Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Encircling China: Soft Underbelly

The jumping off point for invasion will naturally be....


Australian man accused in plot to pack kangaroo with explosives

Good eye, good eye

The propaganda is so far of a jump over the shark it has literally become unbelievable, folks!

So how was he planning to get them in the pouch?

"Islamic State’s ability to inspire individuals all around the world to commit acts of terror has been one of the most worrying aspects of the militant group’s rise. However, there have been repeated reminders that the ‘‘lone wolfs’’ it inspires may not be so capable of organizing elaborate terror plots -- even if they still have the potential to cause harm. 

Not without FBI help anyway.

That point has been hammered home by the case of Sevdet Besim, a 19-year-old man on trial in Australia for allegedly planning to commit a terror attack in Melbourne last year. Besim has been accused of attempting an unusual method for a terror attack: packing a kangaroo full of explosives and setting it loose on Australian police officers."

Yeah, kangaroos are really controllable and subject to obeying commands.

Better light up the bat signal!

Screeching and guano fills the air in Australian town filled with bats

Maybe the U.S. could take some off your hands:

"A fungal disease that has killed millions of bats nationwide has spread to Washington state, the first time white-nose syndrome has turned up in the western United States, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. The disease does not affect people or other animals, but bats are valuable because they eat mosquitoes and other insects that damage trees and commercial crops. The news is concerning, though not entirely surprising because the fungal disease spreads rapidly, wildlife officials say. It has killed more than 6 million hibernating bats in 28 states and five Canadian provinces since it was first documented nearly a decade ago in New York. Previously, white-nose syndrome had been detected only as far west as Minnesota."

It's a number that draws comparisons™, but beyond that one must wonder about the effects of GMO mosquitos on some of these populations. If you think I'm buying the limited hangouts of pesticides and white-nose from my pre$$.... sigh!)

Of course, Australia is a long way away.... but they are finding it tough to marshal a war-weary public to arms.

Man, on Fire, Tries to Drive Car Into Australian Police Station Garage

Only problem is “there’s nothing to indicate this is in any way related to terrorism and we can’t know what his motivation was at this stage,” assistant police commissioner, Denis Clifford, said at a news conference.

Australian police investigate abuse accusations against cardinal

I don't know why I dragged that up out of the grave.

Now on to.....


Where the front lines erupted in an attempt to seize Timor Island in an Amazing thrust through the sea:

"Line shares surge in US debut of year’s biggest technology IPO" by Alex Barinka and Selina Wang Bloomberg News  July 14, 2016

Line Corp. surged 27 percent in its US trading debut after the Japanese messaging company raised more than $1 billion in the biggest technology initial public offering of the year.

“We will be focusing on our four key markets: Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia,” Line’s chief financial officer, In-Joon Hwang, said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

Investors will be keen to look past the first few days of trading. Line will likely be measured going forward against fellow tech stocks Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., for which user growth has been a key metric. Line, which has about 218 million users, said in its prospectus that the pace of user growth has slowed.

Despite market volatility and a surging yen triggered by the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, Line raised its IPO price by 18 percent from an initial estimate and exercised an option to sell more stock. The company sold less than a fifth of its total shares in this week’s offering.

Tokyo’s influential day traders will be watching Line’s open ahead of its debut in its home market on Friday, and could spark an early feeding frenzy for the shares. The traders have a tendency to favor stocks popular with the general public, with retail investors drawn to the IPOs of companies whose services they use.

Line’s sales grew 40 percent last year, but the company chalked up a net loss in the period, according to its IPO filing.

Nomura Holdings Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were the lead underwriters.

Now why would the printed Globe have kept that under the hood

Because they are also the lead underwriters of wars?


Thus began the long march through Tenggara, Java, and Sumatra.

"Indonesian police say DNA confirms most wanted terror suspect is dead" by Joe Cochrane New York Times   July 23, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s national police confirmed through DNA testing that the country’s most wanted terrorism suspect had been killed during a gunbattle earlier in the week on Sulawesi Island, police announced Saturday.

The police said its laboratory had confirmed the identify of Abu Wardah, better known as Santoso. He was the leader of the Mujahedeen of Eastern Indonesia, a terrorist cell that has professed allegiance to the Islamic State.

