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30286089-01_big-1-300x238TND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci 

During the upcoming Russia-ASEAN Summit (May 19-20) to be held in Sochi, Russia, additional talks will be held with Southeast Asian nations seeking to bolster ties with Russia, who has until recently played a disproportionately minor role in Asia relative to the United States.

Diversifying Economic Ties 

It should be understood that Western special interests seeking global hegemony are driven first and foremost by economic ambitions. Political and military operations augment and run parallel to attempts to expand and dominate nations and regions of the planet economically. Such ambitions are meticulously planned out by policy think-tanks underwritten by corporate-financier interests, and sold to the public by corporate-dominated media campaigns.

In other words, the realm of economics is simply another dimension these special interests wage their war of hegemony within.

Therefore, for smaller nations like Southeast Asia’s Thailand, operating in contradiction to US interests both in the region and within Thailand itself incurs predictable punitive measures from Wall Street and Washington – including coordinated media campaigns to undermine the nation politically, US-funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) undermining the nation socially, and various forms of economic warfare to target the nation financially. Over-dependence on economic ties with the West are easily used as leverage over what should otherwise be a sovereign, independent nation.
In addition to expanding economic independence and self-sufficiency within a nation, also critical for national security is to cultivate numerous foreign trade partners – particularly those who are diametrically opposed to one another geopolitically. This ensures that  at any given time, at least half of one nation’s trade partners are eager to expand ties even if the other half is extorting existing ties to demand sovereignty-crushing concessions.

For Thailand today, under considerable pressure from the United States and Washington’s campaign to undermine and overthrow the current government in favor of long-time US proxy Thaksin Shinawatra, diversifying foreign trade partners is more important than ever.

Expanding Which Ties? 

In addition to defense deals regarding both hardware and closer cooperation, Thailand and Russia are eyeing a number of economic deals as well. Thailand’s Nation newspaper in an article titled, “Thailand eyes jump in trade with Russia,” reports that:

Thailand aims to set a target of a five times increase in bilateral trade within five years during Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit to the country this week, according to Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn.

The four-day visit starts today.

Apiradi said Thailand would participate in a special session of the Asean-Russia Summit, while a bilateral discussion would take place between Prayut and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Nation also reported that:

[Prime Minister] Prayut will lead more than 30 major private enterprises in meeting with some 100 Russian private enterprises tomorrow at the Thai-Russian Business Dialogue.

They aim to convince Russian companies to invest in Thailand, said Hiranya Sujinai, secretary-general of the Board of Investment. 

The Thai private enterprises cover sectors such as food, rubber, electronics and finance.

“Russia has high potential in scientific and technological advancement and innovation. We want to invite Russia’s business groups to invest more in Thailand,” Hiranya said.

Indeed, Russia and Thailand have mutual interests and tangible economic resources and expertise to exchange, while the United States offers only to integrate Thailand into its legal structures while allowing itself to buy out Thai infrastructure, resources, and markets.

In particular, Thailand is seeking new markets for agricultural products. The United States has attempted to cripple Thailand economically, using “human rights” as a pretext to ban Thai agricultural imports to both the US and EU. Russia on the other hand, has no history of including political pretexts in economic deals. Russia, conversely, requires new trading partners to circumvent its own over-dependence on Western partners.

A similar scenario has played out across Thailand’s tourism industry. In the aftermath of the 2014 military coup which ousted US-proxy Thaksin Shinawatra and his nepotist appointed sister, Yingluck Shinawatra from power, the US and Europe conducted a concerted public relations campaign to destroy Thailand’s tourism industry. Attempts to cripple numbers of American and Western European tourists arriving in the Kingdom were easily replaced, then eclipsed by an influx of Chinese tourists.

Likewise, Russian tourists have been arriving in increased numbers in Thailand. Today, it is not uncommon to see signs written for tourists in Chinese and Russian when years ago such signs would have been in English and Japanese. The possibility of replacing enough economic dependency on the West with new ties between Thailand and Russia – along with other partners – could do for the rest of the economy what Chinese and Russian tourists have done for the tourism industry.

Russia’s technological expertise, particularly in information technology, could also be particularly useful for Thailand, who is increasingly aware of the importance of media and IT in relation to national security.

The talks this month will provide clearer insight into just how successful and extensive Thailand’s ability to diversify its economic ties will be. It will also be an indicator of how well Russia is able to strengthen its ties across the rest of Asia. More over, if successful, it will provide a clear cut alternative to the coercive means by which the US is “pivoting” toward Asia, and could help fend off an era of US-induced conflict and and regression in a region currently on the rise.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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4062637-300x193TND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci

Earlier this year, despite immense fanfare, the US-ASEAN Summit held in Sunnylands, California ended in a fizzle rather than a bang. Little of substance emerged from and admittedly “symbolic” summit, and the US even went as far as criticizing guests as they departed – lecturing them regarding “democracy” and “human rights.”

Coupled with this send-off designed to humiliate, was the US State Department’s various funded media fronts operating in each respective ASEAN state, mocking and denigrating ASEAN leaders who have fallen from Washington’s favor.

Far from another step toward fostering better relations between Washington and Asia as prescribed by the US “pivot to Asia,” it was instead a transparent attempt to empty out the resources of the region via compromising and coercive free trade agreements – more specifically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and line up an unwilling Southeast Asia as an adversarial proxy against Beijing – a notion none save for Washington attending the summit found appealing.

In reality, a summit can only bear equitable outcomes for all involved when a balance of power and leverage exists between all parties in attendance, thus making concessions possible, even desirable and above all beneficial to all.

Washington represents special interests with an enormous, lopsided amount of power and influence, backed in turn, by networks set up in each respective ASEAN member by US special interests to undermine and coerce each government to capitulate to US demands. Entire political fronts underwritten by Washington through the US State Department and an extensive network of faux-nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) exist to pressure and eventually overrun each state, creating for all intents and purposes a region of client regimes representing Washington, not the people they actually rule over.

Under such conditions, events like the US-ASEAN Summit represents a bully lining up his victims in an uncomfortable public display designed to make coercion look like cooperation.

Could a Russia-ASEAN Summit Provide an Alternative?

Later this month Russia is to host its own version of a joint ASEAN summit. In addition to the Russia-ASEAN Summit, there will be various bilateral meetings between Russian leaders and respective ASEAN states, including Thailand.

Russia, unlike the US, does not possess extensive extraterritorial networks of NGOs dedicated to subverting and coercing foreign governments. It has no historical or current presence in Asia militarily, unlike the US who is permanently occupying Japan, building bases in the Philippines, and regularly provokes security crises in the South China Sea. Russia spends a fraction of what the US does on its military overall, and cultivates a multipolar, non-interventionist worldview in direct contrast to America’s “intentional order” it places itself atop.

In reality, Russia represents for ASEAN a much more equitable partner to deal with, not only directly for mutual economic and political benefit, but also as a means of balancing stronger relations and alternative economic opportunities against uncompromising hegemony imposed by Washington.

Stronger ties with Russia could offer ASEAN the ability to leverage more from the US, if not offer an exit to inequitable impositions altogether.

What ASEAN Could Benefit From 

In many ways, Russia represents a nation emerging out from under the shadow of Western special interests, after struggling for years to stand back up after the collapse of the Soviet Union and an age of exploitation and malaise that followed as Western interests stripped off former Soviet territories, subverted Russia internally, and flooded the nation with marauding financial criminals.

