Thursday, January 12, 2017

Is the US Positioning Itself for Military Presence in Myanmar?

January 12, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The governments of the United States and United Kingdom have spent decades and millions of dollars creating the political opposition fronts that constitute support for Myanmar's new (and first ever) State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. This support includes backing Suu Kyi's saffron-clad street fronts who make up a nationwide network of "monk" alliances and associations.


And it is these alliances and associations that have served at the forefront of persecution against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

Also for years, this violent persecution has unfolded in what was otherwise a media blackout across North America and Europe. When violence reaches fevered pitches, American and European media organisations intentionally introduce ambiguity as to who precisely is leading anti-Rohingya violence.

The conflict carries with it all the hallmarks of an intentional strategy of tension; used within Myanmar to galvanise Suu Kyi's otherwise morally and politically bankrupt opposition fronts and now, it appears to be ready for use within Washington's wider strategy of "pivoting to Asia."

Myanmar's "New Rohingya Insurgency" 

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based foreign policy think tank funded by some of the largest corporations on the planet, poses as a conflict management organisation. In reality, it introduces manufactured narratives that are then picked up and eagerly promoted across American and European media outlets, to shift public perception and pave the way for shifts in Western geopolitical aspirations.



Their most recent manufactured narrative involves what it calls a "Rohingya insurgency." Their narrative is already circulating across American and European media, including the Wall Street Journal whose article, "Asia’s New Insurgency Burma’s abuse of the Rohingya Muslims creates violent backlash." claims (our emphasis):
Now this immoral policy has created a violent backlash. The world’s newest Muslim insurgency pits Saudi-backed Rohingya militants against Burmese security forces. As government troops take revenge on civilians, they risk inspiring more Rohingya to join the fight.
The article also admits:
Called Harakah al-Yaqin, Arabic for “the Faith Movement,” the group answers to a committee of Rohingya emigres in Mecca and a cadre of local commanders with experience fighting as guerrillas overseas. Its recent campaign—which continued into November with IED attacks and raids that killed several more security agents—has been endorsed by fatwas from clerics in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Emirates and elsewhere. 

Rohingyas have “never been a radicalized population,” ICG notes, “and the majority of the community, its elders and religious leaders have previously eschewed violence as counterproductive.” But that is changing fast. Harakah al-Yaqin was established in 2012 after ethnic riots in Rakhine killed some 200 Rohingyas and is now estimated to have hundreds of trained fighters.
The Wall Street Journal and ICG both apparently expect readers to believe that Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants in Myanmar simply to "fight back" against Aung San Suu Kyi, her government and her followers' collective brutality against the Rohingya.

In reality, Saudi Arabia and its sponsors in Washington, London and Brussels, only intervene when geopolitically advantageous. Just as Saudi Arabia is backing armed militants everywhere from Yemen to Syria to advance a joint US-European-Gulf campaign to reassert primacy across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Saudi Arabia's support of supposed militants in Myanmar is driven by similar hegemonic ambitions.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Trump's Taiwan Phone Call Gaff No "Accident"

January 6, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - President-elect Donald Trump's "accidental" phone conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was neither a gaff nor a decision Trump and his advisers unilaterally made.


It is merely the latest evolution of US foreign policy in Asia Pacific amid the collapsing "Pivot to Asia" policy pursued under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.

Looking from an even wider perspective, both Trump and Obama's policies are merely the latest iterations of US policy over the last century aimed at encircling, containing and dominating not only China's rise upon the international stage, but in achieving, maintaining and even expanding American primacy over Asia.

The Washington Post in an op-ed titled, "Trump's Taiwan call wasn't a mistake. It was brilliant," would admit:
The phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen was reportedly carefully planned, and Trump was fully briefed before the call, according to The Washington Post. It's not that Trump was unfamiliar with the "Three Communiques" or unaware of the fiction that there is "One China." Trump knew precisely what he was doing in taking the call. He was serving notice on Beijing that it is dealing with a different kind of president — an outsider who will not be encumbered by the same Lilliputian diplomatic threads that tied down previous administrations. The message, as John Bolton correctly put it, was that "the president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it's in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to."
Use of the term "brilliant" here is, however, inappropriate.

US policy in Asia Pacific is predicated on decades of Washington presumptions that it, not any actual nation residing in Asia Pacific, should take and hold what US policymakers themselves refer to as "primacy" over the region. However, gradually over time, China as well as many nations described as "allies" of the United States, have incrementally moved out from under the long shadow cast from North America across the Pacific.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

US Concerns Over "Election Interference" May Backfire

January 5, 2017 (Joseph Thomas -NEO) - The United States has recently claimed the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from US territory as well as additional sanctions against the Russian state are in retaliation for what the Washington Post claims is "2016 election interference."


In the Post's article, "Obama administration announces measures to punish Russia for 2016 election interference," it's stated that:
The response, unveiled just weeks before President Obama leaves office, culminates months of internal debate over how to react to Russia’s election-year provocations. In recent months, the FBI and CIA have concluded that Russia intervened repeatedly in the 2016 election, leaking damaging information in an attempt to undermine the electoral process and help Donald Trump take the White House.
The "damaging information" that was leaked, however, was disseminated by Wikileaks, and likely the result of an internal whistle-blower, not Russian operatives. Questions surrounding the veracity of America's claims are owed to a substantial lack of evidence provided by US departments and agencies involved in both the investigation and the punitive measures applied in its wake.

However, the US' reaction to what it claims is "2016 election interference" could significantly backfire, since the US itself is engaged in very real, overt election interference globally, and for decades. In fact, even as the US berated Russia for allegedly interfering in America's internal politics, its own organisations, including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funded by the US government, openly admitted they were leaking information regarding China's internal politics in efforts to undermine Beijing.


In fact, NED and its subsidiaries (including the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House) as well as myriad fronts around the world these organisations fund, support and direct, are openly dedicated to manipulating foreign elections, creating US-friendly opposition movements and even overthrowing governments that impede US interests worldwide.

The New York Times, in fact, would admit in 2011 in an article titled, "U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings," that:
A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
US interference across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2011 would eventually lead to regional war, the complete destruction of Libya and near destruction of Syria as well as regime change in a number of nations including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.