Santoso and one of his followers were killed Monday during a gunfight with Indonesian security forces near the central Sulawesi province town of Poso, which has long been a hotbed for terrorist activity. Around 20 members of his terrorist cell remained at large.

“From the DNA test results, it’s positive and confirmed that one of the corpses is Santoso,” said Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar, a national police spokesman.

Santoso, 40, and his cell grew to national prominence in the past several years by carrying out attacks on security forces, in particular the police, as well as training militants across the country. Santoso’s group has included Uighurs from the western Chinese region of Ningxia.

Last year, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia made it a priority to increase efforts to capture or kill Santoso, establishing a joint military-police task force that included fighter jets to support the mission.

In March, the United States placed Santoso and the Mujahedeen of Eastern Indonesia on its global terrorist designation list.

“Indonesia has preempted the creation of a wilayah in Southeast Asia,” said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, referring to an autonomous Islamic governorate.

Indonesia has suffered multiple terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic militants since 2000, including bombings of Christian churches, nightclub bombings on the island of Bali, and attacks on upscale Western hotels and the Australian Embassy in the capital, Jakarta.

But they are now driving out ISIS™ and winning the ground war.


Stymied on the ground in Indonesia, the allies took to the air against.... 


Who shot down Malaysian Airways flight MH17? Report offers clues, but no clarity
Debris in Mozambique is thought to come from Malaysia Airlines flight
Take off that shirt, it’s a threat to national security
Man who found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 part finds new item on Reunion
CEO of troubled Malaysian airline to step down
Debris in Madagascar will be analyzed to see if belongs to missing plane
In hunt for Flight 370, rethinking just how far a jet can fly on fumes


All the way to Colorado, or so I'm told.

"The countries leading the effort to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared two years ago with 239 people aboard, said Friday that they would suspend but not end the search if the missing plane was not found in the rapidly shrinking target area. Representatives of Australia, China, and Malaysia said the search could be revived if “credible new information” emerged about the location of the airliner...."

Here is a credible report:

"When they fabricated the story about Flight MH370 flying south for the winter from the location where it disappeared off the radar over the South China sea, where a witness reported seeing a plane burning and crashing in the night sky, where the US was holding naval drills with two cruise missile destroyers… when they fabricated the “super stealth” commercial airliner story and diverted the search area a thousand miles from anywhere one would logically look for debris.. I wrote that the plane would never be found. And after a number of bullshit “discoveries” of parts and pieces of things that had nothing to do with Flight MH370 and spending $180 million on an ocean floor mapping project for Big Oil (under the cover of “looking for Flight 370)… they have now given up entirely on ever finding the plane and the bodies of those poor souls lost that day...."

With the air campaign failing, the allies attempted to engineer a change in government:

Ruling coalition wins amid scandal

Ex-Malaysian leader quits ruling party in protest

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad can $ee the writing on the wall:

"US goes after more than $1b taken from Malaysian fund" by Eric Tucker Associated Press  July 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — The United States moved Wednesday to recover more than $1 billion that federal officials say was stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and that was used for high-end real estate, fancy artwork, and production of the Hollywood film ‘‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’’

Justice Department civil forfeiture complaints seek the forfeiture of property including a Manhattan penthouse and a Beverly Hills mansion, a $35 million private jet, and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

The complaint, filed in Los Angeles, alleges a complex money-laundering scheme that the Justice Department says was intended to enrich top-level officials of a government-controlled Malaysian wealth fund.

That fund, known informally as 1MDB, was created in 2009 by the Malaysian government with the goal of promoting economic development projects in the Asian nation. Instead, officials at the fund diverted more than $3.5 billion over the next several years through a web of shell companies and bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the United States, the complaint alleges.

‘‘In seeking to seize these forfeited items, the Department of Justice is sending a message that we will not allow the United States to become a playground for the corrupt,’’ Eileen Decker, the US Attorney in Los Angeles, said at a news conference. ‘‘And we will not allow it to be a platform for money laundering or a place to hide and invest in stolen riches.’’


Obviously, the Malaysian government is not towing the U.S. line; otherwise, these charges would never have been brought.