Today, Russia is capable of defending itself from the full-spectrum of Western coercion, whether it is economic sanctions, military might, sociopolitical subversion, or even amid the global information war. These are all areas currently ASEAN states struggle with immensely and could benefit equally as much in by partnering with Russia.

For Russia and its vision of a multipolar future, standing up ASEAN just as it itself has against unipolar hegemony, is essential in realizing this multipolar future.

Cooperation in security, media, and economics, based on the success Russia has already had in establishing itself in the face of Western hegemony could be what makes the Russia-ASEAN Summit a success where the US-ASEAN Summit was a failure.

What Could Emerge from the Russia-ASEAN Summit 

Among just the Thai-Russian bilateral meetings planned just ahead of the summit later this month, economic trade proposed by Thailand as well as defense acquisitions of Russian hardware are planned. Should Thailand agree on procuring Russian T-90 main battle tanks or Russia agree on importing Thai agricultural products, the entire summit will have yielded more of substance than Washington’s “symbolic” summit earlier this year.

It would be important for both Russia and nations like Thailand, to prove that real progress can be made when nations cooperate constructively as planned for the upcoming summit in Russia, rather than act coercively as the US did in Sunnylands, California.

Details regarding “consultations” between ASEAN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are likely to emerge after the meetings and could add further to substantive gains from the summit.

What is essential for Russia and its multipolar vision of the future, as well as for ASEAN’s sovereignty versus Washington’s recent hegemonic inroads into the region, is to develop a comprehensive plan to strengthen each state not only in relation to regional and international partners, but also strengthen them from within.

Paramount to Russia’s ability to weather Western hegemony is its internal military, technological, economic, and media strength. The emergence of alternative media networks originating in Russia aimed at countering Western domination over the flow of information internationally could be further augmented by standing up similar capabilities across ASEAN. This would help ASEAN find more leverage against the West directly, and help further dilute Western domination of the information space globally – which would mutually benefit both Russia and ASEAN.

Fostering greater military and economic independence from Western interests across ASEAN could likewise dilute Western domination over geopolitics.

What could emerge from a Russia-ASEAN Summit? Perhaps another piece of the multipolar world Russia is championing for alongside the rest of BRICS.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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3000-300x180TND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci |

Myanmar’s “de facto leader” Aung San Suu Kyi recently warned the United States to not refer to the Rohingya ethnic minority as “Rohingya,” in an attempt to deny them the dignity and human rights she and her party posed as renowned defenders of.

For those critically examining and long-following political developments in Myanmar and their wider geopolitical implications for Southeast Asia, Asia, and the world, Aung San Suu Kyi and her “National League for Democracy” (NLD) political front, along with a vast array of Western-funded NGOs’ turning against Myanmar’s Rohingya population after predicating their ascent into power upon “human rights” and “democracy” is no surprise.

For those receiving their news from establishment media networks in the US and Europe, Suu Kyi refusing to recognize the Rohingya, many of whom have lived in Myanmar for generations, may seem puzzling, even disappointing, or more disturbingly, an opportunity for excuses.

However, it was warned before recent elections – hailed by the Western media as “historic” – that not only would Suu Kyi fail to deliver on the utopian promises her party represented, and not only would her coming to power begin a process of recolonization by the British Empire’s successors in London and on Wall Street, but that it would also herald increasing persecution, violence, and eventually genocide against the Rohingya minority already long-targeted by Suu Kyi’s staunchest supporters.

As early as March 2015 in a previous article titled, “Myanmar: Meet Aung San Suu Kyi’s Saffron Mobs,”  the true nature of Suu Kyi’s support base was revealed with the “saffron” robed monks often the centerpiece of Suu Kyi and the NLD’s street demonstrations exposed as ultra-violent, genocidal, and very much Western-backed.

Not only did this backing including funding and organizational support, but it also included substantial public relations efforts across the Western media to cover up the true nature of their actions and motivations.

More recently, as Suu Kyi assumed power by proxy through a hand-picked “president” Suu Kyi openly pledged to “rule above,” it was warned that the stalwart support of Suu Kyi’s “saffron” mobs would be rewarded by giving them an increasingly free hand to target and eliminate Myanmar’s Rohingya people.

In the article titled, “Myanmar’s New Dictator: Aung San Suu Kyi,” it was explicitly stated that:

With the diminished role of the military in government and Suu Kyi’s self-serving and selective adherence to the rule of law, her supporters likely anticipate a free hand in actualizing their genocidal ambitions versus not only the Rohingya, but all of their political and sociocultural enemies. 

Not only is the prospect of wider violence a concern for the people of Myanmar, but the rise of political order in Myanmar unwilling or incapable of stemming genocide spells chaos for its neighbors, particularly Thailand.

Suu Kyi Warns Against Recognizing Rohingya

Considering this, it should hardly come as a surprise then, when the New York Times reported recently in their article, “Aung San Suu Kyi Asks U.S. Not to Refer to ‘Rohingya’,” that:

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since 1962, embraced that view last week when she advised the United States ambassador against using the term “Rohingya” to describe the persecuted Muslim population that has lived in Myanmar for generations. 

Her government, like the previous military-led one, will not call the Rohingya people by that name because it does not recognize them as citizens, said her spokesman, U Kyaw Zay Ya, a Foreign Ministry official.

New York Times’ screed, however, is predictably inaccurate. The “previous military-led one,” had in fact, attempted to grant the Rohingya additional rights, including the right to vote, and only backed down as a matter of concession when confronted by Suu Kyi’s violent street mobs.

Australia’s ABC News would report in a February 2015 article titled, “Myanmar scraps temporary ID cards amid protests targeting ethnic minorities without citizenship,” that (emphasis added):

Myanmar’s government says identity cards for people without full citizenship, including Muslim Rohingya, will expire within weeks.

The scrapping of ID cards snatches away voting rights handed to them just a day earlier (Tuesday), after Myanmar nationalists protested against the move.

The Rohingya, along with hundreds of thousands of people in mainly ethnic minority border areas, who hold the documents ostensibly as part of a process of applying for citizenship, will see their ID cards expire at the end of March, according to a statement from the office of president Thein Sein.

Those “nationalists” who protested the move to grant the Rohingya voting rights were Suu Kyi’s “saffron” street front as revealed in another early 2015 ABC News article titled, “Myanmar monk who called UN envoy a whore ‘could hurt Buddhism’.” It reported that:

A Myanmar Buddhist monk who called a UN human rights envoy a “whore” has violated his monastic code and could damage his religion, another prominent monk says, but he is unlikely to face censure.

Ashin Wirathu denounced Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, in a speech in Yangon on Friday, after she questioned draft laws that critics said discriminate against women and non-Buddhists.

Wirathu, also known as the “Buddhist Bin Laden,” led Aung San Suu Kyi’s “Saffron Revolution” in 2007 and his followers regularly fill the ranks of street mobs organized in support of her NLD party to this day.

The US is Coddling a Racist Dictator 

 As the US condemns the government in Damascus for using armed force against torrents of foreign-backed terrorists spilling over its borders – essentially an invasion – it is silent, even apologetic in regards to Suu Kyi’s serial and increasingly egregious offenses against ethnic minorities in Myanmar. The US is also silent in regards to Suu Kyi’s illegal seizure of power, having openly declared herself “above” the nation’s president, and with the New York Times itself describing her as “the country’s de facto leader.”The explanation for this is well-documented and straight forward. Suu Kyi, her political front, and the numerous NGOs helping to underpin both, are the financial, political, and geostrategic creations and perpetuations of the US and British governments, a decades-long project of undermining and overthrowing Myanmar’s political order, and replacing it with a client regime more “friendly” to special interests in London and on Wall Street.Notions of “democracy” and “human rights” are now clearly facades this agenda was couched behind,  cynically used against the previous military-led government to protect the rise of the West’s proxies, and then conveniently discarded once those proxies came to power.

