Wednesday, May 4, 2016

US Meddling in Thailand Boosts Bangkok-Moscow Ties

May 4, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The so-called "Pivot to Asia" serving as the current underpinning of American foreign policy in Asia has been repeatedly exposed as a continuation of a decades-old cynical region-wide US gambit to encircle and contain China while establishing military, sociopolitical, and economic hegemony over China's neighbors, particularly those in East and Southeast Asia.

US proxies have long held power in the Philippines and Japan, while Myanmar has recently found itself under direct Western influence through US-British proxy Aung San Suu Kyi and her army of US-British funded political fronts and faux-nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Other nations, including Malaysia and Indonesia have encountered increasing hostility from the "pivoting" United States as they choose closer ties to China in exchange for infrastructure and meaningful economic relations versus the West's non-negotiable "free trade agreements" and one-sided military "partnerships."

Thailand finds itself geographically, historically, and geopolitically at the center of this "pivot." Historically, Thailand remains the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European or American colonization. It has accomplished this by striking a delicate balancing act between various opposing hegemonic forces in the region.

More recently, it has weathered over 10 years of political instability brought about by US-proxy Thaksin Shinawatra who served as prime minister from 2001-2006, with his brother-in-law and sister served as nepotist stand-ins up to 2014 when finally he and his political party were completely removed from power by a peaceful military coup.

During Shinawatra's time in power, he would serve Western interests well - sending Thai troops to participate in the unpopular and illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, hosting the CIA's atrocious rendition program on Thai soil, and attempting to ramrod through a US-Thai free trade agreement without parliamentary approval.

Since Shinawatra's initial removal from power in 2006 and up to and including today, he has received unswerving support from some of the largest lobbying firms in Washington including his former Carlyle Group associate James Baker,  Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Robert Amsterdam, and notorious Neo-Conservative Kenneth Adelman. It is clear that the US seeks to put Shinawatra back into power, or at the very least, use his political front to divide and weaken Thailand as much as possible to gain additional regional leverage.

Thailand now finds itself at the end of a US-European campaign to isolate and shame the nation for dismantling the foreign-backed political networks of Thaksin Shinawatra. Western headlines portray Thailand as an international pariah, when in reality, its increasingly closer relations with Bejing alone equates to the support of a nation that - by itself - represents more people than the US and EU combined. But Beijing is not Thailand's only potential ally. There is another.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

US Lobbyists Meddling in Thailand a Concern For All Of Asia

April 24, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Thailand-based newspaper Bangkok Post in its article, "Yingluck denies Thaksin's involvement," refers to ousted, US-backed dictator Thaksin Shinawatra, removed from power in 2006 by a military coup after nearly two terms in office trampling the rule of law and the lives and livelihood of the Thai people, and claims that he has extensively relied on foreign lobbyists in a bid to return to power.

During this struggle to return to power, he has placed a series of proxies in his place, most notably his own brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat who served as prime minister in 2008, and his own sister Yingluck Shinawatra who served as prime minister from 2011-2014 before being removed by a subsequent coup.

Image: Thaksin Shinawatra (center) is a convicted criminal who fled Thailand to evade a 2 year prison sentence, multiple arrest warrants, and multiple pending legal cases. He is one of the worst human rights violators in Thai history, nearly 3,000 people during his time in power, and resorting to armed violence in his bid to seize back power. He is also benefiting from immense lobbying efforts arrayed behind him by Washington. 
More specifically regarding his lobbying efforts, the article claims:
Thaksin's legal counsellor Noppadon Pattama denied the allegation on the same day, saying Thaksin did not hire lobbyists or was behind criticisms of foreign governments or international organisations against the junta. 

Ms Yingluck on Friday confirmed Mr Noppadon's account. 

"I believe every country considers all facts and listens to all sides before making a decision. It won't let its decisions be dictated by lobbyists Life is hard enough for him [Thaksin] abroad and he's unlikely to plot such things." 
However, both Pattama and Yingluck Shinawatra's statements are verified lies - easily verified lies. By law, clients seeking to lobby in the United States must register through the US House of Representatives in their "Lobbying Disclosure" database. By simply entering "Shinawatra" into the client search field, a total of 49 documents turn up, dating from 2006 when Shinawatra was ousted from power, up to and including this year, 2016.