Federal officials say more than $1 billion was laundered into the United States for the personal benefit of 1MDB officials and their associates. The funds were used to pay for luxury real estate in the United States and Europe, gambling debts in Las Vegas casinos, a London interior designer, expensive paintings, and the production of films.

The Justice Department said it was the largest forfeiture demand under an initiative that seeks to recover foreign bribery proceeds and embezzled funds.

The complaint identifies by name multiple Malaysian nationals that the government alleges profited from the scheme.

Among them is Riza Shahriz Bin Abdul Aziz, who cofounded Red Granite Pictures, a movie production studio whose films include ‘‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’’

Oh, yeah, speaking of Wall Street.... $igh.

According to the complaint, 11 wire transfers totaling $64 million were used to fund the studio’s operations, including the production of the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Oh, Leo!

The complaint identified Riza as a relative of a Malaysian official, but did not name the official. He is the stepson of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

‘‘Neither 1MDB nor the Malaysian people ever saw a penny of profit from that film or from any of the other assets that were purchased with funds that were siphoned from 1MDB,’’ said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division. ‘‘Instead, that money went to relatives and associates of the corrupt officials of 1MDB and others.’’ 

What's the big deal? That's standard practice at the Clinton Foundation.

The Justice Department is seeking to seize any royalties and fees owed to Red Granite in the future.

A phone message at the movie studio on Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.

Malaysian government officials had no comment Wednesday in response to queries about the Justice Department action.

But opposition lawmaker Tony Pua said Malaysia has become a laughingstock with the US move as the government had insisted that no money was missing from the fund. He said the government must open up investigations into the fund and uncover the identity of the Malaysian senior official behind the money laundering.


His explanation isn't any good.

"US rejects account of how millions got to Malaysia’s leader" by Richard C. Paddock New York Times  July 22, 2016

BANGKOK — A US Justice Department complaint filed in federal court this week directly contradicts repeated assertions by the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, about the origins and purpose of hundreds of millions of dollars that ended up in his personal bank accounts.

While Najib and other Malaysian officials have insisted that the money was a gift from an unidentified Saudi donor, the Justice Department said that it was stolen from a Malaysian government investment fund that Najib oversaw. Najib has said he never received any money from the fund.

The court filing, one of several complaints filed Wednesday in a federal money-laundering investigation, provides the first official public documentation of transactions that challenge Najib’s version of events in a scandal that has battered his government for the past year.

The revelations could undermine his credibility and give new ammunition to a movement to force him from office.

That's the goal here; otherwise, I wouldn't be getting all this print regarding it (buried back in the business pages, but....). 

In fact, they wouldn't even be bringing it up.

However, he maintains firm control over his governing party and has stifled opposition with the firing of critics from party posts, the closing of online news outlets, and the criminal prosecution of social media detractors and political opponents.

Regular old Erdogan, huh?

Najib has acknowledged receiving the money but said he broke no laws and took nothing for personal gain. He told reporters Thursday that his government would “fully cooperate” with the Justice Department action.

“Allow the process to take its course,” he said, “but I want to say categorically that we are serious about good governance.”

A spokesman for Najib, reached late Thursday, said the prime minister had not changed his position that the money he received was a gift from a Saudi donor and that he gave most of it back because he did not need it.

While the Justice Department complaint is an allegation, not evidence, it outlines in detail how huge sums were diverted from the government fund, routed through bank accounts in various countries, and then spent on high-end real estate, artwork, gambling, and various luxury goods by Najib’s stepson, friends, and associates.

But they can't find the terrorists or what Wall Street did, blah, blah, blah.

The court filing seeks to recover more than $1 billion in assets bought with money that prosecutors say was stolen from the fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.

Those assets, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said Wednesday, “are just a portion of the more than $3 billion that was stolen from 1MDB and laundered through American financial institutions in violation of United States law.”

The case, she said, should be seen as a sign of the country’s “firm commitment to fighting international corruption” and the department’s determination “to protect the American financial system from being used as a conduit for corruption.”

What did they do, withdraw the money they were stashing here? 

Is that why Lynch is in a tizzy, and did she cc Bill Clinton?

The United States is among several governments, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Switzerland, that have investigated 1MDB.

The inquiries began last year after an investigative report in The New York Times traced the purchases of about $150 million in residential properties and artwork in the United States to relatives or associates of Najib.