Documentation and reporting on violations of human rights by Suu Kyi’s political front and its various supporters across the country will continue, quietly, and only be sensationalized if and when Suu Kyi and the NLD misstep regarding Western interests in the Southeast Asian state.

Currently, anti-Chinese protests are erupting at a mine operated in cooperation with Chinese business interests. Suu Kyi’s failure to close down the mine and give the US-funded protests the final word in the dispute, for example, would be cause to “leak” information regarding the true nature of Suu Kyi’s rise to power and the genocidal aspirations of her political front.

The predicted disillusionment of Suu Kyi’s supporters worldwide will continue – those who genuinely uphold the principles of defending human rights and representative governance cannot reconcile the fact that Suu Kyi and her NLD clearly represent neither.

For Myanmar’s neighbors, preparations for wider persecution of the Ronhingya should be made. As the violence and injustice escalate, refugees will increase, placing a burden on neighboring states, particularly Thailand. It is important for these states to focus on the cause rather than the consequences of this predictable tragedy, and focus on the foreign-funded, hypocritical nature of the NLD regime. Failure to confront and confound Western aspirations in Myanmar will invite similar scenarios to unfold elsewhere across Southeast Asia.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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israel bibiTND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci |

The answer is really simple: its government and their foreign sponsors. The ongoing conflict consuming the Middle East is the result of Western hegemonic designs aimed at reordering the region and beyond, into a geopolitical structure more suitable for its own interests. In accomplishing this, the centers of power across the West – Washington, Wall Street, London, and Brussels – have elected several nations as intermediaries through which various aspects of this process are being implemented.

Saudi Arabia has contributed significantly in the indoctrination, financing, and arming of terrorists sent across the region and indeed the world. Turkey has likewise served in arming and supplying terrorists, as well as staging them ahead of operations launched into Syrian territory and even resupplying them once in Syrian territory. To a lesser but still notable extent, Jordan has done this as well.

One nation often either neglected or analyzed inappropriately – but very much involved – is Israel.

The Israeli Regime’s Role

The government of Israel has also colluded with the West regarding the ongoing conflict across the Middle East, likely in a way most Israelis are either not aware of or are not in support of.

Israel would be implicated in Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection,” in which he reported:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

The report would go on to reveal the relationship between the government in Israel and state sponsors of terrorism including Saudi Arabia, stating:

The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.

The article, published years before the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011 after which the war in Syria began, would turn out to be prophetic. Israel has worked, albeit more quietly, in tandem with the United States, Turkey, and just as Hersh warned, Saudi Arabia, to wage a devastating proxy war against Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, and to some extent even Russia.

Israel’s borders and safe havens established just beyond them, particularly in the illegally occupied Golan Heights, harbor US State Department-listed terrorist organizations including the Al Nusra Front. On multiple occasions Israel’s own press covered incidents where the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was caught trafficking Nusra fighters back and forth over their border with Syria in ambulances.


A Haaretz report titled, “
Israel halts medical treatment for members of Syria’s Nusra Front,” admitted that:

A senior Israel Defense Forces officer revealed Monday that Israel has stopped treating members of an extremist Syrian rebel group wounded in that country’s ongoing civil war. The policy change concerning the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front was made about six weeks ago.

According to the officer, a number of injured Nusra Front fighters had received medical treatment in Israel.

The article, and others published by Haaretz would reveal that the frequent movement of Nusra fighters in ambulances operated by the IDF eventually prompted Israeli Druze to attack the convoys forcing the Israeli government to change what was apparently a policy well-known inside Israel.

There is also the matter of much more public and multiple violations of Syrian territory by IDF warplanes who have carried out strikes, not against Nusra or the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), but in support of them against Syrian military forces. Damascus has been struck as well by Israeli warplanes in a clear attempt to provoke Syria into wider war in hopes of creating a pretext for swift and direct Western military intervention vis-a-vis the Syrian government.

This latter point is particularly relevant, since signed and dated US policy papers reveal a similar tactic was planned to provoke an unwilling Iran into war against first Israel, then the United States.

The ploy was blueprinted in depth in 2009 by the Fortune 500-funded (page 19 of their annual report) Brookings Institution in their document, “Which Path to Persia?” In regards to Iran, and now clearly being utilized against Syria, the gambit was described as follows (emphasis added):

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) 

And (emphasis added):

Israel appears to have done extensive planning and practice for such a strike already, and its aircraft are probably already based as close to Iran as possible. as such, Israel might be able to launch the strike in a matter of weeks or even days, depending on what weather and intelligence conditions it felt it needed.  Moreover, since Israel would have much less of a need (or even interest)  in securing regional support for the operation, Jerusalem probably would feel less motivated to wait for an Iranian provocation before attacking. In short, Israel could move very fast to implement this option if both Israeli and American leaders wanted it to happen.

However, as noted in the previous chapter, the airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion).”

Israel, a Proxy

The regime in Jerusalem is often depicted by detractors as representing the Israeli people, and being the “black capital” of a global “Zionist empire.” In reality, the current Israeli government’s existence and the military might that sustains it is owed entirely to Washington and London politically and to a significant degree, financially as well. During the 2006 war against Lebanon, at one point, Israel required an emergency delivery of munitions from the US via the UK to carry on operations.

The diminutive country boasts a high-tech economy that could give its people a comfortable existence, benefiting themselves and their neighbors should peace ever be allowed to prevail, but Israel’s economy alone could hardly sustain its current belligerent posture both in the Middle East and beyond without its foreign patrons’ help.

Financially, according to the US State Department’s own numbers, some 3 billion plus US dollars are sent annually to Israel for military assistance alone, making it by far the largest recipient of US military aid on the planet. The next runner up, Egypt, receives not even half that amount, and Israel’s military assistance accounts for over half of the total 5.6 billion spent on military assistance worldwide by the United States.

Israel’s total defense spending amounts to 18.5 billion US dollars, according to the London-based Fortune 500-funded International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank. It is also claimed that Israel rakes in some 5-6 billion in defense sales. Whether or not Israel could survive without the 3 billion declared US dollars in military assistance or not is widely debated. What analysts seem to agree on is the amount of influence that 3 billion gives the US over Israel’s current ruling circles.

In other words, US funding to Israel is more about keeping a regime in Jerusalem doing what Washington wants more than Jerusalem strong-arming 3 billion US dollars from Washington it could survive without. Analysts also seem to agree that without that 3 billion US dollars from Washington, the current regime in Jerusalem would likely collapse and give way to more moderate political forces.

Much of Israel’s current belligerence is bolstered by both US influence over Jerusalem as well as US political support for Jerusalem’s aggression upon the global stage. Breaking this cycle could be the key to bringing peace and co-existence between Israel and its neighbors, but breaking it requires Israel’s critics to focus on US-influenced politicians rather than on the state of Israel itself and all 8 million of its people – many of whom could become valuable allies in establishing peace and stability in the region.

Washington’s Strategy of Tension

Another factor required to maintain Israel as a defacto state-sized forward operating base (FOB) for US regional ambitions, is maintaining a climate of fear and a siege mentality among Israel’s population on one side, and a climate of hatred and desire for revenge on the other. It is ironic that Israel’s current regime finds itself in league with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other state sponsors of terrorism who in turn maintain the rank and file of the most fanatical yet ineffective political and militant groups arrayed allegedly against the Israeli state, and undoubtedly against its people.

