Monday, October 16, 2017

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.

The article's author, Rigoberto Tiglao, attempted to contact several of the Filipino US NED grantees, only to be confronted or evaded, a response typical of US NED grantees worldwide when questioned about their foreign funding, the dangerous conflicts of interests they are indulging in and the contradictions of posing as independent media organisations entirely dependent on foreign government funding.


Pressure on the Philippines through US-funded media is only one of several fronts the US is using to transform, direct and determine the future of the Philippines as a nation. It has placed direct political pressure on Manila to cooperate in confronting Beijing over the South China Sea. It has also attempted to use Saudi-funded terrorism in the Philippines' south as a vector to reintroduce a significant and expanding US military presence across the archipelago nation.


Friday, October 13, 2017

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

October 13, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - 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.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

China vs US: Singapore's Role in Asia Pacific

October 7, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - 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."

It concludes by stating, "Singapore was – and remains – a great believer in a strong US presence in the region." But the editorial also notes that Singapore-China ties are growing stronger and that the recent spat may not be as significant as others may hope. It may simply be Singapore attempting to establish boundaries amid a growing relationship.


Ultimately, Singapore's perceived affinity for the US or China was, is and will always be directly proportional to America and China's respective socioeconomic power both regionally and globally. As the United States and China trade places in terms of influence and importance in Asia Pacific, Singapore's relationship with both states will change accordingly.

Singapore's role in relation to East and West will also change. From its beginnings as an outpost of the British Empire, to a foothold of American influence in Asia Pacific post-World War 2, to its current and more independent role in Asia Pacific serving as a bridge between East and West, the story of Singapore's foreign policy is one of pragmatic adaptation.