Wednesday, March 20, 2019

US and Soros Take Stab at Thai Elections

March 21, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Western regime change efforts have intensified ahead of upcoming elections in Thailand. Opposition groups attempting to take power and remove Thailand's powerful, independent military from Thai politics have received extensive, well-documented funding and political support from Washington, London, Brussels, and Western corporate foundations, including the most notorious of all - George Soros' Open Society Foundation (OSF).


One such front - Human Rights Watch (HRW) - has recently released a report condemning upcoming elections as undermining the "right to vote."

To understand Soros-funded propaganda published by HRW, one must first understand why Thailand has been targeted for regime change in the first place.

Why Thailand?

The Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand serves as a pivotal regional hub economically and geopolitically. It has the second largest economy in ASEAN and remains the only Southeast Asian state to have avoided Western colonization.

While some analysts still cling to Cold War-era stereotypes regarding Thailand's role in the US-led war against Vietnam, the country has since dramatically pivoted away from Washington.

Thailand's military in particular has begun replacing its aging American weapons with Chinese, Russian, and European weapons. This includes everything from small arms to Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters, European warplanes, Chinese main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs), and even Chinese-built ships and submarines.

Thailand has also become a key partner in China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. High-speed rail lines are already under construction with proposals for the construction of more lines entering final negotiations.

While Thailand - by necessity - still maintains ties with the West, and Western allies like Japan - it is clear that it has balanced out these ties - with the momentum of Thai foreign policy tilting decisively in favor of Eurasia at Washington's expense.

For all of these reasons and more, the US has been involved in long-term regime change efforts in Thailand, starting at least as early as 2001 with billionaire and former Carlyle Group adviser Thaksin Shinawatra's ascent into political power.

By 2001 it was already clear that China's rise regionally and globally was imminent and that the process of encircling and containing Beijing had become a priority for US foreign policy. Placing proxies like Thaksin Shinawatra into power in Thailand was aimed at creating a unified front of US client states along China's peripheries.

Soros in Thailand 

Geopolitical analyst Jean Perier's article, "After Bleeding Thailand Dry, Soros is Going in for the Kill," provides a detailed history of the 1997 Southeast Asian financial crisis and the role Soros' financial speculation played in - first precipitating it - then exploiting it. The crisis also created a vector for Western political subversion.

Shinawatra's rise to power in the wake of the financial disaster was meant to rebuild Thailand according to Washington's designs. Shinawatra quickly consolidated political power, attempting to built a one-party state under his and his Western sponsors' control.

He also took multiple steps toward transforming Thailand into a US client state - including committing Thai troops to the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003, inviting the US CIA to use Thai territory as part of its global "rendition program," the privatization of Thailand's national oil and gas conglomerate PTT, and an attempt to pass an unpopular US-Thai free trade agreement without parliamentary approval.

He also indulged deeply in a myriad of human rights abuses and abuses of power, which eventually provided Thailand's institutions with a pretext to finally remove him from power through a military coup in 2006.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

New US Ambassador to Australia Obsessed with China

March 17, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - US Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse Jr. wasted no time at his new diplomatic post to begin strong-arming Canberra into adopting Washington's confrontational policy vis-à-vis Beijing.


A Reuters article published by the South China Morning Post titled, "China using ‘payday loan diplomacy’ in the Pacific, claims new US ambassador to Australia," would claim:
China is using “payday loan diplomacy” to exert influence in the Pacific, the new US ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday, in comments that threaten to inflame regional tensions. 

The United States and its regional allies have been battling China for greater influence in the Pacific – a region that has votes at international forums like the United Nations and controls vast swathes of a resource-rich ocean.

The geopolitical competition has seen both sides increase foreign aid to the region in recent months, which the West says is needed to prevent the Pacific falling into financial distress and becoming susceptible to diplomatic pressure from Beijing. 
The Reuters article would continue by claiming:
The arrival of Culvahouse, the first US ambassador to Australia in more than two years, comes at time of bilateral tensions between Canberra and Beijing. 