While the Palestinian and Israeli people find themselves pitted against each other in perpetual violence, the special interests driving the violence from either side, are working in concert together geopolitically across the region. While Israel convinces its people that Palestinians are their enemy, they are colluding with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Washington to arm and stand up Al Qaeda against Syria.

As long as critics of Israel misdirect their anger and outrage over Israel’s belligerence against Israel as a nation and against its people in general, they will simply help encourage the fear and siege mentality the current regime in Jerusalem predicates its foreign and domestic policy upon. Were these critics to articulate a more nuanced approach, allying themselves with Israelis opposed to the current regime, and both exposing and condemning specific members of the Israeli government, the regime itself would be disarmed of one of its most valuable tools.

Far from the wishful thinking of a “closet Zionist,” this method of reaching out to both Jews and the Israelis has been employed by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad himself, in a bid to clearly delineate the majority Syrians could live as neighbors with in peace, from a corrupt minority sowing chaos and violence just as much in danger of swallowing up all of Israel as it is to swallow up its enemies.

Disrupting the Strategy of Tension 

In 2011, Bloomberg would publish an article titled, “Syria Seeks Secular Image as Jews Restore Synagogues,” in which it would report:

Assad sees the rebuilding of Jewish Damascus in the context of preserving the secularism of Syria,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. “This is an effort by the regime to show its seriousness and an olive branch to the Jewish community in America, which they have been wooing.”

While Syria is still officially at war with Israel, the country is trying to portray itself as a more tolerant state to help burnish its image internationally. Syria’s 200 Jews are mirroring the actions of their co-religionists in Lebanon, where restoration work began on Beirut’s Maghen Abraham Synagogue in July 2009.

Clearly, eliminating the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who is seeking to extend this olive branch, and replacing his government with quite literally Al Qaeda and the “Islamic State,” would ensure a perpetual strategy of tension benefiting big-defense on Wall Street, special interests in Washington, the regime in Jerusalem, and the collective geopolitical objectives of Washington and its regional allies vis-a-vis Iran and by extension, Russia across the Middle East.

Should President Assad and his allies succeed in reestablishing Jewish communities across Syria and successfully reach out to those Israelis not in support of the current regime in Jerusalem and their foreign sponsors, one half of Washington’s strategy of tension would collapse, leaving the other to linger, atrophy, and inevitably collapse in turn.

In order to achieve this, it will require first weathering the proxy war Syria and its allies have been subjected to, then consolidating their influence across the region vis-a-vis Washington’s regional allies, but primarily against their governments, not their people.

It will also require the mindset of many critics of Israel to evolve in a more nuanced manner, establishing financial, military, geostrategic, and political arguments against specific Israelis and their sponsors, rather than rhetorical and ideological arguments recklessly hurled against all Israelis. Breaking the fear and siege mentality Jerusalem has subjected its own population to for decades is the first step of breaking the regime itself. Not only does this regime represent a threat to Israel’s neighbors, but contrary to the propaganda it has used to sow fear among its own people, it is also a threat to Israel itself.

Perhaps this helps answer why Damascus has suffered multiple attacks aimed at it by the regime in Jerusalem without striking back. It would simply feed into a deeper cycle of fear and dependency among Israelis upon the regime that has hijacked their nation and their future. A Syria reluctant to strike back against all of Israel for the crimes of a minority ruling it, is a Syria well-positioned to further undermine that regime in the eyes of the Israelis themselves when the war is finally over.

Israel’s regime does not fear a war it has the US standing behind it to fight, it fears what it cannot fight – an enemy determined to do for its own people – offer peace – that it itself has gone through great lengths to deny them.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

syrian election

syrian electionTND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci 

Despite Syria’s ongoing conflict, life in many parts of the nation goes on. Syria’s election schedule is no exception. The last parliamentary elections before the latest held this month were in 2012. Since these elections are held every 4 years, the recent elections were far from a “political stunt” to bolster the legitimacy of the current government, but instead represented the continuity of Syria’s ongoing, sovereign political process.

Attempts to undermine the credibility of the elections have become the primary objective of US and European news agencies, however, even the US government’s own election monitoring nongovernmental (NGO) agencies have conceded the last presidential election in 2014 saw soaring voter turnout, and despite attempts to leave voter turnout this year omitted from US-European press reports, it appears to also have been high.

The Washington-based, USAID-funded “Election Guide” reported a 73.42% voter turnout in Syria’s 2014 presidential election, a turnout that would be astounding had they been US elections. Voter turnout for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections in the US, for example, were 57.1% and 54.9% respectively. The 2016 Syrian parliamentary elections appear to have also enjoyed a high turnout, with the International Business Tribune in its article, “Syria Elections 2016 Updates: Geneva Peace Talks Resume Amid Scrutiny Of Country’s Ballot Process,” reporting that:

Voting hours for the Syrian parliamentary elections Wednesday were extended for an additional five hours because of such a high voter turnout. A religious leader there lauded the number of voters participating, saying that it was an indication to voters’ apparent opposition to the “cruelty, terrorism and destruction” experienced in Syria’s civil war.

Despite high turnouts in previous elections and indicators like that reported in the International Business Tribune regarding this latest poll, US papers like the New York Times (NYT) decided to sidestep facts and intentionally indulged in unconfirmed, anecdotal stories to portray turnout as low as possible and the credibility of the elections nonexistent.

Anne Barnard’s questionable NYT article titled, “Syrian Parliamentary Elections Highlight Divisions and Uncertainty,” claimed that:

Large parts of the country that are controlled by insurgent groups did not participate in the voting on Wednesday. Despite a fragile partial cease-fire, government and Russian warplanes have continued to hit areas controlled by nationalists and Islamist rebels, as well as territory held by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. An American-led coalition is also bombing areas held by the group.

Throughout Barnard’s NYT piece, she categorically fails to inform readers that while the geographical areas “controlled by insurgent groups” might be “large,” the majority of Syria’s population does not reside within them, and clearly chose to vote in large numbers both in 2014 and 2016 for the current government.

Claims that Kurdish regions also did not participate, omitted the fact that Syria’s total Kurdish population is less than 10% of Syria’s population and that not all Syrian Kurds reside in these regions and refused to vote.

Dispelling the Displacement Myths 

It is usually the US that reminds the world of Syria’s displaced population. What it often doesn’t mention is the fact that most of these displaced Syrians have not fled abroad either to Turkey or Jordan or further beyond to Europe, but have instead sought safe haven in Syria’s capital of Damascus and the protection of its government and the Syrian Arab Army.

The US-EU-funded Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) would reveal precisely this in its 2012 report, “Syria: No safe haven – A country on the move, a nation on the brink,” stating:

Syria’s two biggest cities Damascus and Aleppo were seen as safe havens from the violence and gradually saw a large influx of IDPs [internally displaced persons] fleeing from the zones of conflict.

It is clear that the majority of Syria’s population are fleeing from US-EU backed “freedom fighters” and seeking sanctuary under the protection of the “regime” Western powers have attempted to convince the world led by villains. With this in mind, poll results in favor of the ruling government should be of no surprise, despite rhetoric circulating in US-European media.

The West’s Worst Fears Confirmed 

This reality confirms the West’s worst fears, that despite all attempts to divide and destroy the modern nation-state of Syria, the people remain relatively united in cause to restore peace and order within the nation, and to do so with the current government leading the way.

