Thursday, January 24, 2013

ASEAN Economic Community is Opaque, Imposed by Big-Business

AEC 2015 is of, for, and by big-business.
January 25, 2013 (AltThaiNews - Tony Cartalucci) - A revealing article was published in the Bangkok Post titled, "Thais need to be realistic on AEC," which stated:
"Pisanu Suvanajata, the Thai ambassador to Myanmar, said universities and colleges needed to help correct the mindset of the Thai people and equip them with adequate knowledge to be ready and realistic for the integrated regional society."
The comments are par for the course of a regional integration sold under the unspoken premise, "like it or not, here it comes." But the comments made by Thailand's ambassador to Myanmar also reveal an ugly truth, particularly in the face of the current government which repeatedly claims it stands firmly on a foundation of "democracy" - ASEAN and the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) were not asked for by the people, it was not approved by the people, it is unwanted by the people, and the people must be convinced to "correct their mindsets." It is essentially "democracy in reverse," a dictation, or simply, a regional dictatorship.

Ambassador Pisanu Suvanajata was speaking at a two-day seminar organized by the Foundation for the Promotion of Social Science and Humanities Textbooks Projects and the Toyota Thailand Foundation. The article also stated:
"Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, the vice president of Toyota and the Federation of Thai Industries, said the AEC will bring both opportunities and challenges to Thailand; in logistics terms, the Northeast will become a regional hub for investment and transportation."
The Federation of Thai Industries serves as one of many apparatuses that quietly help foreign multinational corporations empty out Thailand's resources and certainly has a great interest in the integration of Southeast Asia - it would allow regional, rather than nation exploitation to run at an accelerated rate and with institutions and infrastructure far too vast for any single movement in any given nation to oppose it once it is established.

And not surprisingly, one of ousted Prime Minster Thaksin Shianwatra's family members sits on the Federation's board of directors, a Mrs. Saruda Shinawatra. Thaksin himself is a notorious champion of selling Thailand out to foreign interests, and in fact owes his current political longevity to an extensive decade-long lobbying effort by these very interests.

While the people across Southeast Asia are fed stories of how beneficial this "AEC" will be for them, they are sadly the same stories that were told to Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans regarding NAFTA, and to the Europeans regarding the European Union which is now disintegrating spectacularly before it is even finally pieced together.

Image: The US-ASEAN Business Council's membership. The coming AEC 2015 was created by, and is exclusively for these and other large multinational interests, including emerging Thai corporations who have been lured into backing ASEAN for the sake of accessing neighboring nations, their resources, and their markets. As in North America and Europe, the vast majority of the population will suffer.

Likewise, in Southeast Asia, ASEAN and the coming AEC in 2015 will only invite and encourage the absolute worst in unchecked multinational exploitation, corruption, and rampant mismanagement. While Thais are told by US State Department funded "activists" who represents "elitism" in their society, real corporate-financier elitism stares back at Thai consumers from the shelves of their stores, from their TV's at home during commercial breaks, in the newspapers, and of course from the latest AEC advertisements increasingly bombarding them through all forms of media.

Like NAFTA or the EU, the special-interests imposing the AEC on Thailand and its neighbors will fair very well, and the inevitable risks and pitfalls will be promptly shifted onto the shoulders of the people who will find themselves under well-established and efficient taxation regimes, security apparatuses, and population management. It is all but guaranteed to be a spectacular disaster and an enduring nightmare for the people across Southeast Asia.   

Thailand's ambassador to Myanmar is right - Thai people do need to correct their mindsets - but not to mindsets of resignation and acceptance of this imposition, and certainly not continued apathy and ignorance. Instead, they need to look at what these exact same big-business interests have done to North American and Europe, and ask if they are ready to give up the relative stability and slow but sure progress they have now, and trade it in for foreign exploitation and certain collapse.