China and Thailand: Tank Tracks and Train Tracks

October 21, 2017 New Eastern Outlook  

While Thailand undergoes a sensitive transition with the October funeral for its head of state, the widely respected and revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Southeast Asia constitutional monarchy, home to 70 million and one of the strongest regional economies, continues forward with solid footing in its, and the region's realignment with its neighbours and East Asia, particularly China.


The Royal Thai Army took delivery this month of the first 28 Chinese-built VT4 main battle tanks (MBTs), with possibly over 100 additional tanks to be acquired in the near future. The growing fleet of VT4 MBTs joins other Chinese-built armoured vehicles in Thailand's inventory including over 30 VN-1 and over 450 Type 85 armoured personnel carriers.

The acquisition of Chinese military equipment by Thailand's armed forces also includes 3 submarines as well as joint-development of multiple rocket launchers. There is also a growing number of joint Thai-Chinese military exercises including Blue Strike 2016, which followed Falcon Strike 2015. The exercises involved both nation's marine and air forces respectively and represent an alternative to what was once the United States' exclusive domain in Southeast Asia.


In addition to growing Thai-Chinese military ties, both nations are moving forward with infrastructure projects including massive railway initiatives. Construction is set to start in November of this year on the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail network. The first stage will link Thailand's capital of Bangkok to the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima. Eventually, China and its Southeast Asian neighbours plan to create a high-speed rail network running from China all the way to Singapore via Laos, Thailand and Malaysia. Construction in Laos is already underway.

American Counterstrokes 

It is clear that Bangkok benefits from its growing relationship with Beijing. Washington, which openly and for decades has sought to hinder Beijing's regional and global rise, has little to offer as an alternative. Worse still, Washington has filled the void left by its inability to offer constructive military and economic ties with a regiment of political interference, coercion and even confrontation.

Bangkok is home to numerous foreign governmental organisations posing as "independent" nongovernmental organisations (i.e. Prachatai, Thai Netizens, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, the New Democracy Movement and iLaw) fully funded by the United States government and a number of private US and European-based foundations, serving US and European interests. These foreign fronts seek to pressure the Thai government to adopt a system of economics and government that interlocks with and is subservient to US and European institutions, while overwriting Thailand's own independent institutions, particularly the military and the constitutional monarchy.


America's Predictable Betrayal of the Iran Deal

October 18, 2017 New Eastern Outlook  

America's withdrawal from the "Iran deal" doesn't prove that Iran is a threat to world peace and stability - instead - it proves that America cannot be trusted.
In a recent public statement, US President Donald Trump announced the United States' decertification of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known as the "Iran Deal."

The US occupation of Iraq and its military occupation across the wider region has always ultimately aimed at encircling and overwhelming Iran's political order.
Fox News and AP in their article, "Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal, slaps sanctions on IRGC in broadside at ‘radical regime’," would claim:
 “I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakthrough.” 

Friday's announcement does not withdraw the United States from the Iran deal, which the president called “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” 

But the president threatened that he could still ultimately pull out of the deal.
The agreement regarded Iran's nuclear technology program, seeking assurances from Tehran that its use of nuclear technology would remain peaceful - and in turn - pressure placed on Iran both politically and economically - particularly economic sanctions - would be reduced.

While the argument stands that Western nations already possessing nuclear weapons, coercing non-nuclear nations to abandon ambitions to acquire parity - while Western forces occupy and ravage nations both east and west of Iran's borders is as hypocritical as it is unjust - the deal itself was nothing more than a means to advance - not hinder or reduce - Western aggression versus Iran.   

The "Iran Deal" Was Always Meant to be Broken 

President Trump's announcement fulfilled nearly a decade-long ploy to draw Iran into what US policymakers as early as 2009 called a "superb offer" designed solely to portray the US as having tried diplomacy before changing tack toward more direct economic, political, and military aggression. 

In a 2009 report titled, "Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" (PDF), corporate-financier funded US policy think tank the Brookings Institution would explicitly call for a deal to be offered by the US to Iran only to be intentionally broken and used as a pretext for direct military confrontation.

