Wednesday, February 25, 2015

US "Pivot" Sends Asia Fleeing Toward China

February 26, 2015 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - When former-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the US "pivot to Asia," she and the policy wonks who dreamed it up probably imagined it as a well choreographed geopolitical masterstroke. In reality, it was more like an elephant crashing through the jungle, sending all in its path fleeing for cover well ahead of its arrival.

The empty rhetoric accompanying its announcement never materialized. Reading between the lines, what the "pivot" actually meant, was the doubling down on attempts to subvert, corral and otherwise twist the arms of Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia into arraying themselves for Washington's convenience and gain, against the growing influence and power of Beijing.

American designs have unraveled everywhere from Malaysia to Thailand and the only steps of this pivot still in good form appear to be in Myanmar and the South China Sea where budding political subversion is growing in one and an escalating strategy of tension is growing in the other. Despite these "successes," the prospects of Myanmar resigning itself to a future with close and growing ties to Beijing are unrealistic.

Likewise, the notion of a remilitarized Japan somehow containing China is untenable and more so each passing day.

Those capitulating today to Washington's attempts to reorder Asia will only be setting their nations back in the years to come when ultimately the "pivot" fails, and all that is left is China and those nations that decided to move forward together with it on its way up.

US Attempts to Isolate China Left it More Connected Than Ever 
Washington's attempt to convert Southeast Asia into a string of client states to encircle China with has instead resulted in deals to construct new railways connecting Singapore to the southern Chinese city of Kunming, the inclusion of Chinese forces at Thailand's annual "Cobra Gold" military exercises, the complete exposure of Washington's "democracy promoters" in Hong Kong and the removal from politics of two of Washington's long-standing political proxies, Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand and Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

PDRC Converts to Foundation for Reform - What's Next?

Thailand is at a crossroads - one path leads to pragmatic progress, the other deeper into a political quagmire. 

February 22, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - Bangkok Post in its recent article, "PDRC converts into a foundation," reported that: 
The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has officially transformed itself into a non-profit organisation advocating reform efforts.
It also reported that: 
According to the announcement, the foundation’s objectives are to support academic activities, seminars, conferences and forums related to political, economic and social reforms, including the future of Thailand in all aspects; release reports on key topics, work with other charitable organisations for the public interest; and promote democracy with the King as head of state with political neutrality.
While in reality, such an announcement could literally mean almost anything, the PDRC has come to a crossroads where it can decide to break from the politically-motivated power mongering and cronyism that typified the previous regime that held power for nearly a decade, and commit to truly pragmatic reform in Thailand, or continue down the path of its predecessors toward another round of inevitable political chaos.

While it may seem counterintuitive for politicians to actually drive real progress, the stability and opportunities provided by real progress are the greatest firewalls an established political order can erect to prevent the sort of invasive, subversive destabilization Thaksin Shinawatra, his political machine, and the foreign interests that created and perpetuated his grip on power since 2001, used to such devastating effect.

Had rural Thailand been properly developed, education continuously improved, and socioeconomic opportunities continuously decentralized and opened up for people across the country, the reckless handouts and unsustainable vote-buying the Shinawatra regime engaged in would have been an untenable proposition indeed.

Meager Development Stunted Shinawatra's "People's Revolution," Real Development Will Destroy It

Even still, the efforts already underway, drained the swamps from which the Shinawatra regime and its foreign backers sought to raise violent, armed insurrection. By 2010 when the Asia Foundation conducted a poll to assess Shinawatra's true grip on power, less than 7% of Thailand's nearly 70 million people identified themselves as "strongly red" - red being the color associated with Shinawatra's violent street mobs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thailand: US Passionately Pleas for "Compromise"

February 18, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Corporate-funded think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, in their magazine Foreign Affairs, recently published an article titled, "Silencing the Shinawatras." In it, author Matthew Wheeler encapsulates current US policy toward Thailand regarding the recent ousting by military coup of its proxy regime headed by Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. 

Wheeler claims: 

At a time when the nation needs compromise, stability, and engagement across the political spectrum, Yingluck’s impeachment appears to many as a settling of scores, and its partisan implications make the prospect of progress look ever further off.
Wheeler also warns:
The sitting military regime, calling itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), promised to “return happiness” to the Thai people, overcoming social divisions and political rifts. Yingluck’s impeachment risks signaling that the military has surrendered all pretensions of impartiality, increasing the possibility of future turmoil.
Wheeler argues throughout his piece that Thailand must compromise with the ousted Shinawatra regime or face further instability. He briefly touches on the unprecedented violence that resulted after the removal from power of Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006. He fails to mention the specifics of that violence, or the immense mass murder that took place while Shinawata was in power. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rare Pro-Terrorist Protest in Post-Coup Thailand

Image: Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters represent a minority that balance
their lack in size by being loud, violent, and disruptive. Shinawatra's
mobs have been desperately seeking attention as the peace and stability
brought to Thailand following a coup that ousted his sister from power,
threaten to leave him and his political machine behind. 
February 15, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) AFP would claim in an article titled, "Rare anti-coup protest in Thailand," that:
Dozens of anti-coup activists held a demonstration in central Bangkok today, handing out roses and copies of George Orwell's "1984" -- a rare expression of public dissent in a nation still under strict martial law.
Except in reality, these "dozens" of "activists" are merely the same loud, obnoxious minority that has ceaselessly opposed attempts by Thailand's institutions, including the military, to restore order, peace, and stability after over a decade of turmoil created by mass murderer and dictator, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Street Mob Wants Thaksin Shinawatra, not "Democracy"  
Shinawatra mass murdered nearly 3,000 people in a 90 day period in 2003. He ordered a protest put down in 2004 that saw 85 killed in a single day (after they were detained). He would oversee the assassination or disappearance of 18 human rights advocates during his first of two terms in office, and since being deposed in 2006 by a military coup similar to the one that ousted his nepotist sister, Yingluck Shinawatra just last year, he has built-up and deployed "red shirt" street mobs that have hacked to death, shot, beaten, and otherwise murdered, abused, or intimidated Shinawatra's political opponents across the country .

Image: In 2010 "democracy" was wielding M16s and AK47s, mass slaughtering in the streets after courts ruled against deposed dictator Thaksin Shinawatra who vowed revenge. His "revenge" cost nearly 100 people their lives and left the city in literal flames before the Thai army was able to restore order. Recent mobs claimed to be "pro-democracy activists" are in fact seeking Shinawatra's return to power, not the "return of democracy" which never existed to begin with.