Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Flaunting British Neo-Imperialism in Asia-Pacific

January 10, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - For over a century, the British Empire exerted control over Asia-Pacific, outright colonising India, Burma, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia while influencing and encroaching upon greater China, Siam and beyond.


It exploited the people and natural resources of the region, fuelled conflict as it waged war with rival European powers seeking to carve out their own colonies in Asia and left an enduring impact on the region, including ethnic and territorial feuds still unfolding today, e.g. the Rohingya crisis in present-day Myanmar.

Rather than make restitution for its decades of war, conquest and exploitation, the United Kingdom today eagerly seeks to reassert itself in the region alongside the United States who has also spent over a century in the region pursuing what US policymakers openly admit is American "primacy."

The Diplomat, a US-European geopolitical publication focused on Asia-Pacific, described this development in its article, "The British Are Coming (to Asia)."

The article featured a single image, that of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the UK's newest warships and its largest. It is one of two "colossal warships" UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently pledged to send across the globe to aid Washington in its growing confrontation with Beijing.

The author, US Air Force Major John Wright currently serving as Japan Country Director, International Affairs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Honolulu, Hawaii, attempts to construct a positive argument for the UK's involvement thousands of miles from its own shores.

The article admits that the US has few capable allies in the region willing to "comply with mutual defence needs beyond their own territory." It admits that the US has increasingly looked beyond Asia for partners. The UK then, is about as beyond Asia as any potential partner could be.

The article notes that the UK has already deployed warplanes to Japan in addition to the aforementioned future deployment of British warships to the region. It also suggests that:
...the U.K. could revive the old trick of acting as a “fleet in being;” its ability to steam where and when it pleased while possessing no major territory would throw off regional rivals’ military calculus and force them to commit precious reconnaissance assets to monitoring the United Kingdom.
In other words, a European military would be deployed in and harass "rivals" across Asia alongside US warships already engaged in regional meddling. This, the author concludes, "would be a great benefit to stabilising the security troubles of the region."   

Yet, when considering what actually drives "security troubles of the region," it is evident that the presence of US forces far beyond US territory, for example, stationed in South Korea and conducting military exercises along North Korea's borders in a deliberate attempt to provoke Pyongyang is the problem, not the solution. The addition of British warships and aircraft in the region will only further multiply "security troubles" evident in the author's own comments regarding the need for "regional rivals" to commit to tracking and keeping in check British warships.


Omitted from Major Wright's nostalgic review of the UK's historic role in Asia-Pacific was the concept of "gunboat diplomacy," where the British Empire coerced Asian states into making lopsided concessions to London or face British naval firepower. Chunks of Siam were carved off under threat of British "gunboat diplomacy," Hong Kong was outright seized by it and other nations likewise were forced by threat of military aggression to make concessions that benefited only the British.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Western Media Consumed by Myanmar Monster of Own Creation

December 23, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Years ago, those confronting and questioning the Western media's "pro-democracy" narrative regarding Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, her National League for Democracy (NLD) political party and her supporters including saffron-clad supposed "Buddhist monks," were ridiculed and dismissed.


Warnings that Suu Kyi's political movement was nothing more than a foreign-funded attempt to co-opt the people and resources of the Southeast Asian state of Myanmar - a former colony of the British Empire still referred to widely in the West by its colonial nomenclature, "Burma" - were dismissed as mere conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile, concerns that violence targeting Myanmar's Rohingya minority was in fact being bolstered by Suu Kyi's rise to power were intentionally and concertedly sidestepped by the Western media who attempted to conceal the true nature of Suu Kyi's political party and the core "values" of her support base and shift blame onto the ruling military-led government.

It was inevitable that upon taking power, Suu Kyi and the NLD - enabled by decades of US-UK-EU financial, political, and material support - the progressive veneer applied to this "democracy icon" would begin to peel, and the true nature of her and her followers would reveal itself.

Consumed by a Monster of Their Own Creation 

In an immense amount of irony, prominent Western media organizations like Reuters now find themselves decrying the very government they themselves spent decades helping into power, as the government cracks down on reporting over the ongoing Rohingya crisis.

Two Reuters employees - Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo - were reportedly arrested after illegally obtaining documents from Myanmar police. Reuters and the myriad of faux-human rights advocates that conspired with the US, British, and European governments to put Suu Kyi into power are now calling on the Myanmar government - though not Suu Kyi by name - to release their colleagues.


Reuters employee Andrew Marshall has recently flooded his social media accounts with desperate pleas for his colleagues' release, citing US "demands" that Myanmar release them, and alluding to the debt Suu Kyi and the NLD owed the foreign press for their role in bringing them to power.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

EU "Restoring" Ties with Thailand Symbolic, Foreign Interference Will Continue

December 21, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - A mid-December announcement by the European Union was made stating that the EU had agreed to restore ties with the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand "at all levels" after suspending them in 2014 in the wake of a military coup which ousted the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.


AFP reported in its article, "EU resumes official contacts with Thai junta," that:
The bloc said developments in Thailand this year, including the adoption of a new constitution and a pledge by junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to hold elections in November 2018, meant it was "appropriate" to resume ties.
The announcement however, was conditional. AFP  also reports:
But the European Union repeated its call for the restoration of full democracy and said it was still concerned about harassment of human rights activists and the curtailing of free speech in Thailand.
What the AFP article and the EU statement both fail to mention was the context of the 2014 coup, the nature of the government it ousted from power and precisely which groups have been subjected to the so-called "curtailing of free speech."

The EU's move, which was immediately supported by the US embassy in Bangkok, is likely an attempt to pressure the current interim government from further delaying elections and holding them prematurely, thus likely returning political proxies associated with Yingluck Shinawatra to power.

Returning a US-European Proxy to Power 

Yingluck Shinawatra was sister to ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin Shinawatra held office from 2001-2006, committed serial human rights abuses including the extrajudicial killing of nearly 3,000 in a "war on drugs" in just under 90 days in 2003. He also eagerly censored his political opponents and critics in the media either through courts or through physical intimidation and violence. Several of his critics were either assassinated or disappeared over the course of this time in office.

In 2006, the Royal Thai Army swiftly and without bloodshed, ousted Thaksin Shinawatra from power. Since Shinawatra's removal from power in 2006, he and his supporters have conducted an on-and-off campaign of terrorism, violence, arson, political assassinations together with a concerted propaganda campaign attacking Thailand's independent institutions including the nation's courts, its military and its constitutional monarchy. Together, these institutions represent insurmountable roadblocks to Shinawatra's return to power. They also, by no coincidence, impede foreign interests from entering and fully exploiting Thailand, its population and its natural resources.