The report would propose (emphasis added):
...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offerone so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.
The exactitude by which this 2009 policy has been executed - transcending two US presidencies - and leading precisely to the edge of an impending US-Iranian confrontation in the Middle East already being fought out in proxy across Syria, Iraq, and some may argue, Yemen - should leave no doubts as to what happens next.

US Troops Already in Place to Fight Long-Planned Confrontation with Iran


US Meddling Across Southeast Asia

October 17, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - At a time when US political leaders decry with little evidence what they claim is a pandemic of "Russian interference" in Western political affairs from Western Europe to North America, years of documented evidence exist of this very same interference in the domestic affairs of other nations around the world, funded and directed not by Moscow, but by Washington D.C.


Across Southeast Asia alone is an interlocked, deeply rooted and heavily financed network of American-backed agitators and propagandists, operating behind the cloaks of journalism and rights advocacy, working to upend local, independent political institutions and replace them with a system created by and serving exclusively the interests in Washington that created them.

Shedding Light on US Interference in the Philippines

The Manila Times in a recent article titled, "CIA conduit funding anti-Duterte media outfits," would shed light on US government money being channelled into the Philippines for the explicit purpose of manipulating public perception, particularly regarding politics.

The article cites the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its grantees, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and the Vera Files.

The article outlines the funding, stating:
NED documents show that for 2015—the earliest year for which data is available—2016 and 2017, it gave the PCIJ $106,900; Vera Files $70,000, and CMFR, $278,000. (Another funder of Vera Files is Reporters without Borders, which is also recipient of NED funds.)

Even if NED wasn’t a CIA conduit, it is an institution funded by the US government, and therefore advances US interests. Shouldn’t we be outraged that the US government is funding anti-Duterte media outfits here?
It also points out that this US interference in Filipino politics fits into a much larger, global pattern of political interference engaged in by the US government. The article cites US interference in Ukraine in particular, noting that it was US backing that eventually led to the overthrow of the elected government there between 2013 and 2014.


How the West is Trying to Recreate Myanmar's Crisis in Thailand

October 13, 2017 New Eastern Outlook  

Media platforms either directly funded by the United States government or by their political proxies in Thailand, including US-funded Prachatai and Khao Sod English, have begun investing increasing amounts of energy into fueling a currently non-existent sectarian divide in Thai society.


They are concentrating their efforts in promoting the activities of a small anti-Muslim movement in Thailand's northeast region often referred to as Issan. Issan - it is no coincidence - is also the epicenter of previous US efforts to divide and overthrow the political order of Thailand via their proxy Thaksin Shinawatra, his Pheu Thai Party, and his ultra-violent street front, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or "red shirts"). Shinawatra and his political proxies were ousted from power in 2014 by a swift and peaceful military coup.

Today, temples affiliated with Shinawatra's political network are turning from a tried and tired, primarily class-based narrative, to one targeting Thailand's second largest religion - Islam, in hopes of dividing and destroying Thai society along sectarian lines.

From northern cities like Chiang Mai to the northeast in provinces like Khon Kaen, suspiciously identical movements, with identical tactics, organized across social media platforms like Facebook are protesting Mosques, calling for specific acts of violence against Muslims, and using the same sort of factual and intellectually dishonest rhetoric peddled by veteran Western Islamophobes used to fuel the West's global campaign of divide, destroy, and conquer everywhere from the US and Europe itself, to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more recently, Myanmar and the Philippines in Southeast Asia.

Tools of Empire: Divide and Conquer 

Myanmar, which borders Thailand, currently finds itself at the apex of nationalist and racist-driven violence targeting its primarily Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority. Groups of supposed "Buddhists" who form a more deeply rooted version of what the US and its proxies are trying to create in Thailand, were used to both create a deep sectarian divide where once there was coexistence, and to help put the US and European-funded political network of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party into power.

Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, sectarian extremists posing as "Buddhist monks," and the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) together in Washington D.C. 

The humanitarian crisis created in Myanmar serves several functions for the US and its European partners who have meticulously cultivated it over the course of several decades.


Catalan Independence: Out of Madrid's Frying Pan, Into the NATO Fire?