It is also ironic that the United States and Europe endlessly expound the virtue of self-determination but now attempt to undermine an exercise in that very self-determination by the Syrian people.

It is clear by the statements made by the United States and several European nations regarding the recent elections that the problem was not necessarily the manner in which the elections were held, but who they included. It was not candidates Syrian law excluded from the elections, but candidates the United States and Europe simply do not approve of. In other words, the US and Europe are doing precisely the opposite of promoting self-determination in Syria and are in fact attempting to undo or otherwise undermine the credibility of the results of the recent elections.

NPR in an article titled, “Parts Of Syria Vote In Parliamentary Elections That Critics Say Are A Sham,” would report that:

Mark Toner, U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson, said this week that “to hold parliamentary elections now given the current circumstances, given the current conditions in the country, we believe is at best premature and not representative of the Syrian people.” 

A French Foreign Ministry spokesman called the elections a “sham,” while his German counterpart said that country “will not accept the results,” Reuters reported.

It should be remembered that the US and its European allies eagerly supported elections held in Ukraine amid fierce fighting in the nation’s easternmost region. Despite the inability or unwillingness of many in Ukraine to vote, the elections were both held and recognized by the US and Europe. The reason for this hypocrisy should be clear. Those running in Ukraine’s elections were candidates the US and Europe approved of, supported, and knew would win, while those running and most likely to win in Syria’s elections are not.

Thus, “democracy” from an American or European point of view, is more about special interests in the West selecting a foreign nation’s future government, not its people, unless of course, the people can be convinced to back those candidates Washington and Brussels supports as well.

Not only does the recent election in Syria confirm the West’s worst fears of a failed campaign to divide and destroy the nation, casting doubts on the viability of installing a Western-friendly regime into power during the proposed “transition,” but rather than exposing the alleged illegitimacy of Syrian democracy, it is the West’s brand of selective meddling and manipulation of polls that has been laid out for all the world to see.

With any luck, Syria may serve as an example for other nations to follow in resisting and overcoming foreign interference in their domestic political processes.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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Wong_FreedomHouse_2015-300x173 - hong kongTND Guest Contributor:  Tony Cartalucci

Hong Kong saw the formation of a new “political party,” headed by 19 year-old student Joshua Wong – a young man with no experience and no explanation as to who is funding him or backing him politically. The party, called “Demosisto,” was described by the BBC in their article, “Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong forms political party,” as demanding “self-determination” for Hong Kong – an ambition pushed primarily by US and British interests, not the people of Hong Kong.

The BBC would report that:

Mr Wong was a leading figure in the so-called Umbrella Movement in 2014, which aimed to secure greater voting rights for the territory’s residents.
“Street activism is not enough if we want to fight for a better future,” Mr Wong told the BBC.

“We have to enter the system, create a political party and shape the political agenda, in order to drive forward our movement for self-determination.”
Although Mr Wong is too young to run for office, Demosisto will put forward candidates in Legislative Council elections in September.

The BBC is clearly and intentionally omitting obvious questions and answers regarding the new party, “Demosisto,” such as who is funding it, who is backing it, and who really is running it when clearly the 19 year-old Joshua Wong is merely a figurehead incapable of conjuring up a political party from scratch in Hong Kong’s otherwise highly competitive sociopolitical environment.

Obvious Western Proxies 

Hong Kong, seized by the British in 1841 and handed back – tentatively – to China in 1997, still suffers from the influence and ambitions of both London and their hegemonic successors in Washington and on Wall Street. The latest manifestation of this influence and ambition was the “Occupy Central” movement that sprung up in 2014 among a milieu of US and British-backed agitators with direct financial and political ties to the West.

The foreign ties driving the protests were quickly exposed despite immense propaganda, denials, and deception from the foreign-funded movement’s leadership. The 2014 “Occupy Central” mobs attracted only a minority of Hong Kong’s population, before finally fizzling out in the face of not government crackdowns, but growing public backlash.

Besides Joshua Wong, other “Occupy Central” leaders including Benny Tai and Martin Lee had obvious and direct ties to the United States government, with Tai’s political and academic activity almost entirely subsidized by the US State Department, and with Lee having literally traveled to Washington just ahead of the protests to speak before the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to lobby for aid he would soon receive.

In the wake of the protests, Joshua Wong, Benny Tai, and Martin Lee would all be invited to Washington by their US sponsors to receive an award from NED-subsidiary, Freedom House.

Freedom House’s own website featured an entry for the event titled, “Freedom House marks its 75th anniversary by honoring three generations of Hong Kong democracy leaders: Joshua Wong, Benny Tai and Martin C. M. Lee.”

What is perhaps most indicative of the deceit propagated by the “Occupy Central” movement and its US sponsors is the fact that despite Martin Lee’s trip to Washington before the protests and his role during them, he and his US sponsors repeatedly claimed he was not involved in the “Occupy Central” movement – only to be recognized for his leadership role during the Freedom House event in 2015 afterwards.

In fact, the US NED itself would post a rebuttal to claims of Lee’s involvement in the protests titled, “The National Endowment for Democracy and support for democracy in Hong Kong,” in which it stated:

While Mr. Lee and Ms. Chan are leading democratic figures in Hong Kong, they are neither leaders nor organizers of the current protests; neither are they grantees of the NED.  

Freedom House, however, by inviting him to recognize his leadership during “Occupy Central,” with Lee himself literally carrying one of the symbolic “yellow umbrellas” carried by the agitators during the protests onto the stage with him, thoroughly contradicts NED’s earlier denials.

Between verified funding received by Benny Tai from the US State Department, Martin Lee’s trip to Washington before the protests lobbying for assistance, and Tai, Lee, and Joshua Wong’s pilgrimage to Washington to receive their “award” for their participation in foreign-funded subversion afterwards, the notion that Wong’s new party, “Demosisto,” stands for Hong Kong’s “self-determination” is an absolute absurdity.

Hong Kong’s future, through these three men and the political fronts they lead, is clearly being determined from abroad, and more specifically, by Washington, not by the people of Hong Kong.

It would seem that the West’s return of Hong Kong to the Chinese people was done only begrudgingly, with attempts since then to maintain control over the territory through political proxies.

During the Freedom House event, all three US-backed agitators admitted that their work sought not only to influence Hong Kong, but to serve as a vector for their political movement to make its way deeper into mainland China.

In this wider sense, this means that not only is the West trying to maintain control over its former colonial holdings in Hong Kong, but is also trying to expand this control deeper into China as well. Western ambitions to encircle and contain China has been a matter of stated foreign policy since the “Pentagon Papers” were leaked in the 1970s. Considering the deep, foreign nature of the so-called opposition movement in Hong Kong, the notion of “self-determination” appears to be a parody, not a principle – hidden behind by Western political proxies like Joshua Wong, not upheld by them.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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BrWbPhLCYAAZ5Yr-300x200TND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci |

Myanmar’s political transition is being hailed by Western politicians, special interests, and its media as “historic” and a new beginning for “democracy” in the Southeast Asian nation.

However, even before Myanmar political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party rose to power, the facts contradicted the fiction Western politicians and pundits had spent decades crafting. Even before elections, global awareness around Suu Kyi’s failure to condemn violence against the nation’s Rohingya minority had been growing.

