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.

The use of terrorism as both a pressure point against Southeast Asian states and as a pretext for a US military presence is a tactic the US is attempting to reuse everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia, to southern Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar. So is the use of US NED-funded organisations operating under the guise of independent journalism or rights advocacy.

Beyond the Philippines: Thailand and Cambodia 

Thailand faces a similar landscape of compromised opposition organisations posing as independent, yet entirely funded by the US government and US-based corporate foundations. These include Prachatai, Thai Netizens, the New Democracy Movement, the Isaan Record, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and even the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT).

Like their Filipino counterparts, they pose as proponents of democracy and as human rights advocates, but cover current events in a transparently one-sided manner, excusing or omitting abuse and corruption among the opposition and targeting only Thailand's independent institutions, particularly the military and the monarchy.


In Cambodia, US government funding goes one step further, funding the entire opposition, hosting them in Washington D.C. and creating an entire media network to skew public perception in favour of this foreign enterprise and the interests that propel it.


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.

First, it allows the West to continuously hold significant leverage over the current government - one who at any moment may be tempted to break away from its decades-long Western sponsors and collaborate with a more local, sustainable, and constructive partner like China.

Second, because the Rohingya crisis is highly localized to Myanmar's western state of Rakhine, it also presents a highly controlled conflict the US can use to introduce foreign-funded terrorism, and in turn, create a pretext for Western "counter-terrorism" assistance in the form of US and European troops, military assets, and even bases on the ground.

A small contingent of Saudi-funded and directed militants has already been introduced into Myanmar's ongoing crisis and will likely be expanded until US military "assistance" and thus the first stage in establishing a permanent military presence in Myanmar can be justified.

This would fulfill a long-term goal the United States has sought to achieve in Southeast Asia - the permanent positioning of US military assets in a nation directly bordering China.


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

October 9, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - 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.

In an article published in 2014 by NATO think-tank, the Atlantic Council titled, "The Military Implications of Scottish and Catalonian Secession," it would state:
Catalonia has 7.3 million people, with more than $300 billion in GDP. Spending just 1.6% of that on defense provides over $4.5 billion annually, or roughly the budget of Denmark, which has well-regarded and efficient armed forces. Catalonian military plans are more vague, but so far, they emphasize the navy. With excellent ports in Barcelona and Tarragona, Catalonia is well-positioned as a minor naval power, ‘with the Mediterranean as our strategic environment, and NATO as our framework’, as the nationalists’ think-tank on defense argues. The rough plans call for a littoral security group of a few hundred sailors at first. After a few years, Catalonia would assume responsibility as "a main actor in the Mediterranean," with land-based maritime patrol aircraft and small surface combatants. Eventually, the nationalist ambition may include an expeditionary group with a light assault carrier and hundreds of marines, to take a serious role in collective security.
The Atlantic Council article cites Catalan policy papers regarding what they called, "a valuable and refreshing view of specialization in collective defense," in reference to Catalan intentions of joining NATO should they achieve independence.


This is confirmed by unambiguous statements made by leading Catalan politicians themselves, including the former President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Artur Mas who personally picked and supported his successor, current president, Carles Puigdemont.

In a 2014 article titled, "Catalan PM confirms NATO membership, commitment to collective security," then President Artur Mas stated unequivocally Catalonia's plans to join NATO.

The article would state: 
Prime Minister Artur Mas explicitly confirmed Catalonia is seeking NATO membership. In a recent interview with the Italian daily La Reppublica, Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas explained that an independent Catalonia sees herself at the heart of NATO. This is in line with Catalonia's commitment to the international community, the principle of collective security, international law, and the rule of law at sea.
The article - written by Alex Calvo and Catalan naval analyst Pol Molas- also claims:
Catalonia seeks freedom, not to avoid the inescapable responsibilities that come hand in hand with it, but to fully exercise them side by side with partners and allies. Catalans understand fully that freedom never comes without cost, and that whereas independence means government of the people, by the people, and for the people, instead of alien rule, it also means that they will not be able to look the other way when a crisis or challenge arises. They understand that when the next Afghanistan comes, Catalan blood will also be spilled.
In 2015, the Financial Times in an article titled, "Catalan president steps up breakaway plan," would quote former president Artur Mas, stating:
The most sensitive task, he added, would be to prepare “the design” for a future Catalan military. “Defence is the most delicate of all these aspects, and there is no consensus about this in Catalonia,” Mr Mas said. “But my party and I personally believe that Catalonia has to remain part of Nato. And as a member of Nato we have to pay our dues . . . It would be impossible for Catalonia not to have its own defence structure, even though it would be a light one.”

Policy papers - like those from the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly - have already begun to lay out the specifics of integrating Catalonia into NATO as a member nation focused specifically on configuring its military forces, not for national self-defense, but "collective defense" within NATO.


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.


US Proxies in Southeast Asia Include Fake Communists

October 5, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - 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.

Since 2006, Shinawatra has mired Thailand in political turmoil as he attempts to seize back power, temporarily holding it by proxy through his brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat and more recently through his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.


Shinawatra is currently living abroad as a convicted criminal and a fugitive. He enjoys significant backing from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union where he is allowed to regularly travel and conduct business.

Shinawatra has a lengthy list of lobbying contacts in Washington D.C. including firms such as Baker Botts headed by James Baker. Both Baker and Shinawatra shared roles in the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, in the late 1990's before Shinawatra ascended in Thai politics.

Another lobbyist that has supported Shinawatra is Kenneth Adelman who also concurrently served as a trustee of Freedom House, one of several US State Department fronts that work to undermine one government on behalf of another favoured by Washington.

Today, Shinawatra, his PTP and the UDD continue undermining political stability in Thailand with the help of a massive and growing network of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) funded by the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU and private foundations like convicted financial criminal George Soros' Open Society.

The UDD's leadership regularly receives directives from Shinawatra, its membership openly and shamelessly professes fealty to Shinawatra and during rallies regularly feature video call-ins from Thaksin Shinawatra himself. While the UDD claims to be an independent "people power" movement, it is in reality nothing more than people "powering" a billionaire's foreign-backed political machine, with nothing at all to do with empowering the actual people involved.

In simpler terms, the return of Shinawatra, his PTP and its UDD street front to power upon Thailand's political landscape will be a victory for "imperialism," not a strike against it.

Not Everything That is Red is Communist

The UDD is also commonly referred to as the "red shirts," both for the red shirts members literally wear during US colour revolution-style protests and to invoke Communist ideology and symbolism as a unifying theme for the movement.