Friday, December 18, 2015

Myanmar: Trading in the Devil You Know...

December 18, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Myanmar held elections early November as the capstone of a wider range of "reforms" it has undertaken as an apparent means of escaping decades of sanctions leveled against it by the West. Predictably, the National League of Democracy (NLD) headed by the Western vaunted, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was declared the winner in a "landslide" by Western papers even before the official count was revealed. 

Western headlines hailed the election results as "historic" with the BBC in its article, "Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi: NLD has won election majority," claiming: 
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC she believes her party has won a parliamentary majority, in her first interview since the historic elections.

Early results point to a sweeping victory for her National League for Democracy (NLD), but final official results will not be known for days.

The election was seen as the most democratic in Myanmar for 25 years.

In an nterview with the BBC's Fergal Keane, Ms Suu Kyi said the polls were not fair but "largely free".

She said there had been "areas of intimidation".
Suu Kyi's comments regarding "areas of intimidation" are particularly ironic, with the BBC itself reporting  before the elections that Suu Kyi's own followers had protested the sitting government's attempts to grant Myanmar's Rohingya minority identification cards and the right to vote in these very polls.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thailand: Academia Allowed to Complain about Not Being Allowed to Complain

December 17, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - The Nation reports that the Thai government allowed the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT) to carry out its planned talk featuring various lecturers claiming to represent Thai "academia." The topic ironically was, "Academic Freedom Under the Military."

The Nation would report in their article, "NCPO allows academic freedom seminar to proceed," that:
A discussion on ‘Academic Freedom Under the Military’ was allowed to be held after National Council for Peace and Order on Wednesday visited Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand hours before the discussion panel took place in the evening. 
FCCT was the event's host with three speakers from university lecturer. They were Pongkwan sawasdipak, Ekachai Chainuvati, and Titipol Phakdeewanich from Thammasat, Siam, and Ubon Ratchathani University respectively.

Decidedly not on the agenda that evening was any mention of the events that led to the coup which brought to power the military-led government.

This includes no mention of the mass murder, terrorism, arson, threats, and weapon stockpiling by groups aided, abetted, and supported by both members of the FCCT and those attending that evening's event.

More ironically, one attendee -Titipol Phakdeewanich - hails from Ubon Rachathani where in 2010 the provincial hall was burned to the ground by terrorist supporters of ousted dictator Thaksin Shinawatra of whom Phakdeewanich is a supporter. Recently, several of the terrorists involved were handed stern sentences, including life in prison, a reminder of the true threat posed to the country and the necessity of the military intervening.

Video: While the Western media attempted to maintain plausible deniability for Thaksin Shinawatra and his "red shirt" supporters, failing to report who was, or even was suspected of being behind a campaign of mass murder and terrorism that left over 20 people dead between 2013-2014, Shinawatra's supporters very publicly called for, then celebrated the death of anti-government protests. The attack in the video above left several dead, including 2 children. 

Phakdeewanich is a regular contributor to US State Department-funded Prachatai - a Bangkok-based media organization that to this day does not list its foreign funding for its Thai readers. Phakdeewanich's ties reveal that he is not a genuine or objective observer or commentator amid Thailand's ongoing political struggle, but a highly biased political lobbyist using academia as cover to lend himself and his cause much-needed legitimacy.

Image: Family members grieve over the loss of two children killed in a terrorist attack carried out by supporters of ousted dictator Thaksin Shinawatra. Not only did the Western press fail to report who carried out this attack and many others like it which left over 20 dead between 2013-2014, they attempted to portray the victims as being "militants." 
Likewise, journalists and media agencies represented at the FCCT have intentionally for years aided and abetted terrorism, mass murder, violence, and corruption carried out by the ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra. In 2013-2014 when his supporters were attacking unarmed protesters in the streets, many of the media organizations represented at the FCCT failed to report who was - or even was suspected of being - behind the attacks, and instead attempted to portray the protesters as "militants," even as they were suffering almost daily casualties from pro-Shinawatra death squads.

Many of these "journalists" are in fact based in Thailand and were aware at the time that Shinawatra's supporters were calling for violence almost daily - then celebrating it as it unfolded. In one video, his supporters burst into rapturous cheers when they receive news several protesters were mass murdered in the province of Trat - in an attack that left several dead including two children. Never was this reported by the Western journalists at the FCCT.

