Tuesday, August 30, 2016

US Cultural Colonisation in Asia Pacific

August 31, 2016 (NEO - Joseph Thomas) - Ancient Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 – after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.

(Modern day "chief's sons (and now daughters) being recruited by the empire, indoctrinated in their ways, and sent back home to culturally colonise their homelands, just as Tacitus described nearly 2,000 years ago.)
Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.

In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilization', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.
Compare what Tacitus wrote nearly 2,000 years ago with the United States' Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Upon the YSEALI website, a description of the programme reads:
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.
At face value, the notion of the United States "training" the "leaders" of Asia makes little sense, considering such training would be endowing such leaders with American values serving American interests, not Asia's. Thus, their role as "leaders" is questionable. Their role as "facilitators" or "collaborators" seems like a much more accurate description.

The programme includes academic and professional fellowships to the United States.

Monday, August 29, 2016

US Embassy Dismisses Thai Concerns as Trust Evaporates Between Nations

US Embassy in Bangkok sidesteps evidence and calls claims that America supports terrorism and regime change "ridiculous and reckless" even as it supports terrorism and regime change worldwide.

August 27, 2016 (The New Atlas) - On August 19, 2016, The Nation published an editorial titled, "Is regime change a motive behind the recent bombings?" The editorial reflects growing distrust between Thais and the United States, who has for years now openly undermined political stability and the revered institutions of Thailand through its overt support for the deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters as well as throngs of foreign-funded organisations masquerading as "nongovernmental organisations" (NGOs).

The editorial points out several key facts which include:
  • the US having looked the other way when it came to egregious transgressions of the former prime minister, using "democracy" as the excuse;
  • the fact that US Embassy personnel in Bangkok have frequently visited with members of the [Thaksin Sinawatra's]  red-shirt faction for years since the former prime minister went into self-exile;
  • that the United States has been involved in regime changes around the world more times and in more ways than anybody can count.

The veracity of the 2009 cable released by Wikileaks mentioned in the editorial has never been challenged by the US State Department. The fact that Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked the US diplomatic cables in the first place, is in prison for violating the US Espionage Act, not for fraud, indicates that indeed the contents of the cables are accurate.

The US and the foreign media who represent both it and its transatlantic partners in Europe have clearly attempted to look past many and egregious transgressions committed by Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters, including violence they have carried out in 2009, 2010 and again between 2013-2014. Often the US Embassy, who regularly and very specifically condemns any and all attacks on opposition figures they are supporting, will make no comment at all about opposition violence, or will word condemnations in such a way as to not identify those who are behind the violence.

The US has openly aided and abetted both Thaksin Shinawatra's "red shirts" (officially: United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD)), with US Embassy staff visiting them in very public displays of support, as well as through large sums of annual funding going to various pro-opposition organisations including Prachatai, the Cross Cultural Foundation, Thai Netizen Network, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Cafe Democracy and ENLAWTHAI Foundation just to name a few.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

US "International Court" Ruling on China Falls Short

The Philippines needs a stable Asia to prosper, not regional militarization, and certainly not a confrontation with China.

August 27, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - A recent "international tribunal" ruling regarding China's claims in the South China Sea was more than just anticlimactic - it was indicative of the United States' waning influence as well as the waning legitimacy of the many international institutions it has used, abused, and thus undermined for decades.

The New York Times in an article titled, "Tribunal Rejects Beijing’s Claims in South China Sea," would claim:
An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. 
The landmark case, brought by the Philippines, was seen as an important crossroads in China’s rise as a global power and in its rivalry with the United States, and it could force Beijing to reconsider its assertive tactics in the region or risk being labeled an international outlaw. It was the first time the Chinese government had been summoned before the international justice system.
Despite the NYT's claims that the case was "brought by the Philippines," it was in fact headed by an American lawyer, Paul S. Reichler, of US-based law firm, Foley Hoag. Just like the court case itself, the apparent conflict in the South China Sea may be portrayed as being between China and its neighbors, but it is in reality a conflict cultivated by the US explicitly as a means of maintaining "primacy in Asia."

Image: Paul Reichler, an American, not a Filipino, and his American-British legal team represented the Philippines in an international court case that solely benefited the US. 
Facing Threats to "US Primacy in Asia"

The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published a paper titled, "Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China," penned by Robert Blackwill - a Bush-era administrator and lobbyist who has directly participated in Washington's attempts to maintain hegemony over Asia.

Blackwill's paper states clearly what interests the US has in Asia (emphasis added):
Because the American effort to 'integrate' China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.
The CFR paper constitutes a US policymaker openly admitting that the US perceives itself as possessing and seeking to maintain "primacy in Asia," primacy being defined by Merriam-Webster as"the state of being most important or strongest."
The notion that the United States, from an entire ocean away from Asia, should proclaim itself "the most important or strongest" nation in Asia is in itself every bit in reality a threat to intentional peace and stability as the US claims Chinese primacy in Asia would be. 

The South China Sea "Conflict" as a Pretext

More specifically, Blackwill would mention the South China Sea conflict as the primary pretext with which to further tighten American control over an Asia the paper admits is slipping away.