By Yoichi Shimatsu
|The blustery springtime gusts over the Korean Peninsula is uplifting kites and false-flag operations, the latest lift-off being a cyber-attack that’s shut down electrical power to hospital wards and surgery centers in faraway Britain. Here, on the Chinese doorstep of Korea, I had been patiently waiting for a much-anticipated false flag attack to be blamed on Pyongyang by intelligence circles in Washington and Tokyo.
No matter the media hysteria over the WanacryOR ransomware, I remain skeptical of expert claims about Bitcoin demands and also of the commercial nature of this crime. Neither am I shocked that the UK-based computer security company Sophos not only proved defenseless against Wanacry, it pulled an ad from the NHS website boasting of its free network-protection services. Both attacker and defender in the covert operation is a dangling tentacle of the monstrous Cyber-State, but are puny compared with those gargantuan limbs of DARPA–Amazon, Google and Palantir.
My only dismay came from the cynical cruelty of Western intel agents who could casually target patients etherized on operating tables inside public hospitals. For a polite British citizenry, who are tamer than red deer about to be pulverized into Scotch broth, it may seem unthinkable that Smiley’s men would risk the lives of mothers about to give birth and roadway accident victims. It’s not the first time nor the last, so that’s enough moral anguish.
Before proceeding, a message to the Korean people is in order here. Remember how the Western intelligence agencies wrote the script for the land mine explosion by the DMZ, the technically impossible “torpedo” attack on the frigate Choenan, and the “suicide” fall of a Prime Minister? Now, via their fake-news mouthpiece, The New York Times, which accuses North Korea of launching a cyberwar with Wanacry, the spymasters are again pointing the finger in the wrong direction instead of staring into the glass darkly. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is evillest of them all? Before probing the origins of the recent virus attack, let’s first a look at why the British hospitals were targeted by British insiders.
Wanacry? It’s laughable
Risible is a Briticism for laughable, like the Wanacry virus, straight out of the NSA manual of maniacal tricks beyond the requirements and imagination of cyber-crooks. Unloosed, the encryption virus locked up computers along infected networks in a hundred countries, but the most serious threat was to Britain. The targeting of one’s own nation or ally is called a false flag operation, a term derived from raising an enemy nation’s flag on a warship to attack your nation’s own ships with the aim of provoking a war.
What could have triggered this false flag attack on UK hospitals? Well, one reason is because the British Foreign Ministry sponsors an overseas development aid program inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea). The total sum amounts to a paltry sum of 4 million pounds sterling over the past six years, but it is reportedly the largest among EU donors.
The money is well spent, allocated to teachers for gaining international experience and helping North Korean journalists access the Internet. Some of the overseas aid fund is matched by private donations by Oxfam and Save the Children for basic food aid to poor farming communities and to revive agriculture on flood-damaged farmlands.
The provision of medical, food and development aid to North Korea’s youngest citizens is a social investment promising a large peace dividend. The older generation, who suffered all the ugliness and harm that the West could mete out in the Korean War of 1951-52, had good reason to be fearful and hateful of the foreign war machine. The British aid program, by contrast, through a slightly open doorway allows passage of a ray of light from the other side of the Western character, of a compassionate, civilized and cultured society, the opposite of the domineering colonial powers of six decades ago.
As a youth not too long ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was one of those children who enjoyed contact with the outside world, attending primary and middle schools near Bern, Switzerland. There he learned English, German and French, and enjoyed playing basketball. Of course, even with this early-age cultural contact, he is no angel but a realist (and that perspective, too, matches with European traditions of leadership training).
Why then do Kim’s commanders persist with missile tests and the nuclear program? Because he and they do not want to end up like Colonel Muamar Gaddafi, betrayed by the West after terminating his advanced weapons program, tortured and pushed face down in the sand. If that’s how the CIA treats its friends, then it’s wiser or at least safer to be an enemy. Trust is yet to be established by a younger generation of Americans different from Hillary Clinton’s henchmen, a promise that will hopefully happen in the near future.
