Monday, August 15, 2016

Thailand: Foreign Press Intentionally Skewing Bombings

Associated Press, others at FCCT working to conceal UDD's organized militancy and history of large-scale violence.
August 15, 2016 (ATN) - Associate Press has published particularly biased and intentionally inaccurate report regarding Thailand's recent bombings, attempting to shift attention away from mounting evidence that Thaksin Shinawatra's political supporters, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or red shirts) were responsible.

The article titled, "Critics fault junta in Thailand on response to bombings," claims:
Critics of Thailand’s military government accused it Sunday of taking advantage of last week’s spate of deadly bombings and arson attacks to crack down on its opponents. The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, better known as the Red Shirts, issued their criticism as Thai authorities said they were keeping security high after attacks Thursday and Friday killed four people — all Thai — and wounded dozens in seven tourist destinations.
AP would also claim:
Anthony Davis, a writer for Jane’s Defence Weekly, said the Patani-Malay National Revolutionary Front separatist group was the sole opposition force that could carry out such a well-planned, well-coordinated operation in Thailand’s southern region. 

With the Red Shirt movement being closely monitored by the security forces, “the theory that they could have organized such a complex operation under the noses of the military government makes no sense,” he said. 
Thus, AP has written an entire article providing only pro-opposition points of view, with Davis having been invited by the decidedly biased Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) last year in an attempt to shift blame away from Shinwatra after a deadly bombing then that killed 20.

Davis would indeed shift blame from Shinawatra, but witlessly implicated the US instead, claiming that a Turkish terrorist group - the Grey Wolves - were responsible. The Grey Wolves, however, were gestated by the US-NATO in Turkey as part of their Cold War strategy to fight the Soviet Union and its allies by proxy. This strategy, it should be noted, also spawned the notorious terrorist organization, Al Qaeda as means to fight Soviets in Afghanistan.

The LA Times in 1998 would report in an article titled, "Turkish Dirty War Revealed," that (emphasis added):

...the Gray Wolves operated with encouragement and protection of the Counter-Guerrilla Organization, a section of the Turkish Army's Special Warfare Department. Working out of the U.S. Military Aid Mission building in Ankara, the Special Warfare Department received funds and training from U.S. advisors to establish "stay behind" squads of civilian irregulars who were set up to engage in acts of sabotage and resistance in the event of a Soviet invasion. 
Worse still, Davis and Associated Press both omit revelations that the US Embassy, as early as 2009, knew that Thaksin Shinawatra's UDD maintained a sizable presence in Thailand's deep south. This would be revealed by US Embassy "contact" Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch.

A 2009 cable titled, "Southern Violence: Midday Bomb Attack in Narathiwat August 25 Meant to Send a Signal," would reveal that (emphasis added):
Yala Vice-Governor Gritsada appeared surprised when we mentioned these banners to him on August 19, but he confirmed that the banners were written in perfect central Thai and mentioned issues that do not resonate down south, like the blue diamond. Gritsada said Pranai Suwannarat, the director of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) had agreed these banners were the likely work of the UDD, not the insurgents. Sunai told us that the widespread presence of the banners indicates the strong organization and funding available to the UDD in Pattani province.
With this information in mind, one must wonder why Associated Press published an entire article omitting this, and only airing out clearly self-serving - as well as completely baseless statements, regarding the aftermath and investigation of the recent bombings.

Images: In 2010, Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters deployed some 300 heavily armed militants across Bangkok, triggering violence that left nearly 100 dead. They finished their campaign of armed violence with citywide arson, destroying billions in property. 

Also omitted was any mention of the sometimes nationwide violence, arson, and  terrorism employed by Thaksin Shinawatra and his followers. In 2010, he deployed hundreds of militants into the streets of Bangkok, leading to violence that left nearly 100 dead and the city in flames. In 2014, he deployed these militants again against opponents of his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. Daily attacks with guns and grenades would claim nearly 30 lives.

It is clear that Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters have the means and motivation to have carried out the recent bombings. Moreover, it is clear that Shinawatra's supporters have intentionally moved into Thailand's deep south to use the conflict as cover and that even the US Embassy and pro-opposition "contacts" like Sunai were aware of this fact for years.

For these facts to be omitted now indicates a concerted effort to baselessly shift blame away from Shinawatra and to implicate - and thus exasperate - the low-intensity conflict in Thailand's deep south.