to their previous ‘achieved goals’ in Libya and Iraq and elsewhere. The timing however might be surprising to the Russian leadership which keeps falling in the same trap time and again trying to struck deals with their ‘Western partners’ and the Erdogan regime in NATO member state Erdoganstan (formerly Turkey).
Who is Behind “Fake News”? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images
First published on November 24, 2016
The mainstream corporate media is desperate.
They want to suppress independent and alternative online media, which it categorizes as “fake news”.
Readers on social media are warned not to go onto certain sites.
The intent of this initiative is to smear honest reporting and Truth in Media.
Our analysis confirms that the mainstream media are routinely involved in distorting the facts and turning realities upside down.
They are the unspoken architects of “Fake News”.
One area of routine distortion is the use of fake videos and images by the mainstream media.
Four Notorious Cases of Media Distortion
These are four examples and there are many more. The manipulation of videos and images is routine. In some cases, these manipulations are revealed by readers, independent media and social media. In most cases they go undetected. And when they are revealed, the media will say “sorry” we apologize: they will then point to technical errors. “we got the wrong video”.
What is important to emphasize is that these media distortions are invariably deliberate.
1. Coverage of CNN 2008 Riots in Tibet
Chinese Cops with khaki uniforms and Indian Style Moustaches
The video footage, which accompanied CNN’s John Vause’s report, had nothing to do with China. The police were not Chinese, but Indian cops in khaki uniforms from the Northeastern State of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Viewers were led to believe that demonstrations inside China were peaceful and that people were being arrested by Chinese cops.
Chinese Cops in Khaki Uniforms?
1′.27-1′.44″ video footage of “Chinese cops” and demonstrators including Buddhist monks. Chinese cops are shown next to Tibetan monks
Are these Chinese Cops from Gansu Province or Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as suggested by CNN’s John Vause’s Report?
REPORT ON CHINA, MARCH 14, 2008
Alleged Chinese cops in khaki uniforms repressing Tibet demonstrators in China, CNN, March 14, 2008 1’38″, 1’40″ (images above)
Their khaki uniforms with berets seem to bear the imprint of the British colonial period.
Khaki colored uniforms were first introduced in the British cavalry in India in 1846.
Khaki means “dust” in Hindi and Persian.
Moreover, the cops with khaki uniforms and mustache do not look Chinese.
They are Indian cops.
The videotape shown on March 14, 2008 by CNN is not from China (Gansu Province or Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital). The video was taken in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India. The videotape of the Tibet protest movement in India was used in the CNN report on the Tibet protest movement within China. CNN got its countries screwed up.
2. BBC Coverage of the War on Libya, 2011
Green Square Tripoli. Libyans Celebrating “Liberation” and the Victory of Rebel forces over Gadaffi waving Indian Flags
Examine the footage: It’s not Green Square and it’s not the King Idris Flag (red, black green) of the Rebels.
Its the Indian flag (orange, white and green) and the people at the rally are Indians.
Perhaps you did not even notice it.
And if you did notice, ”it was probably a mistake”.
Sloppy journalism at the BBC or outright Lies and Fabrications? Recognize the flags?
Indian Flag (see right)
Libya’s Rebel Flag (King Idris)
Terrorists “celebrating” in Green Square
There is no celebration. It is a NATO sponsored massacre which has resulted in several thousand deaths.
But the truth cannot be shown on network television. The impacts of NATO bombings have been obfuscated.
The rebels are heralded as ”liberators”.
NATO bombing is intended to save civilian lives under The Alliance’s R2P mandate. But the realities are otherwise: the civilian population is being terrorized by the NATO sponsored Rebels.
The images must be switched to conform to the “NATO consensus”.
Death and destruction is replaced by fabricated images of celebration and liberation.
3. CNN and BBC on 9/11.
The Report on the Collapse of WTC Building Seven Occurred Prior to the Collapse
Fake News regarding the Collapse of WTC Building Seven
The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.
The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.
CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.
See the images below: WTC Building Seven is still standing.
“CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.” (see below)
4. The March 2016 Brussels Terrorist Attacks.
Belgian Media Used Video of a 2011 Moscow Airport Terrorist Attack
Brussels News media Dernière Heure at dhnet.be as well as La Libre reported on the terror attacks by providing a CC Camera Airport Surveillance Video of the terror attacks.
The published video footage was fake as documented by a blog posting on Media Part.
The video pertains to a terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 24 January 2011 (posted on youtube in November 2013).
The report of DHnet.be on the Brussels airport attack used the video of the Moscow 2011 attack with the date of the Brussels attack: (22/03/2016) pasted onto the Russian video.
Below is the screenshot of DH’s report.
And the screenshot of La Libre at http://lalibre.be,
And here is a screenshot of the January 2011 terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedova International Airport published on youtube in November 2013 followed by the full youtube video of the Moscow attack:
According to the BBC (January 24, 2011) report (which includes the video), the Moscow 2011 airport attack resulted in 35 dead.
The lies and fabrications of the MSM are not the result of “sloppy journalism”.
They are deliberate and are intended to mislead the public.
The mainstream media routinely uses fake images and videos in its coverage of the war on Syria.
The campaign against alternative and independent media seeks to limit freedom of expression.
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2017