This exposes Pattama and Shinawatra's comments as outright, verified lies and is yet another affirmation as to the true nature of their agenda and the means through which they attempt to achieve it, and goes far in explaining why Thailand's current government has gone through such lengths to prevent this political machines from seizing back power.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hong Kong Gets New US-backed Party

April 18, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Hong Kong saw the formation of a new "political party," headed by 19 year-old student Joshua Wong - a young man with no experience and no explanation as to who is funding him or backing him politically. The party, called "Demosisto," was described by the BBC in their article, "Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong forms political party," as demanding "self-determination" for Hong Kong - an ambition pushed primarily by US and British interests, not the people of Hong Kong.

The BBC would report that:
Mr Wong was a leading figure in the so-called Umbrella Movement in 2014, which aimed to secure greater voting rights for the territory's residents.
"Street activism is not enough if we want to fight for a better future," Mr Wong told the BBC.

"We have to enter the system, create a political party and shape the political agenda, in order to drive forward our movement for self-determination."
Although Mr Wong is too young to run for office, Demosisto will put forward candidates in Legislative Council elections in September.
The BBC is clearly and intentionally omitting obvious questions and answers regarding the new party, "Demosisto," such as who is funding it, who is backing it, and who really is running it when clearly the 19 year-old Joshua Wong is merely a figurehead incapable of conjuring up a political party from scratch in Hong Kong's otherwise highly competitive sociopolitical environment.

Obvious Western Proxies 

Hong Kong, seized by the British in 1841 and handed back - tentatively - to China in 1997, still suffers from the influence and ambitions of both London and their hegemonic successors in Washington and on Wall Street. The latest manifestation of this influence and ambition was the "Occupy Central" movement that sprung up in 2014 among a milieu of US and British-backed agitators with direct financial and political ties to the West.

The foreign ties driving the protests were quickly exposed despite immense propaganda, denials, and deception from the foreign-funded movement's leadership. The 2014 "Occupy Central" mobs attracted only a minority of Hong Kong's population, before finally fizzling out in the face of not government crackdowns, but growing public backlash.

Besides Joshua Wong, other "Occupy Central" leaders including Benny Tai and Martin Lee had obvious and direct ties to the United States government, with Tai's political and academic activity almost entirely subsidized by the US State Department, and with Lee having literally traveled to Washington just ahead of the protests to speak before the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to lobby for aid he would soon receive.

Image: Martin Lee in Washington D.C. in 2014, speaking before NED ahead of the "Occupy Central" protests.

In the wake of the protests, Joshua Wong, Benny Tai, and Martin Lee would all be invited to Washington by their US sponsors to receive an award from NED-subsidiary, Freedom House.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Thailand: The Charter "Battle"

April 11, 2016 (Op-Ed -ATN) - There are lots of reasons to protest the current government constructively, but having a realistic alternative is necessary in order to do this. Repetitively proclaiming platitudes regarding "people power" and "elections" is not a solution. Such unrealistic platitudes, in fact, will simply bring Thailand right back to where it was before the 2014 coup - with a convicted criminal running the country by proxy, mass murdering his opponents in the streets, and eviscerating the nation's culture, economy, and infrastructure through reckless scams designed to buy-off votes.  

Many are Already Protesting, and the Government is Listening...  

There have been unpopular moves telegraphed by the government with popular criticism soon following. The government's plan regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was immediately condemned across public and private sectors - and the government heeded the backlash, particularly because the backlash included a well-articulated argument about how the new policy would needlessly endanger Thailand's promising organic sector.

Another example involves government mega-projects. Ensuring the rights of villagers to have input on environmentally disruptive mega-projects was first overlooked by the government, but backlash and constructive proposals on how to include this additional oversight over large projects finally compelled the government to include it. 

There was also an unpopular land tax proposal that was vigorously opposed with the government finally heeding protests.

The real problem with ensuring the charter is a step forward for the nation is to have organized, constructive protests and counter-proposals to confront concerning policy. With concerted and constructive engagement with the government, the government has proven it is willing to listen and change direction accordingly.

Most bad policy is lobbied for by powerful special interests both within Thailand's borders and beyond them. Barring popular backlash, the government is compelled to push forward otherwise flawed policy that benefits few at the expense of the many. The only way to effectively oppose such lobbying is having the ability to cite popular awareness and viable opposition and better alternatives to such policy.

This concerted and constructive engagement would be the job of an opposition party, if Thailand actually had one.

Thailand's Missing Opposition 

But there is not a legitimate opposition party in Thailand at the moment. Thaksin Shinawatra still clearly, openly runs the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), holding a meeting just this week with the party's senior leadership via Skype while hiding abroad from a 2 year jail term and 2 arrest warrants. PTP is clearly interested only in seizing back power and eliminating its opponents which includes its political opponents, and virtually every institution in Thailand from the military, to the courts, to the monarchy.