October 9, 2017 New Eastern Outlook   

Media on all sides surrounding the recent Catalan referendum for independence from Spain focused on Madrid's security crackdown on voters. However, what is not being mentioned about Catalonia's ongoing bid to achieve independence, who is leading it, and what their plans are for the region should they succeed, is just as important.



Catalonia is one of the most prosperous regions of Spain, possessing a population and GDP on par with or slightly above Singapore or Scotland. It has enjoyed various levels of autonomy for decades and - unlike many US-European "independence" projects around the world - could likely emerge as an independent and prosperous sovereign nation.

For this fact alone, many people support and are enthusiastic about Catalan independence.

Real Independence, or Shifting Dependence from Madrid to Brussels? 

However, despite attempts by the Western media and the special interests they represent to appear indifferent or even opposed to Catalan independence, policy papers from Western corporate-financier sponsored think tanks indicate an eagerness - particularly by NATO - to integrate what they expect to be a robust military capability into their global wars of aggression.


China vs US: Singapore's Role in Asia Pacific

October 7, 2017 New Eastern Outlook  

In early August, a Chinese-American professor, Huang Jing, and his wife were expelled from Singapore. He is accused of collaborating with foreign intelligence agents, according to the South China Morning Post.


While the Singaporean government has yet to disclose which nation's intelligence agencies he is accused of collaborating with, the South China Morning Post and other US-European influenced newspapers in the region have attempted to suggest it is China.

Huang Jing sought assistance from the US embassy in Singapore upon hearing the accusations. He is also a former fellow of the US-based corporate-funded policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, and in particular was a fellow at the institution's John L. Thornton China Center.

Regardless of the truth behind his past and current affiliations, attempts by the US and European media to signal this as a win for American influence across Asia Pacific and a strike against Beijing have been ongoing.

The South China Morning Post would later publish a more balanced editorial titled, "What Singapore is Saying by Expelling China Hand Huang Jing," stating:
It marked the first time in more than two decades that Singapore had publicly booted out an alleged functionary of a foreign power for interference in its domestic affairs. 

Singapore did not name the country Huang Jing was supposedly working for, but most people assume it is China, the country of his birth. The affair has sparked intense discussion and speculation. Since such expulsions are invariably symbolic, the question is what Singapore is trying to communicate. 
The editorial cites Huang's comments made encouraging more neutrality from Singapore regarding the US-China South China Sea row as well as noting Singapore's "overboard" support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership which was part of America's recent and floundering "Asia pivot."


US Proxies in Southeast Asia Include Fake Communists

October 5, 2017 New Eastern Outlook 

A quick geopolitical audit of Washington's political and military proxies around the globe reveals a tangled web that, at first glance, appears contradictory and incoherent.


Fascists in Kiev who hold extreme views regarding race and religion enjoy equal standing in Washington with Wahhabi militants across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Two groups who would otherwise find themselves ideologically opposed, instead find themselves working toward a common cause, one on behalf of Washington.

And Washington itself, which would appear at first glance diametrically opposed to both fascism and Wahhabism, instead counts both among its closest and most reliable facilitators and functionaries around the globe.

And while the rank and file of Americans, Ukrainians and Wahhabi militants may genuinely believe in otherwise contradictory and incompatible ideologies, cursory research reveals that the leadership of all three groups are motivated by money and the influence it buys far more than their alleged, respective ideologies.

In Southeast Asia, Wahhabi-inspired militants also serve Washington's interests across the region. They are joined by neo-liberal academics and journalists who eagerly serve Washington, London, Brussels and the Western clubs and networks these neo-liberals seek memberships within.

But there is also another curious and perhaps ironic member of this otherwise contradictory alliance, supposed "Communists" and "socialists."

Thailand's "Communists"and the Capitalists They Love  

The most transparent example of this is found in Thailand in the form of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). The UDD is led by prominent members of Thailand's former Communist Party including Weng Tojirakarn and his wife Thida Thavornseth. While the UDD claims to be an independent "people power" movement, it is little more than a street front of, by and for the Pheu Thai Party (PTP).

PTP in turn is the creation of billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra who served as Thailand's prime minister from 2001 until 2006 when he was finally ousted from power during a swift and bloodless military coup.