In 2017, then Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull accused China of meddling in domestic affairs. In 2018, Canberra banned companies linked to foreign governments from investing in its nascent 5G network, effectively blocking China’s Huawei.
The article also mentions counter-pressure applied on Australia regarding coal China imports, but describes it instead as, "how Beijing is using trade to punish Canberra for its criticism," despite already admitting it is in direct retaliation for Australia's use of trade to punish China first.

The American people for whom Ambassador Culvahouse is a representative, must be perplexed over this diplomat's obsession with China rather than fulfilling his duties of representing the United States in Australia itself.

As the United States does with many other allies, it is attempting to turn Australia into a partner-proxy in Washington's own confrontation with China.

In the process of this otherwise unsustainable confrontation, Washington risks dragging Australia down with it, when Australia could instead be bilaterally resolving issues with China and building constructive relations throughout Asia-Pacific, all while redefining for itself a more positive role in the region, breaking free from its historical role as an extension of Anglo-American hegemony.

Geography 101: China is Located in Asia, the United States is Not 

Interestingly enough, Reuters failed to notice that China is actually located in Asia-Pacific, while the United States is not.

Just as the US is expected to exert a certain amount of influence in North America where it is actually located, it is not unreasonable to expect China to do likewise in Asia. That US foreign policy seems formed around the notion that the US, not China, should hold primacy in Asia is both counterintuitive and fundamentally flawed.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Thai Elections: US Seeks Regime Change vs China

March 9, 2019 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Heavily biased headlines emanating from US and European media should already make it abundantly clear which side of upcoming Thai elections in March Western special interests are on.


The current Thai government is led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a general of the Royal Thai Army and the leading figure of a 2014 coup that ousted the regime of now ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of also-ousted ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Both Shinawatras are now convicted criminals and live abroad as fugitives evading jail.

Despite these apparent complexities, the story is very simple.

The Shinawatras lead neo-liberal forces the US has been cultivating inside Thailand (as well as other nations around the globe through organisations like the National Endowment for Democracy) to eventually transform the nation into a client state.

Thailand's military, a powerful and independent institution, along with the nation's constitutional monarchy, have opposed these forces, or more accurately, have attempted to accommodate them without ceding too much of Thailand's national sovereignty in the process.

Current Government's Pivot Toward China

The current government has decisively pivoted toward Beijing and other emerging global powers. It has begun replacing aging Vietnam War-era US military hardware with modern Chinese, Russian and European defence systems. In addition to the Cold War-era "Cobra Gold" military exercises held annually with the US, Thailand is now taking part in joint exercises with China.

Thailand is also in the middle of negotiating large infrastructure deals with China regarding mass transit systems including a high speed rail network that will connect Thailand to China via neighbouring Laos. Thailand represents one of several key pillars to China's global One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.


It is clear then why the US seeks to not only remove the current government from power in upcoming elections, but also why it seeks to permanently reduce the Thai military's role in politics to prevent such a dramatic pivot from ever taking place again.

The US goal in Thailand, as it is in every nation along China's peripheries, is the creation of an obedient client state that serves US interests both economically and geopolitically. Failing that, the US would settle, as it has in Iraq, Syria, Libya or even neighbouring Myanmar, for a divided and weak nation that offers no benefit toward China's regional and global rise.

The US Backs Shinawatra  

Thaksin Shinawatra currently runs multiple nominee parties competing in upcoming elections. He has spread out his political machine to guard against the obvious possibility of any one of these parties being disbanded on grounds they are openly run by a convicted criminal and fugitive.

These parties include Pheu Thai, Thai Raksa Chart, Pheu Chart, Pheu Thaam and Future Forward. Members of these parties are in regular contact with Shinawatra or his senior executives and in several cases, candidates have legally changed their first names to "Thaksin" and "Yingluck" to eliminate any doubt as to whom they serve.

Despite a fugitive openly running for office in Thailand, Western media organisations like the BBC, CNN, AP, AFP, Reuters and more consistently omit this fact, portraying efforts by the current Thai government to stop Shinawatra's multiple parties as simply "oppressive."

The policies of these parties are also just as predictably transparent. In addition to rudimentary vote-buying schemes, they seek to reverse all ties with China, including scrapping rail projects and cancelling arms deals as well as reducing the Thai military's budget in an effort to reduce the military's ability to intervene against them in future political crises.