US Navy Commander: US is Shifting Its Focus 'Both Economically and Militarily towards Asia' ...Since When??

Go Asia Pacific: "The Commander of the United States Pacific Command has toured the Northern Marianas [northeast of the Philippines] amid plans to increase the military presence there. Gemma Casas reports. "Admiral Thomas B. Fargo made an aerial and land inspection in the CNMI to familiarize himself with the geography, infrastructure and potential of the islands in future plans of the US military. Mr. Fargo and Rear Admiral Arte Johnson gave the governor and the lt. governor of the CNMI a short-term snapshot of the military's plans for the region. The plan include basing more planes at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, increasing use of military pre-positioned ships - especially for the U.S. Army, more training, another submarine home ported in Guam, and continued use of the CNMI as an R&R stop for the Navy. Mr. Fargo says as the US shifts the Marianas will play a more strategic role for America." So just when did the White House plan to inform the public of this little "shift?"

Why Rice is in Asia: Damage Control as Bush Deploys Troops to Pacific

Once again, Democrats.com called it right. We predicted that the sudden removal of thousands of troops from Korea would be followed by a commensurate deployment (redeployment) to the Pacific. China and other southeast Asian countries are disturbed by the move, and now analysts say Condi Rice's trip to the region last week was aimed at smoothing things over. But she hasn't convinced anyone so far. "It is an unprecedented show of force and a return to gunboat diplomacy," said Andrew Tam, a security expert at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore.The People's Daily accuses Bush of trying to build up a line of defense in the Western Pacific that starts with Japan and extends down China's coastline through Taiwan and the Philippines. "The US global strategic review not only again fully exposes a wild ambition for world domination, but at the same time also shows its intention to take unilateral actions in every part of the world," the paper said.

Classic Bush Tactics Used to Target Burma

Bush wants to demonize Burma (Myanmar) so he can add it to his list of "evil countries." Nearly all "evil countries" have one thing in common: they represent real estate required for a cross-south Asia oil/gas pipeline network. Recently, the Bush cartel said sanctions were required because pro-Democracy candidate Aung San Suu Ky was being held under house arrest by Burma's military junta. (Btw - the Bush campaign violated these same sanctions by importing promo jackets made in Burmese sweatshops!). Now that the junta has pledged to release Ky by May 17, Bush has upped the ante and says that's not good enough. What's next? Charges of "harboring terrorists" or blackmarketing nukes? The US-based think tank, the National Bureau of Asian Research, says the sanctions are pointless at best and at worst might strengthen the military junta's power - which is no doubt part of the demonization strategy.

Bush Turns His Guns on Another Piece of Real Estate Needed for His Trans-Asia Pipeline: Burma

We have long predicted that Bush's long-term scheme is to pump oil out of South Asia (which stretches from the Middle East to Vietnam) and sell it to Japan and the US. The "real estate" required for this continuous "oil line" includes: Syria, Iraq, Iran Afghanistan, India and Burma (Myanmar). Iraq and Afghanistan have been invaded, Syria and Iran have been put on the hit list, and India is already "in the bag." Bush paid them off with billions in outsourced jobs he allowed the US to lose. That leaves Burma... So now the Bush cartel is beginning its "evil country" rhetoric, a prelude, we have no doubt, to declaring Burma a terrorist stronghold that should be invaded. For map of south Asia see: http://www.askasia.org/image/maps/asias1.htm

The New Great Game: Bush's Other War for Oil (and Natural Gas) in the Caspian

"Bush has used his massive military build-up in Central Asia to seal the cold war victory against Russia, to contain Chinese influence and to tighten the noose around Iran. Most importantly, however, Washington - supported by the Blair government - is exploiting the 'war on terror' to further American oil interests in the Caspian region. But this geopolitical gamble involving thuggish dictators and corrupt Saudi oil sheiks is only likely to produce more terrorists... Today, the US has taken over the leading role from the British. Along with the Russians, new regional powers, such as China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, have entered the arena, and transnational oil corporations are also pursuing their own interests... The main spoils in today's Great Game are Caspian oil and gas. On its shores, and at the bottom of the Caspian Sea, lie the world's biggest untapped fossil fuel resources. Estimates range from 110 to 243bn barrels of crude, worth up to $4 trillion."

Asia and the War with Iraq

Andre Vltchek writes for ZNET: "In February, the people of Asia stood shoulder to shoulder, protesting in front of their US embassies against the forthcoming war against Iraq. They marched through rain, snow and tropical heat, their numbers varying from several hundreds to hundreds of thousands. But their message was unanimous: 'We are not irrelevant. We, the people of the largest and the most populous continent on earth are against the war and against the Western hegemony. And we want our voices to be heard.' Even in Japan, a country often described as the staunchest supporter of US foreign policy, around 80% of the population is against the war. There is no major nation on the Asian continent that is cheering for an invasion of Iraq."