Articles like the Guardian’s “Why is Aung San Suu Kyi silent on the plight of the Rohingya people?,” would point out that:

[Myanmar’s] opposition leader appears to be cowed by her need to dampen ethnic tensions and win votes from an electorate in the thrall of Islamophobia

So too has awareness been growing regarding the fact that some of Suu Kyi’s staunchest supporters were directly involved, in fact, leading the violence against the Rohingya. Despite attempts to portray these supporters as actually “opponents” of Suu Kyi and her political party, it is already becoming clear that Suu Kyi is rewarding them by targeting their enemies and allowing them to more openly indulge in their violence now that they are in power.

Suu Kyi’s Non-Democratic Democracy, and Inhumane Human Rights… 

After the elections, Suu Kyi was banned from holding the presidency because of her numerous ties to foreign interests including her previous marriage to a foreigner and her having children with foreign citizenship – British citizenship no less – Britain being Myanmar’s former colonial master. Despite the ban, Suu Kyi pledged to “rule above” the president, a man she hand-selected to serve as her proxy.

The Guardian in its article, “Aung San Suu Kyi unlikely to take seat in Myanmar government,” inexplicably attempts to explain (emphasis added:

The democracy champion, who spent 15 years under house arrest and is the daughter of the nation’s revolutionary hero, has vowed to be “above the president”, fuelling speculation over her role in the country’s first democratically elected government in more than five decades.

The Guardian never makes it clear how an unelected leader vowing to rule “above” an elected president constitutes a “democracy champion” or the country’s “first democratically elected government in more than five decades.” Clearly those who were elected are not actually leading the nation, and instead of democracy, Myanmar has been given a poorly-crafted, admittedly disingenuous stand-in for it.

Such a move to illegally rule “above” the elected president can only be interpreted as a direct contravention of both the principles of democracy and the rule of law. Suu Kyi and her political party have decided to observe these principles and laws when convenient and advantageous, and trample them when they become obstacles.

Compounding these already alarming developments is Suu Kyi’s treatment of political prisoners. She is being lauded by the West for releasing over 100 political prisoners – mostly her own foreign-funded supporters – while arresting and jailing her opponents.

The Associated Press in its article, “Myanmar frees over 100 political prisoners, but jails 2,” reports that:

More than 100 political prisoners in Myanmar have been freed under an amnesty ordered by the country’s new de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, as her first official act.

AP then notes that:

The move was praised by human rights advocates, but a jarring note was struck when two peace activists the same day Friday were each sentenced to two years with hard labor for activities bringing them into contact with an armed ethnic rebel group that has been battling the central government… 

…Both are also Muslims, a minority that has faced increasing pressure and violence in recent years in overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar.

These two jailed political prisoners are undoubtedly only the beginning. Despite attempts to portray Suu Kyi’s political party and the xenophobic, racist, bigoted “saffron” movement that supports her as “adversarial,” jailing and otherwise legalizing oppression and even genocide against the Rohingya and other “undesirables” is the clearest indication yet that such an adversity does not exist.

Suu Kyi, her political party, and her supporters, even before taking power, have dealt with opponents with the same degree of intolerance and violence as they have accused the military-led government of. Suu Kyi’s “saffron monks” regularly raid Rohingya villages and refugee camps committing mass murder and arson while the faux-monk’s political networks regularly campaign for stripping Myanmar’s Rohingya population of the few remaining rights they have left, while barring efforts to give them full citizenship despite many having lived in Myanmar for generations.

Suu Kyi’s obvious and expanding crimes against the people of Myanmar will only continue. Her party’s policy, beyond rhetorical pandering to “democracy” and inviting in foreign corporations to buy-out and run the country for her, is in fact, not a policy. As the people of Myanmar continue to suffer under political and economic instability, opposition against Suu Kyi will grow, and with it will come increasing intimidation and violence to suppress it.

In reality, the only thing that has changed for Myanmar is the fact that it is no longer associating primarily with its Asian neighbors, but is instead gravitating toward Wall Street, Washington, London, and Brussels – the centers of power who for decades have funded Suu Kyi’s political movement and her various supporters. The promise of “democracy” and “self-determination” dangled over Myanmar’s head is a promise it will never realize so long as Myanmar’s government is beholden to and representative of foreign interests, rather than the interests of the people it was allegedly “elected” to represent.

In a wider, geopolitical context, the transformation of Myanmar into a Western proxy has serious implications for the region, allowing it to become a hub for destabilization against its Southeast Asian neighbors and China. The fact that Suu Kyi is already guilty of or associated with egregious human rights violations documented but kept under wraps by Western “human rights” fronts, means that at any time should Suu Kyi’s loyalty to her foreign sponsors falter, so will the West’s ability to keep her image as a “democracy champion” intact. Like her counterparts in Riyadh, another nation bent into servile obedience to the West with its own atrocities used as blackmail against it, Myanmar begins this new chapter of its collective history bound to the will of its former colonial masters.

For the West, it really is “progress” for them. For Myanmar, it is a step 68 years backwards.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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ataque-terrorista-bruxelas-300x138TND Guest Contributor:  Tony Cartalucci |

Virtually every suspect involved in recent Brussels bombing had been tracked, arrested, in custody – either by European security agencies or the agencies of their allies – but inexplicably released and allowed to carry out both the Brussels attack as well as the Paris attack that preceded it.

So obvious is this fact, that the Western media itself admits it, but simply dismisses the obvious and deeper implications such facts pose by claiming it is merely systemic incompetence.

The Wall Street Journal would admit that the recently arrested “man in the hat” also known as Mohamed Abrini, was also arrested for suspected terrorist activity – allegedly scoping out potential targets in the UK – but also – like his collaborators – inexplicably released. His brother had been to Syria where he fought and died alongside the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), and Abrini himself too appears to have been in Syria.

The Wall Street Journal’s article, “Brussels Suspect Mohamed Abrini: What We Know,” reports that:

After the U.K., Mr. Abrini traveled to Paris and then Brussels, where he was arrested but then released, according to the two people. But Belgian authorities passed the information about his U.K. trip, including images found on his phone, to the British, the sources said.

Abrini’s case of “catch and release” before carrying out a successful string of deadly attacks across Europe, is just the latest.

West’s ISIS Catch and Release Program 

Germany’s largest press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, reported in their article, “Reports: Brothers known to police were among Brussels suicide bombers,” that:

Two Brussels brothers who were known to police are among the suicide bombers who carried out deadly terrorist attacks on the international airport and subway in the Belgian capital, local media reported Wednesday.

And that:

[Khalid El Bakraoui] had been sentenced in early 2011 to five years in prison for carjackings, after having been arrested in possession of Kalashnikov rifles, according to the Belga news agency.

His brother, 30-year-old Brahim, had been sentenced in 2010 to nine years in prison for having shot at police with a Kalashnikov rifle during a hold-up, Belga said.

The New York Times, in their article, “Brussels Attack Lapses Acknowledged by Belgian Officials,” would report regarding another Brussels bombing suspect, Brahim El Bakraoui, and his arrest and deportation from Turkey that:

The Belgian justice and interior ministers acknowledged that their departments should have acted on a Turkish alert about a convicted Belgian criminal briefly arrested in Turkey last year on suspicion of terrorist activity, who turned out to be one of the suicide bombers. And the Belgian prosecutor’s office said that person’s brother — another suicide bomber — had been wanted since December in connection with the Paris attacks.

That makes 4 suspects who were known to European security agencies for violent crimes and/or terrorism, with each and every one of them in custody before the attacks unfolded.

For fisheries around the world, the concept of “catch and release” allows anglers to enjoy the fishing experience while preserving the numbers and health of fish populations. The concept of “catch and release” for Western security and intelligence agencies appears very similar – to maintain the illusion of counterterrorism operations, while maintaining the numbers and health of terrorist organizations around the world.