The foreign aid budget has obstinate foes in Britain. The crusty arm-chair admirals of the British establishment are seeking budget cuts of foreign aid in order to buy more weapons. As quoted in The Express, Dr. Julian Lewis, chairman of parliamentary select committee on defence, stated that he “would be delighted if this (a proposed reduction in foreign aid) is the first indication that we might see (a return to) 3 percent spending on defense.”
Unfortunately for these Nelsonian seahawks, 4 million pounds diverted from aid to North Korea wouldn’t even cover the price for a watertight hatch much less a conning tower on the UK’s new Astute-class class of submarines, with their overrun cost of $10 billion apiece.
The question is: If the Royal Navy has no capability or political will to restrain Pyongyang’s arms build-up by military means wouldn’t a modest amount of spending on education and hunger relief be more effective at getting across the peace message to North Koreans, and at one-thousandth of the cost to taxpayers? Lest we be over-optimistic about human cognition, as Plato pointed out in the Republic, the light of reason makes little sense to blind men inside a cave.
Yet the British people, time and again, have shown themselves to be exceptional in an otherwise benighted world. “Lets fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave,” the slogan in the run-up to Brexit, indicated strong popular support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) pledge to allocate the “EU savings” on the National Health Service. Therefore, the cyber attack on NHS hospitals is the opening shot of a war against Brexit, against British democracy and sovereignty. Dark forces are rising.
Ghost Legion of Spooks
With the Arab Spring relegated to the Memory Hole, Benghazi into a flush pit, and Iraq and Syria lost to somebody out there, the multibillion-dollar western intelligence establishment is in dire need of a new crusade. North Korea isn’t much, slim pickings, but that’s all the spies have to go on.
So these Maxwell Smarts used a Wanacry encryption program, taken off the shelf at an NSA storeroom, and unleashed it on an unsuspecting world. The fake media headlines screamed “Ransomware”, as if everyone infected is going to dump $300 into a Bitcoin account. Amazingly, the NHS hospitals actually paid $17,000, no doubt a cause of consternation for the false-flag team, which wouldn’t dare try to retrieve the virtual cash. That was never part of the plan, just convenient cover.
This cyber-charade wasn’t about ransom. Why would professional thugs deal with Bitcoin during the commission of grand larceny? If you’re a criminal, a ransom is easily obtained by abducting any millionaire other than Freddy Heineken. (If those Dutch dummies had half a brain between them and grabbed Mrs. Heineken instead, Freddy would have paid them $30 million to keep her.)
Neither was the objective of Wanacry much of a rebate for the British defense budget. The concept of a phony cyberwar with North Korea was hatched at the 5 Eyes (or FVEY, as in give me a fivey, mate) in lakeside Queensland, New Zealand, this past April. Attended by new CIA director Mike Pompeo and FBI director James Comey, those wise guys came to grudging agreement that a cyberwar is less risky than the chemical-weapons attack using secret stockpiles at Osan Air Base, as was rumored by USAF personnel.
Plausible deniability is always an issue, so the decision was to let the Japanese handle the false flag to trigger a cyberwar that could stampede the UN General Assembly and Security Council into approving a total embargo and blockade of the DPRK.
Conveniently, earlier in mid-October 2016, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) General Mike Flynn had spent two weeks in Tokyo for a “cybersecurity” conference, which curiously was not listed on any published schedule. With highest-level security clearance, Flynn had access to all the cyberwar programs developed by the NSA during its idle hours when not snooping on your email and porn downloads. Presumably, the general got a peek at those downloads of unclothed Japanese women or boys or in-betweens in a stupor of sake and sedatives, and so brought an armload of cyberwar tools to Ichigaya Self-Defense Headquarters to gain private admission into the darker corners of Roppongi and Shinjuku san-chome.
Realizing the imminence of a false flag attack, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been sitting down the street from CERNET (Internet backbone service) tower under the sunny blue skies of Beijing, waiting for Cyber World War I and pondering how Shinzo Abe, since the late 1980s at the JETRO trade office in New York, had hijacked one of my reporters to hack the DARPA computer networks. My assumption just a week ago was that Abe’s online hitmen would blast the Chinese networks. Instead the EternalBlue vulnerability in the Microsoft operating system of 16 British hospitals was penetrated.
