Monday, July 6, 2015

Thailand: Ousted Dictator Rallies Supporters

Attempts to hijack narrative with students' cheap public stunt.

July 6, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - Thailand's agricultural industry currently faces both economic and climatic challenges. After years of mismanagement under the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra and his political proxies, rice markets in particular have been all but destroyed. Coupled with that, mismanagement and neglect over the past 10 years of Thailand's water management infrastructure and a recent drought have put Thailand's rural poor who make their living farming, in a precarious position.

Image: Thailand's current problem is not a lack of "democracy," it is a lack of water. But listening to the chorus of US-funded agitators, one would suspect that the fate of 14 pro-Shinawatra students is more important than millions of farmers facing widespread drought. This is yet another example of how the self-serving agenda of so-called "activists" not only contributes nothing to the nation, but actually steals attention and resources away from real problems.

One would imagine those who truly cared about the rural poor, the majority, and the welfare of the state, would be focused on this issue and resolving it through both social and technical programs.

Instead, the remnants of Thaksin Shinawatra's political party, who built its reputation and public image both at home and abroad by claiming it stood for "the people," has mobilized their supporters to protest the ruling government in an attempt to further add to social, political, and if they can manage, economic instability.

Fourteen students were recently arrested for protesting the government. No particular demands beyond "elections" were made, with the students apparently seeking to simply disrupt the peace and stability the vast majority of Thailand's population have been trying to enjoy since the 2014 military coup ousted Shinawatra's political party and ended years of bloodshed it has been at the center of.

While the students attempt to portray themselves as simply "pro-democracy activists," in reality they and their lecturers form the core of Thaksin Shinawatra's "academia" cadre. Most of these lecturers and student groups are directly funded by Shinawatra's foreign sponsors, including the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID. Additionally, many of these so-called "academics" are working in tandem with many of Shinawatra's paid lobbyists. In fact, many of these lobbyists and the US State Department's fronts across North America and Europe have been attempting to create a "buzz" in the media regarding the arrested students.

Image: US State Department-funded faux-academics at Thammasat University put on what was essentially a poorly disguised pro-Thaksin Shinawatra red shirt rally held indoors. Sitting in the front row would literally be Thaksin Shinawatra's paid lobbyist, Robert Amsterdam (pictured top/left). These same faux-academics are leading current protests against the Thai government, not for "democracy" but in spite of it and in support of the ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra and the foreign interests that would like to see him back in power. 

The US and Europe in particular, support Thaksin Shinawatra and his political proxies as part of a wider campaign to undermine Thailand's indigenous institutions and ruling class. The idea is to break the back of Thailand's sovereignty, and impose upon the country "free trade deals," compromising military alliances, and other impositions associated with modern day geopolitical hegemony. Similar campaigns of political destabilization organized by the West to divide, destroy, and co-opt the levers of power within a sovereign country can be seen in Eastern Europe during the so-called "color revolutions," and more recently during the 2011 "Arab Spring" which overturned a number of Arab governments and installed in their place servile, divided, and weak proxies who answer directly to Wall Street, Washington. London, and Brussels.

Shinawatra in particular, was well on his way to turning Thailand into a vassal state bent in the service of the West. He committed Thai troops to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, allowed the US CIA to use Thai territory for their horrid "rendition" program, and even attempted to sign a compromising and unpopular free trade agreement with Wall Street corporations without parliamentary approval.

Images: Thaksin Shinawatra's disingenuous supporters often protest for "democracy," "human rights," and for "elections." But just as eagerly as they call for such rights, they deny others theirs. Shinawatra's supporters have regularly attacked various groups for both social and political reasons. In reality, it is clear that Shinawatra's supporters are not defenders of these noble causes, but are merely hiding their self-serving agenda behind them.

And while the US State Department in particular attempts to frame the current arrest of 14 students as a matter of "human rights," it was their proxy Thaksin Shinawatra who carried out an unprecedented campaign of mass murder, politically motivated kidnappings and assassinations, armed terrorism, and street mobs to intimidate and silence his opponents into submission.

Image: In 2010, Thaksin Shinawatra would literally field some 300 heavily armed terrorists to ensure protests he was leading would not be peacefully dispersed as they were a year earlier by Thailand's military. Nearly 100 would eventually die and thousands maimed in weeks of gun battles in Thailand's capital city of Bangkok that would culminate in mass city-wide arson. Despite the immense violence, it was a relatively tame episode in Shinawatra's reign of terror. In 2003, he would have 3,000 people mass murdered in the streets within 90 days as part of a politically motivated "war on drugs," making him and his followers by far the worst human rights violators in Thailand's history.
Before the 2014 military coup that finally ousted him and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power, Shinawatra and his political party were carrying out almost nightly attacks on unarmed protesters in the streets. Nearly 30 would die, with hundreds more permanently maimed or injured. Throughout the carnage, the US was utterly silent, as were both foreign and Thai "human rights advocates," "academics," and other features of what is now exposed as a self-serving faux-humanitarian propaganda front.

For the current Thai government, whatever legal ramifications it imposes on what are clearly supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, they must include references to exactly why Shinawatra was ousted from power in the first place. The mass murder, assaults, bombings, intimidation, censorship, and other forms of domineering coercion that precipitated the military coup in 2014 in the first place, is precisely what these 14 students are in the streets trying to support and return Thailand to.

Truly calling for democracy is one thing, hiding behind it to promote terrorism, violence, and criminality is another. Ensuring that both the Thai public and foreign audiences understand the difference will be paramount to ensuring yet another attempt by Shinawatra and his sponsors to divide and destroy Thailand fails.