Answering “to what end” the West is allowing terrorists to successfully carry out attacks against Western targets, the answer is quite simple. It allows for the expansion of power and control at home while justifying endless and profitable wars abroad.

The creation and perpetuation of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS by the West and its allies serve another, admitted purpose. In the 1980’s it was admitted that Al Qaeda was created to wage proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In 2011, the US and its NATO and Persian Gulf allies used terrorists linked to Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria in an attempt to overthrow their respective governments.

Today, ISIS serves both as an armed proxy waging full-scale war on the governments of Syria, Iraq, and more indirectly Iran and Russia, as well as a means to threaten and coerce nations around the world.

Political impasses in Southeast Asia revolving around America’s waning influence in the region have been met with the sudden and otherwise inexplicable appearance of ISIS. In one case, Indonesia signed a large rail deal while pursuing other economic and military partnerships with Beijing, before suffering its fist ISIS attack in its capital, Jakarta.

Thailand was likewise threatened by the US of an imminent ISIS attack, amid attempts by Bangkok to uproot the political networks of US-backed political proxy, Thaksin Shinawatra. Bangkok has also shown hesitation to sign the unpopular US-sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

Bangkok was already hit by terrorism last year after returning suspected terrorists to China to face justice against America’s repeated protests. Just months later, groups tied to NATO terrorist front, the Turkish Grey Wolves, carried out a bombing in the center of Bangkok.

ISIS, its counterparts, and peripheral groups like NATO’s Grey Wolves, serve multiple roles for the West. They are a pretext to invade and occupy foreign nations, a proxy army to wage war against its enemies with, and a means of maintaining fear and obedience at home under the auspices of an increasing police state. It is difficult to believe the West could maintain its current foreign and domestic policy without this menace – it has become an integral part of Western geopolitical strategy.

Would a Signed Confession Convince You? 

Many are quick to dismiss evidence of Western special interests’ use of terrorists and terrorism to project geopolitical power abroad and maintain control at home. This is despite the admitted nature of the West’s role in the creation and utilization of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and signed and dated policy papers like the Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” document which openly advocated using listed-terrorist organization, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), to wage a proxy campaign of violence against the Iranian people and their government.

MEK, it should be noted, is guilty of killing American civilians and military personnel, as well as continuing a campaign of terrorism against civilian and political targets in Iran.  Brookings in fact, admits this while proposing the US’ use of the terrorist organization to carry out US foreign policy objectives. If MEK is a suitable candidate for Western sponsorship, why not ISIS?

Considering this, and the “coincidental” arming and funding of “rebels” in Libya by the US and its allies in 2011 who are now verifiably members of listed terrorist organizations, revelations of US involvement behind the rise of ISIS should come as little surprise.

And beyond mere speculation, a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report leaked to the public, admits that the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria, precisely where ISIS now resides.

The US DIA admitted:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran). 

The DIA document then explains exactly who this “Salafist principality’s” supporters are (and who its true enemies are):

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

All that’s left is for the Pentagon to perhaps, disclose payslips for ISIS leaders or logistical documents regarding US-NATO resupply operations for ISIS along the Turkish-Syrian border – and perhaps even such a disclosure would still not be enough to convince some in the West that the special interests posing as their leaders are complicit in creating not only ISIS, but organizing and ensuring the chaos they cause unfolding at home and abroad wherever and whenever needed.

The fact that literally ever Brussels and Paris attack suspect was known to and in many cases detained by Western security agencies before the attacks, yet were released before being allowed to carry out their attacks successfully, proves that the West is enjoying the “experience” of maintaining a war on terror, but like good fishery conservationists, is ensuring the populations of their quarry remain healthy and numerous.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.   This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

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e0b897e0b899e0b8b2e0b8a2-300x200TND Guest Contributor: Tony Cartalucci 

An opposition lawyer might seem like a relatively insignificant piece on the grand chessboard of geopolitics, but when the guns are silent, and proxy wars are not possible, these foot soldiers of foreign interests fight Wall Street and Washington’s battles on a daily basis.

To say that Thailand-based opposition lawyer Benjarat Meethien is just now “turning to foreigners” for aid is not entirely accurate. She has already been working with foreign special interests for some time to advance her own career and the interests of those foreigners who fund her work.

She claims to be a “human rights lawyer,” however the entirety of her clients are linked to ousted dictator Thaksin Shinawatra and his political machine, and in particular, those elements of his political machine involved in mass murder, terrorism, mass arson, and all other forms of violence and coercion. It can be considered ironic that Benjarat claims to be upholding “human rights,” when attempting to defend those who have trampled such rights the most.

Benjarat is a member of “Thai Lawyers for Human Rights” (TLHR), funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Because TLHR does not disclose its foreign funding on its website, it is assumed that like other foreign-backed NGOs operating in Thailand, it too is receiving funding from other organizations. On its Facebook account it proudly lists its “Human Rights Award from French [Embassy].”

Its US government funding and its European awards means it should be no surprise that when difficulties in advancing its agenda in Thailand are met, it turns to the West for further aid.
Thailand’s Nation newspaper reported in an article titled, “Lawyer for red-shirt complains to EU,” that:

[The] lawyer for a man suspected of involvement in the “Khon Kaen model” plot to allegedly carry out attacks after the 2014 coup has sought help from the European Union (EU) over alleged intimidation by authorities. 

Benjarat Meethien said that she had suffered intimidation by police and military officers after she filed a petition against authorities under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for dealing with a case involving her client. 

In her letter submitted to the EU last week, the lawyer reported that the NCPO and authorities treated people unfairly.

Benjarat’s reasoning is incomprehensible when one asks – just what precisely does Europe have to do with “human rights” in Thailand, or Thailand’s internal politics in any shape, form, or way? Has Benjarat missed coverage of the recent and still lingering “migrant crisis” the EU’s own warmongering triggered in the first place, and its subsequent attempts to turn away desperate, homeless refugees?

This selective ‘concern’ for human rights reveals that both the EU and actors like Benjarat merely use rights advocacy to advance their political agendas, and gladly run roughshod over them at the first moment of convenience.

The Bigger Picture – American Primacy in Asia & the Containment of China 

In reality, Benjarat is an agent of foreign interests, merely hiding behind human rights advocacy. The West has backed not only NGOs like TLHR and individuals like Benjarat, but also the political movement her NGO is defending the terrorists of. In other words, the US has created a violent political front to divide and undermine Thailand, and an army of faux-NGOs to portray any attempt to hold this front accountable as an “attack” on “human rights.”

It is a game that repeats itself not only many times over in Thailand, but across the rest of Asia, and indeed, around the world. US interests in Thailand and Southeast Asia specifically, is not only primacy over the markets and political systems there, but to take that influence and wield it against Beijing in the form of a united Southeast Asian front.

As much has been admitted since the 1970’s in the infamous “Pentagon Papers.”

Three important quotes from these papers reveal this strategy. It states first that:

“…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.”

It also claims:

“China—like Germany in 1917, like Germany in the West and Japan in the East in the late 30′s, and like the USSR in 1947—looms as a major power threatening to undercut our importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against us.” 

Finally, it outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time by stating:

“there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

This agenda has continued unchanged through the decades, precisely along the three fronts outlined decades ago. America’s “pivot to Asia” is merely the latest manifestation of this method of containment aimed at Beijing. Despite claiming otherwise ahead of a recent US-ASEAN summit, countering China quickly became the main talking point tabled by the US.