Shinawatra's enduring Western support is not unlike that also granted to the regime of Saudi Arabia, whose multitude of egregious offenses and crimes against humanity go unreported, or worse still, covered up, spun, or even justified, by a Western media eager to continue propping up a client regime infinitely loyal to the West.

Academia incapable of taking note of this glaring hypocrisy, or worse still, directly participating in it, are likely not academia at all - but like Phakdeewanich - lobbyists posing as academia just as the members of the FCCT pose as journalists. 

Saved for Posterity, Asia Sentinel's "Conspiracy Oracle Backs Beijing from Bangkok"

December 17, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - When it is finally revealed that I am not the elderly American expat, Michael Pirsch, I assume that one of the first articles that will be pulled will be the one posted below, written by 'real journalist' John Berthelsen for "SOPA Award-winning" Asia Sentinel.

Without any evidence, Berthelsen accused me of being Mr. Pirsch, and throughout his libel, uses his name and mine interchangeably.

Between his accusations and those of ex-Reuters editor Andrew Marshall - fired for making racist, misogynist jokes about Japanese victims of the horrific Fukushima disaster, another 'real journalist' I suspect - Mr. Pirsch has been harassed for years by mentally unstable individuals convinced he is me. One critic and regular attendee of the Bangkok-based FCCT even finger-paints portraits of Mr. Pirsch in a decidedly creepy attempt to harass the elderly expat.

Mr. Pirsch has taken this all in stride and with a great amount of humor.  And when my identity is revealed, I'm sure he will be equally delighted to see these malicious 'real journalists' humiliated for peddling their baseless lies, shamelessly for years.

The article itself is supposed to be about claims the Hong Kong "umbrella mobs" were in fact organized and funded by the US State Department. Instead of examining the evidence I have presented in a myriad of documented reports, Berthelsen embarks on character assassination.

Since both Berthelsen and Marshall exhibit none of the qualities actually required to even be considered a journalist, it is no surprise that they have spent such an inordinate amount of time attacking the "credentials" of others instead of just reporting on the issues or debating them in a rational, cogent, and honest manner.

Finally in his article, Berthelsen attempts to give young journalist Nile Bowie some "advice" about being a "legitimate" journalist. My advice to Nile Bowie is: if these people have a problem with you, you probably already are a legitimate journalist. 

For most, being exposed for lying intentionally for years might seem like a severe blow to one's credibility - for Berthelsen and others like him - it is just another day at the office. 

The article in its entirety can be found below.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bangkok's Pivot to Beijing

November 13, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Despite the common misconception that Thailand is one of Southeast Asia's staunchest US allies - the steady erosion of US-Thai relations has been underway for years. Cold War concessions Thailand made to the US during the Vietnam War have ingrained the myth of Bangkok's unquestioning loyalty to Washington in the minds of many. The past decade and a half of Washington-proxy Thaksin Shinawatra holding power has helped bolster this myth, with Shinawatra assigning Thai troops to the US occupation of Iraq, cooperating with the US in its global CIA rendition program, and the privatization of Thailand's resources on behalf of Wall Street.

However with a 2006 coup ousting Shinawatra from power, and a subsequent 2014 coup which ousted Shinawatra's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, the shattering of this myth has begun.

No single move by the new Thai government has signified the shift away from Washington more than a recent deal with China to purchase 3 Type 039A diesel electric attack submarines. Currently Thailand lacks submarines in its navy. The purchase would put Thailand on par with other Southeast Asian nations including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam who already possess submarines.

More significantly, the purchasing of Chinese submarines may signal a shift not only in Bangkok's geopolitical alignment, but the alignment of Asia altogether.

How Important is the Thai-Chinese Submarine Deal?

Submarines would not be the first weapons Thailand has purchased from China. It already has 400 Type-85 armored personal carriers replacing aging US-made M113's. However, submarines would require extensive training and cooperation between China and Thailand to prepare the Royal Thai Navy to employ and maintain the weapon systems. And submarines themselves carry greater significance within any nation's defensive capabilities.