While the federal complaint does not identify Najib by name, it cites $731 million in funds that came from 1MDB that were deposited into accounts belonging to a government official identified as “Malaysian Official 1.”

However, Najib is clearly recognizable in the descriptions and actions attributed to that official.

Large transactions by “Malaysian Official 1” described in the complaint are identical to those previously acknowledged by Najib. The complaint describes the official’s role in managing the fund, which matches Najib’s role. And it says “Malaysian Official 1” is a relative of Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson.

A person with knowledge of the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed that “Malaysian Official 1” was Najib. The complaint does name Aziz, and a family friend, Jho Low, who helped establish the fund.

Najib’s advisers have said Najib received about $1 billion in 2013, most of it donations from a member of the Saudi royal family to help him fight a tough election campaign that year.

That explanation of a Saudi gift was repeated by Najib’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, who closed a government investigation into the money in January saying that he had found no evidence of wrongdoing.

On Thursday, Apandi issued a statement asserting that no investigation had found evidence that 1MDB funds had been misappropriated.

The Saudi gift was also confirmed by Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in April that Najib had received a “genuine donation” from a Saudi donor. He did not specify the amount or provide any details.

A Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman did not respond Friday to requests for comment.

The complaint says that $681 million transferred to Najib in 2013 came from a Singapore bank account held in the name of Tanore Finance Corp. It says the money originated from $3 billion in bonds underwritten for 1MDB by Goldman Sachs.

It always comes down to the usual $u$pects, doesn't it?


Thankfully, Singapore remains safe, and thus the allies would turn to take on....


Large metal chunk investigated after washing onto Thai beach

It was there that they landed, and immediately began to drive for Bangkok. There they were met by Chinese and Turkish forces and driven back according to reports.

It was then that "prodemocracy protesters in Thailand’s capital defied a ban on protests and staged a rare rally Saturday against the country’s ruling military government. More than 200 people marched peacefully to Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, a symbolic site that has become a rallying point for protests in recent years. They carried antijunta banners as a ring of police kept watch over the event."

A battle cry was sounded:

"Thai police said Saturday that two men who were arrested in August’s deadly Bangkok bombing were the ones who carried out the attack and authorities have gathered enough evidence to prosecute them. Authorities said they are confident that the two men in custody, identified as Adem Karadag and Mieraili Yusufu, are responsible for the bombing at the Erawan Shrine on Aug. 17 that killed 20 people and injured more than 120. Police are seeking at least 15 other people in connection with the case."

It was a subtle way of telling the Thais to toe the line; however, it ended in an insulting defeat for allied forces, but everyone could see it coming.

Nothing left to do now but freeze the joke of a vote and stick with the prime minister and foreign minister (now that was a president!) before moving up to.....



Where the allies should find friendlier terrain under a puppet government

The president is nothing but a figurehead for the CIA, and the parliament is dominated by them. In a day full of ceremony and symbolism, the new president was nominated.

"The newly created role could give her authority exceeding the president’s. The combination of jobs means she will oversee the president’s office, determine foreign policy and coordinate decision-making between the executive branch and parliamentary leaders. It is unclear what responsibilities that will leave for the president. Military members of Parliament denounced the measure as an unconstitutional power grab, stood up in the chamber in protest, and boycotted the vote."

They were then put under arrest as General John Kerry pushed his troops dangerously far from their supply lines and towards Thailand.

"Suu Kyi tackles migrant workers’ plight during Thailand trip" Associated Press  June 24, 2016

MAHACHAI, Thailand — In a demonstration of her popular appeal, Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi received a rapturous welcome Thursday as she presided over a town hall-style meeting with some of the huge population of migrant workers from her homeland who eke out a living in Thailand.

Her meeting with countrymen in the Thai port town of Mahachai, where many work, reprised a similar meeting in 2012 that drew tens of thousands. The numbers this time appeared to be lower, but the level of adulation was high, as the cheering crowd had to be held back from mobbing her.

Overshadowing her visit — though not addressed by her or her Thai hosts — is her government’s treatment of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority of about 1 million who generally have been deprived of citizenship under Myanmar law and are targets of discrimination and violence.