What may seem like a small episode of internal political squabbling in the grand scheme of geopolitics, when following the money and connecting it to stated US foreign policy, the work of those like Benjarat and her TLHR becomes an increasingly telling harbinger of a much larger and menacing agenda aimed at Asia.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.

 

 

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p01qj25r-300x169TND Guest Contributor:  Tony Cartalucci 

The Southeast Asian nation of Thailand has found itself repeatedly in the spotlight regarding labor practices, and in particular those among its shrimp and fishing production industry where Western media sources continue to focus on the use of migrant workers and the appalling conditions they toil under.

However, the West’s sudden fascination with Thai shrimp and fishing industries should strike the world as somewhat suspicious, or at least hypocritical.

After all, the West, and the United States in particular, imports a sizable percentage of its oil from Saudi Arabia, a nation with the absolute worst human rights record on Earth – where enemies of the state are literally beheaded in public by a regime that has reigned for decades absent any semblance of democracy or interest in the will and well-being of its own people. Yet despite that, media campaigns like that aimed at Thailand since 2014, are utterly absent regarding Saudi Arabia – and it has been that way for decades – transcending various presidential administrations.

What’s most ironic about Thailand’s current human rights situation is that the current  government is in the middle of undoing a decade of corruption, abuses, and rackets created by a very much US-backed regime ousted from power in 2014 – a regime these same Western media interests knew was overseeing human rights abuses, and for years helped it cover them up just as it does in Saudi Arabia today.

The Rest of the Story 

In Thailand on May 22, 2014, over a decade of impunity was brought to an end when the regime of US-backed dictator Thaksin Shinawatra was finally ousted from power in the second military coup aimed at uprooting him and his political networks.

Thaksin Shinawatra had, since coming to power in 2001, aided and abetted the US in everything from the invasion and occupation in Iraq by sending Thai troops to participate, to hosting the US CIA’s abhorrent rendition program, to an attempt to illegally pass a US-Thai free trade agreement that was ultimately defeated by Shinawatra’s opponents.

In return for Shinawatra’s infinite utility to Wall Street and Washington, he and his political networks have been endowed with immense US backing, ranging from a myriad of Washington lobbyists working on Shinawatra’s behalf in the Western media, to US State Department funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to this day attempting to undermine and overthrow Thailand’s various institutions working against Shinawatra and the special interests from abroad he represents. The US ambassador himself has attempted to intervene on multiple occasions on behalf of pro-Shinawatra agitators.

At the time of the 2014 coup, Shinawatra was already in self-imposed exile in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after a 2006 coup ousted him from power – while his sister, Yingluck Shianwatra symbolically held the office of prime minister in his absence. There was never any doubt, however, over whether or not Thaksin Shinawatra was still running his powerful political network from afar, which included among other things, control over the nation’s police.

Under the Shinawtra crime family, a myriad of abuses took place which included human trafficking, exploitation of labor, and just before being ousted, the robbery of over a million of Thailand’s rice farmers of their annual harvests which were stockpiled by the regime in warehouses, sold on the black market, and promised subsidies never paid. Shinawatra’s control over the nation’s police ran deep, with Shinawatra himself having been a high-level bureaucrat within the police force before becoming prime minister in 2001.

It would be the incoming military-led government that ousted Shinawatra that would finally pay back the farmers and begin undoing the criminal networks including those among the police that flourished under Shinawatra’s rule.

This included attempting to enforce long-standing laws aimed at cleaning up the fishing industry, which includes Thailand’s lucrative shrimp harvesting and processing sectors. After the 2006 coup, the military-led government even then attempted to reform migrant labor laws. The attempt was unsuccessful. The same year the laws were passed, Shinawatra’s proxies would find their way back into power. And despite the fact that migrant labor was a burning issue even then, the silence from the West was not only deafening, it was telling.

While a regime sat in power that bent to Wall Street and Washington’s every whim, it was rewarded with silence from the West’s media and NGOs who for years silently documented migrant worker abuse but did nothing to bring attention to it. Ironically, it is only now, with a government attempting to finally enforce longstanding migrant labor laws targeting human trafficking and slavery US mega-retailers have long benefited from, that the West has decided to put pressure on the Thai government.

As a matter of fact, the coup was in May of 2014, and the first salvos aimed at the incoming government were fired by the Western press beginning the very next month.

Hypocrisy, Not Human Rights

The suspicious timing of the West’s sudden concern is no coincidence. The West is pressuring Thailand, even threatening sanctions not because of human rights abuses it has suddenly found out about, but because of human rights abuses it knew about for a decade and ignored until a government it didn’t like came into power.

Pressure on Thailand over migrant labor issues is only one facet of a much larger, concerted campaign to undermine the current government and help return the Shinawatras to power.

The current military-led government has brought Thailand on an entirely alternate – and for Washington – an unacceptable path.

Bangkok is pivoting toward Beijing, economically, politically, and militarily. As the US attempts to shun the new government in Bangkok by rolling back military cooperation, the Thai and Chinese air forces held their first ever joint exercise. A myriad of weapon and infrastructure deals have also been struck or are in the process of being negotiated with China.

Last year, Thailand refused Western demands that Uyghurs fleeing China, suspected of terrorism, be allowed to continue on to Turkey where Beijing accused them of seeking to join the ranks of the notorious Islamic State terrorist organization.

Only months after sending the suspected terrorists back to China, Bangkok suffered a terrorist attack itself, carried out by NATO-backed terrorists from Turkey as reprisal. Since then, two Washington-backed “activists” from China were also sent home to face justice, despite Western demands the two be allowed to travel onward to Canada to seek political asylum.

The move was condemned publicly by the US ambassador to Thailand, and followed by a flurry of media attacks on all fronts, including among other things, aviation safety reviews, hotel labor conditions, and migrant labor reforms among Thailand’s shrimp industry.

All of this leads us right back to Saudi Arabia.

The United States imports double digit percentages of its oil from Saudi Arabia. It, along with its European allies, also exports billions in weapons to the regime in Riyadh.

Reports in the news about Saudi Arabia’s barbaric regime and the abhorrent human rights conditions that exist within Saudi Arabia are nonexistent in the West. Saudi Arabia has existed as an unquestioning, unflinchingly obedient proxy of US foreign policy in the Middle East for decades, waging multiple proxy wars at great personal expense on behalf of Wall Street and Washington. In exchange, the West has clearly granted Saudi Arabia with unlimited impunity within which it has created one of the most depraved states in modern existence.

It is clear the West does not care about human rights. What’s worse, is that it not only selectively enforces penalties for those it accuses of violating human rights, in the case of Thailand, it is targeting the only government in over a decade that has attempted to improve human rights through not only new legislation, but through actually trying to enforce it.

Recent headlines aimed at further undermining Thailand’s current government, even admit deep within their reports that progress is indeed being made.

At the end of the day, whether it is the petroleum one finds in their gas tank, or any given item on the shelf in one of America’s many Walmarts, one would be hard pressed to find anything that has not been produced and put there through the exploitation of human labor under conditions unacceptable anywhere in the West itself. If foreign labor was toiling under favorable conditions and fairly compensated, there would be no point of using foreign labor in the first place. Large multinational corporations importing these goods from all over the developing world know this which is why they outsourced labor overseas to begin with.

It is the West itself that has, and still does, eagerly encourage this unjust disparity everywhere it can – and only “takes a stand” when politically profitable, and in Thailand’s case, when the exploitation that has gone on for years may finally come to an end.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.   

This work was published at the New Eastern Outlook and is reprinted with permission.