Rising Sun over three empires
The British cyber-attack prompted me to total recall of Hitachi, Toshiba and TEPCO having bought most of the assets of the British nuclear program, including the critical infrastructure network. Therefore the Japanese spooks have all the passwords and codes for the British government’s Internet backbone. Taking down the NHS was easier for them than a fourpennyworth pie on Penny Lane.
The objective of this act of international cyberwarfare was not merely to suspend British aid to North Korea, of course. The grand objective, the big picture, for Tokyo, is to create the Japanese militarist vision of “5-5-5” naval parity between Britain, the United States and Japan. Between the two world wars, Japan was relegated to a lesser “5-5-3” ratio of naval tonnage (in warships) under the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921, and resentment over this unequal alliance is often cited as the root cause of the Pearl Harbor attack.
In an ideal world of total imperial domination, there would be a gentlemanly alliance of three great empires – British, American and Japanese – ruling the seas and the land in between as well. This archaic triumvirate notion has its admirers in 5 Eyes, and of course detractors in Russia and China.
North Korea therefore gains importance as a battle theater for the three powers (Britain’s role being augmented by former colonies Australia and New Zealand) where Tokyo has a commanding edge in geographic knowledge, language skills and past war experience. The problem for Japan, however, is post-Brexit Britain with its non-interventionist public attitudes, much of that pacific attitude due to an unwholesome diet and sweet drinks that lead to hospitalization. Therefore, a revival of the martial spirit of the Englanders demanded a V-2 type shock from a blitz by new weaponry, the Cyber Battle of Britain.
Despite my present torpor after waiting so long in the sunshine and heat, I plod forward. The North Korean hacker group, known as Lazarus, is likely a fiction and its alleged role in WanaCry mischief is nonsense from various media mouthpieces of a rogue CIA.
The DARPA-Pentagon cybercommand has a close-up comprehension of North Korea’s limited networking capabilities, thanks to the 2013 visit of then Google chairman Eric Schmidt aka Doktor Strangelove, the dodgy crew from VICE TV, and that consummate freak Dennis Rodman. That was high-altitude craziness, followed by the Sony movie “The Interview” and the creation of Lazarus. It all reeked of a sweaty warm-up to a game of cyber-espionage.
Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, in that same time-frame, Sophos computer security failed to block an attack on NPR (US National Public Radio) by the “Syrian Electronic Army”, a dubious name for a hacker group supposedly allied with Assad regime. Was that hack a false-flag operation preliminary to what has allegedly just came out of North Korea? Never borrow a watchdog from a thief, especially one that neither bites nor barks, like Sophos.
The security firm’s name is Greek for “sage”, the ancient playwright Sophocles being most closely identified with the root noun. It is appropriate for an agent of the Cyber-State, for the playwright’s most famous tragedy is “Oedipus Rex”. Like the young hero who kills his father and marries his own mother, Oedipus is the avatar of the Cyber-State that usurps and demolishes Industrialism, its father, and captures the commercial society, the mother figure, driven by an incestuous fascination from social media. Threatened by the horrid facts of its creation, the Oedipal Super-state must blind itself and its followers against reality. To maintain their illusion of global dominance, the Cyber-State is ready to declare a world-destroying nuclear war to eliminate any vestiges of the real.
In the place of the real, the Cyber-Nuclear Triumvirate is yet another villainous phantasm taking shape, much like that trio of Sauron, Saruman and the dim-witted King of Rohan. Their mortal enemy and lynch pin of imperial unity is the Hermit Kingdom, which just wants to be left alone in their deep fastness, an enemy that rouses itself to fire missiles into the sea and then goes back home to watch NBA basketball over the Internet. Cyberwar is by now outdated as terminology. This battle is inside Virtual Unreality, shadow boxing with warrior hermits in a faraway forbidden realm, where facts don’t matter and we are our own enemy. There’s only one path to redemption: Unplug. It’s sunny outside, and a reality check takes some getting used to, kids.
Or if you choose to remain inside the virtual realm of illusory and self-destructive power fantasies, remember the warning from Oedipus: “The pain we inflict upon ourselves hurts most of all.”