Suu Kyi spoke to several hundred people in a meeting hall for 20 minutes before stepping down from the stage in frustration at a faulty sound system to engage face-to-face with members of the audience, who gave her questions and comments about what she could do to help their lives.

A large crowd of several thousand waiting outside burst into cheers and song as she was leaving, after staying for the duration of her meeting even as heavy rain poured on them.

When Suu Kyi last visited Thailand four years ago, it was as head of her country’s opposition party to offer moral support to her countrymen who work here in menial jobs, often in exploitative conditions.

She arrived back as her country’s elected leader to tackle on an official basis the problems faced by Myanmar migrant workers the government estimates to number 1.4 million but advocates say is at least twice that.

The trip puts her in the spotlight as questions have arisen about her government’s policies, particularly toward the Rohingya minority.

Questions have arisen where?


"U.S. Criticizes Myanmar Over Human Trafficking" New York Times News Service  June 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — The designation came just a few weeks after the Treasury Department lifted a broad array of sanctions on Myanmar, including those applying to state-run banks and businesses.

Senior officials argued then that although the country’s human rights record was not perfect, its leaders deserved to be rewarded for their steps toward democratization. Relaxing the sanctions, they said, would serve as an incentive for the government to further improve its behavior.

Maybe they can bribe Myanmar back into the fold?

US officials said Myanmar had not met expectations for improvement, though they said its efforts had been “significant.” The determination could have potentially damaging effects on a relationship that was just showing signs of thaw.

The State Department said in its report that the conscription of children by the country’s military and the widespread use of forced labor, including the sex trafficking of women and girls, also remain serious problems in Myanmar.

They would only be dragging those out had Suu Kyi done something wrong, like think independently.

While the government has continued to prosecute and raise awareness about trafficking, it said Myanmar had not done enough to hold civilian officials responsible, a core issue as it appears the problem may be shifting to the private sphere rather than being resolved....

It's also a lever against the government should sanctions need be reapplied.


The U.S. State Department gave them the same ranking as Iran, North Korea, and Syria? 

Ain't those fighting words?


"Concerns about corruption, child-trafficking and baby-selling have prompted the United States to suspend adoptions from several countries in recent years, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala and Nepal."

It's only a quick thrust through Bangladesh to get to the high ground of.....


"Nepalese gathered at the remains of a historic tower in the capital and other sites across the nation to hold memorial services marking the one-year anniversary of a devastating earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and left millions homeless. Minor protests were also held, with demonstrators angry at the slow rate of reconstruction. About 100 protesters, demonstrating against the slow rebuilding of the homes, scuffled with police outside the prime minister’s office."

That's why supplies aren't getting through.

"Risks in climbing Everest in focus as 3 die, 2 disappear" Associated Press  May 23, 2016

KATHMANDU, Nepal — An Indian climber has died while being helped down Mount Everest, just a couple of days after Dutch and Australian climbers died near the peak. Two other Indian climbers are missing, and experts say some of the accidents may have been avoidable.

Poor planning and overcrowding on the world’s tallest peak may have led to bottlenecks that kept people delayed at the highest reaches while waiting for the path to clear lower down, Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said Monday.

‘‘This was a man-made disaster that may have been minimized with better management of the teams,’’ he said. ‘‘The last two disasters on Everest were caused by nature, but not this one.’’

Many had hoped this year’s climbing season would bring success and restore confidence in the route, after deadly disasters canceled climbing the previous two years.

But as hundreds of eager climbers, joined by Sherpa guides and expedition experts, scrambled to take advantage of good weather to ascend, reports of tragedy began trickling down the mountain.


Related: Sushil Koirala, Ex-Premier of Nepal Who Fought for Democracy, Dies at 77

Just when they needed him most. 

Nepal’s parliament elects nation’s first female president

Habitat for Humanity cancels Jimmy Carter build in Nepal

The Dalai Lama apparently says ‘too many’ refugees are going to Europe

Obama and Dalai Lama meet over China’s objection

Obama had him over for talks to see who is on board for war, and now he is over there making sure of the commitments.


Maps of Australia are all five feet off

At least now we know why the invasion up the outer rim of the Western Pacific did not go according to plan.

Also see: ‘Cruel in the extreme:’ Australia accused of ignoring abuse of refugees

What did they expect to find in a prisoner of war camp?