Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thailand: Careless Journalism Backs a Western Colour Revolution

December 4, 2016 (The New AtlasSputnik International is a Russian-based media platform that has added depth and reach to the alternative media.

It was unfortunate then, to see their article, "Dislike: Thai Activist Arrested for Posting Unflattering Article About the King," which carelessly repeated Western media propaganda regarding Thailand.

Aiding and Abetting Western Colour Revolutions... 

The story involves alleged "activist" Jatupat Boonpattararaksa of the "New Democracy Movement," a US-EU-backed opposition movement meant to create in Thailand the same instability Western-backed "colour revolutionaries" have caused across Eastern Europe and the Middle Eastern and North African region (MENA).

Sputnik cites iLawFX, a US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Open Society funded front. 

Jatupat was detained for distributing a BBC Thai article claiming to be a "biography" of Thailand's new king and head of state, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The BBC biography was rife with disinformation and slander aimed at undermining the new head of state's role in unifying and moving the nation forward after over a decade of political turmoil brought about by the US-European backed government of Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra.

US Policymakers Seek "New Thailand" Amid Asian Pivot

December 4, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - With the passing of Thailand's head of state, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a universally revered cultural and pragmatic leader for the last 70 years, Thailand's enemies see an opportunity in what they perceive as a void in national unity.

Throughout Washington's policy circles, several articles containing analysis have been circulated regarding an opportunity for "change" or a "New Thailand."

The least subtle of these articles is Foreign Policy magazine's "A Chance for Change in the New Thailand: Now that the king is gone, can Thailand’s opposition come together to challenge the ruling military junta?," which in title alone gives away the West's desire to foment the sort of "colour revolutions" and "regime change" it has backed around the world from North Africa to the Middle East to Eastern Europe and even Asia itself.

The article makes fundamental mistakes no real geopolitical analysis would make if informing readers was their goal. They are, however, mistakes one would make if they were advocating regime change and needed to create a false pretext with which to justify it.

The article claims:

the waiting game is now over. In a few months at most — following a period of mourning for the beloved king — the dust will settle and a new political landscape will come into being. In this new environment, the democratic opposition will be able to organize and mobilize far more effectively for a return to democratic rule. It will be able to capitalize on the unpopularity of the new king, mobilizing populations who were unwilling to challenge the junta and its royal mandate. It will also be able to unite various groups around common strategies and campaigns, now that the uncertainties of the referendum and the king’s health have passed. These campaigns might target the new centers of power, or use elections as mobilizing opportunities, or focus on uniting both major parties against the junta. 
But of course, this will depend on the ability of civil society groups to bridge their divisions and unite behind a single banner: returning Thailand to democratic governance.
However, the so-called "democratic opposition" Foreign Policy deceptively refers to is in fact simply the supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, who represent a small and dwindling minority amid Thai politics.

Even in 2011, when Shinawatra's sister took power, his political party garnered the support of only 35% of all eligible voters, failed to win even the popular vote and when in 2014 tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to call for the resignation of his party from power, he failed to mobilise a street presence even remotely proportional in his own support. 

Shinawatra himself was a categorically undemocratic figure himself who sought to create a single party government, actively eliminated his political enemies both through litigation and through assassinations as well as cultivated a violent street movement used to intimidate and coerce the population. 

In 2006 he was ultimately ousted from power. In his place, and only under the guise of "democracy," Shinawatra would have his brother-in-law and even his sister take his place as prime minister. In actuality, Shinawatra's rule over Thailand resembled third-world banana republicanism, not "democratic opposition."

"Democratic opposition" in Thailand is actually the same foreign-backed, violent and dishonest rabble that has set upon nations from Libya to Syria, from Ukraine to Myanmar, dividing and destroying nations then turning them over to Western-backed despots. 
And since his ouster in 2006, he and his sponsors abroad, including the United States and Europe, have created for him the same recipe of foreign-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), student groups, alleged pro-democracy media platforms and even armed groups required to seize back power and implement policies favourable to the West.

In reality, the majority of Thailand's population are either indifferent to the current political struggle, or are acutely aware of just how undemocratic Foreign Policy's "democratic opposition" truly is.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Saving Face: America's TPP Disaster

December 2, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Long before US President-elect Donald Trump even began his presidential campaign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was already crumbling along with the rest of America's so-called "pivot to Asia" policy.

In late 2011, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would begin promoting what was called "America's Pacific Century." A US State Department archive containing Secretary Clinton's remarks on the subject would reveal the "pivot to Asia" being promoted as (our emphasis):

...a need for a more dynamic and durable transpacific system, a more mature security and economic architecture that will promote security, prosperity, and universal values, resolve differences among nations, foster trust and accountability, and encourage effective cooperation on the scale that today’s challenges demand. 

And just as the United States played a central role in shaping that architecture across the Atlantic – to ensure that it worked, for us and for everyone else – we are now doing the same across the Pacific. The 21st century will be America’s Pacific century, a period of unprecedented outreach and partnership in this dynamic, complex, and consequential region.

In both title and stated intentions, the "pivot to Asia" was a policy of, by and for the United States. Secretary Clinton would compare US intentions toward Asia Pacific with its alleged accomplishments across the Atlantic, even citing Afghanistan and Libya as success stories despite the fact that both nations were rendered and to this day remain decimated, dysfunctional failed states following US intervention.

From the Beginning the TPP was About Domination, Not Cooperation 

Secretary Clinton would mention the TPP specifically, claiming:
There is new momentum in our trade agenda with the recent passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and our ongoing work on a binding, high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership, the so-called TPP. The TPP will bring together economies from across the Pacific, developed and developing alike, into a single 21st century trading community. A rules-based order will also be critical to meeting APEC’s goal of eventually creating a free trade area of the Asia Pacific.
In reality, however, the TPP was never about creating a "trading community," it was about reasserting US domination over Asian-Pacific trade. Prominent US policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), published a paper authored by Robert Blackwill, Henry Kissinger and Ashley Tellis titled, "Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China." In it, the TPP is referred to specifically in the context of containing China, not fostering economic cooperation (our emphasis):
The congressional role in sustaining a successful U.S. grand strategy toward China is manifested primarily in three areas: giving the president trade-promotion authority so that he may quickly conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) freetrade agreements now being negotiated in Asia, reforming and providing the defense budgets necessary to maintain U.S. power projection and a credible Asian alliance system, and continuously holding U.S. administrations accountable for the implementation of their response to the rise of Chinese power.
Here, rhetoric about building stronger and more beneficial relationships with Asia-Pacific is dropped, and the reality of US policy serving a singular agenda, the containment of China's regional and global rise, is revealed. Throughout the report, the TPP is repeatedly cited as a means of competing with what US policymakers call "China’s asymmetrical economic advantages."

China's economic and geopolitical rise has in turn helped drive development across all of Asia. Immense infrastructure projects from highways connecting China to Thailand, dams powering Laos, ports and pipelines in Myanmar and rail projects region-wide alone have tangibly transformed Asia over the past decade in ways US economic and military ties have failed categorically to match.