Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thailand: US-Backed "Activists" Freely Allowed to Complain about "No Freedom"

Documenting foreign-funded sedition in Thailand is key to understanding how US set stage for regime change in Libya, Ukraine, and attempted to do so in Syria.

June 23, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Thailand's English newspaper, The Nation, in a recent article titled, "Students stage protest to free ‘Pai Daodin’" included a short video of the protest showing a handful of students blocking a particularly busy elevated walkway in central Bangkok as they read their message in English.

One "activist" exclaimed:
We will never stop until we are free! 
She repeatedly demanded "freedom" and condemned what she repeatedly called a "dictatorship" apparently oblivious of the paradoxical fact that she and her fellow protesters were clearly "free" to disrupt hundreds of people attempting to use the walkway and go about their business during the brief political protest.


They were not arrested despite violating laws regarding political gatherings and despite the fact that they represent a political opposition (often referred to as "red shirts") that has, since 2006, resorted to extreme violence including mass murder, terrorism, citywide arson, assassinations, two attempts at armed insurrection in 2009 and again in 2010, the brutalization and murder of nearly 30 protesters between 2013-2014 who opposed a government led by their political allies, as well as censorship and intimidation of their critics.



More recently, a man radicalized by the very sort of propaganda repeated by these "student activists" was arrested after carrying out a string of bombings around Bangkok that left scores of innocent people maimed.

One of his targets included a hospital.

Despite this, and the Western media characterizing Thailand's current government as a "dictatorship" in need of change, agitators like those featured in the above video have been repeatedly allowed to carry on with their antics despite the dangerous nature of the opposition they represent - with any arrest being followed only by a brief detainment before promptly being allowed to return back to agitating.

This process has led many agitators to resort to increasingly criminal behavior in order to be detained longer and thus portray themselves as "political prisoners" eagerly defended by Western governments and their collections of foreign-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). 


The "Dao Din" group is one of several foreign-funded fronts attempting to replicate in Thailand the US and European-funded sedition that has divided and destroyed nations like Libya, Syria, and Ukraine.

Likely in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine, agitators identical in hypocrisy and irony were tolerated by each nation's respective governments until critical mass was reached and foreign-backed armed insurrection overthrew or attempted to overthrow each in turn.

Documenting this process in Thailand where successful armed insurrection is much more unlikely, helps geopolitical analysts understand how the US set the stage - and is setting the stage - elsewhere in pursuit of regime change and the construction of obedient client states. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Philippines: ISIS Saves US Foreign Policy, Again

June 15, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - In an all too familiar pattern, militants proclaiming ties to the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) have once again found themselves aiding US foreign policy, this time in the Philippines where the Philippine government has been increasingly seeking closer ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington's longstanding influence in the Southeast Asian state.


Militants have conducted a large scale military operation seizing parts of the southern Philippine city of Marawi where they have carried out a variety of atrocities and hoisted ISIS flags. Located on the southern island of Mindanao, the city is only slightly removed from Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Sayaff's primary area of operation on nearby Jolo and Basilan islands.

Abu Sayaff and other regional affiliates have received much of their funding and support from one of America's oldest and closest Mideast allies, Saudi Arabia with whom the US has just recently sealed another unprecedented arms deal.

It is now reported that the US military is aiding Philippine troops in attempts to retake the city, highlighting just how ISIS has been used as a pretext to justify Washington's continued influence in the nation - and particularly - the presence of US military forces in Southeast Asia.

AFP would report in an article titled, "US troops on the ground in war-ravaged Philippine city: military," that:
US troops are on the ground helping local soldiers battle Islamist militants in a Philippine city, a Filipino military spokesman said Wednesday, giving the most detailed account of their role.
The small number of US soldiers are providing vital surveillance assistance and, although they do not have a combat role, are allowed to open fire on the militants if attacked first, spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla said.
AFP also noted that:
The issue of US troops in the Philippines has become extremely sensitive since Rodrigo Duterte became president last year and sought to downgrade his nation’s military alliance with the United States in favour of China.

However, the fact that the militants are funded and supported by US ally Saudi Arabia, and that the Islamic State itself was admittedly a creation of US and Persian Gulf interests, their sudden and spectacular appearance in the Philippines just as US-Philippine ties were at their lowest and impetus to finally remove America's presence from the nation at its highest, indicate that the recent mayhem is more than convenient coincidence.

US Foreign Policy: Breaking Windows By Night, Repairing Them (For a Price) By Day 

Dwindling geopolitical leverage in Asia Pacific has caused the United States to seek a variety of conflicts to serve as pretexts for its continued presence in the region. This includes tensions in the South China Sea where the US has sought to line up nations against China to challenge Beijing's claims over territory and islands there.

One of those nations - in fact - included the Philippines which sidelined an elaborate US-led legal charade over China's claims in the South China Sea in favor of bilateral talks with Beijing directly - excluding the US.

The US has also actively provoked conflict on the Korean Peninsula, threatening North Korea's government with a potential first strike aimed at "decapitating" its civilian and military leadership. Such meddling and the predictable tensions that result have ensured America's continued military presence in South Korea as well as years of lucrative defense contracts.

And while Washington's use of ISIS in the Philippines is the most recent example of how terrorism is being used to justify America's military presence in the region, it certainly isn't the first. Militancy in Thailand's south has been repeatedly used as a pretext for Washington to seek closer ties to Bangkok - ties Bangkok has repeatedly rejected in favor of more diverse military cooperation and acquisitions from China, Russia, Europe, and its own growing domestic industry.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Islamic State in Asia: Saudi-Funding and Naive Policymakers Endanger Region

June 1, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Recently, terrorist attacks have unfolded across Indonesia, a militant network disrupted along the Thai-Malaysian border and full-scale military operations including aerial bombing deployed as Philippine troops fought to take back Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao, all linked or affiliated with the Islamic State.


A dangerously deceptive narrative is being crafted by US and European media organisations, the same sort of narrative that was used to conceal the true source of the Islamic State's fighting capacity across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region beginning as early as 2011.

The New York Times, for example, in an article titled, "In Indonesia and Philippines, Militants Find a Common Bond: ISIS," claims:
An eruption of violence in the southern Philippines and suicide bombings in Indonesia this week highlight the growing threat posed by militant backers of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia. 

While the timing of the Jakarta bombings and the fighting on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao appears to be coincidental, experts on terrorism have been warning for months that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has provided a new basis for cooperation among extremists in the region.
However, back in reality, the Islamic State is no different than any other military force. Its members require food, water and shelter daily. They require weapons and ammunition. They require uniforms. They need transportation, which in turn requires fuel, maintenance personnel and spare parts. And most important of all, the Islamic State requires a steady stream of recruits made possible only through organised education and indoctrination.

For the scale the Islamic State is doing this on, stretching across MENA and now reaching into Southeast Asia, confounding the response of not just individual nation-states but entire blocs of nations attempting to confront this growing threat, it is abundantly clear the Islamic State is not fulfilling these prerequisites on its own.

Its doing this all through state sponsorship, a reality rarely mentioned by the New York Times,  Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, CNN, the BBC and others. Those acquiring their worldview through these media organisations are setting themselves up and those depending on their analysis for tragic failure.

Education and Indoctrination: Who is Feeding the Fire?  

The ranks of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia are being filled by a regional network of extremist indoctrination conducted in institutions posing as Islamic boarding schools known as madrasas. Those institutions indoctrinating local populations with notions of extremism and inspiring them to take up violence and terrorism share a common denominator; Saudi funding.


Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, Yousaf Butt, in a Huffington Post article titled, "How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism," would put Saudi funding of such extremist networks into perspective, stating:
It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991.