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[l] at 8/7/20 5:39pm
Twitter cites fears QAnon activity will lead to "offline harm" while further empowering corporate media whose "offline harm" includes selling wars that have destroyed entire nations abroad and bled the American people dry at home. 
July 22, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - News outlets like CNN reported on Twitter's move to purge the QAnon movement from its platform.

Articles like, "Twitter cracks down on QAnon accounts," would claim Twitter fears QAnon's rhetoric online could eventually lead to "offline harm." 
There is no doubt that QAnon has been behind absurd conspiracy theories and verified lies circulating online - suspiciously absurd. Banning it from Twitter because of alleged fears its activity will lead to "offline harm" is even more absurd . 

Despite making absurd claims that demonstrably never materialize or providing evidence that is later revealed to be clearly fabricated, nothing QAnon has done differs from what the corporate media does on a daily basis. In many ways they are one in the same - dividing and distracting the public while US special interests advance their agenda unnoticed and unopposed. 
QAnon allegedly made false claims that Hillary Clinton's arrest was imminent - she was never arrested. Conversely, the corporate media regularly claims that various world leaders in nations targeted by Western regime change have "fled," are "dead," or otherwise "ousted from power" - with lies spread by the Western media over the alleged "fates" of still incumbent leaders like Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un coming to immediate mind. 
The Western corporate media also helps sell various wars of aggression.

This includes the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, US interventions in Libya and Syria from 2011 onward and US-backed regime change in Ukraine in 2013-2014. 
Collectively these conflicts have killed over a million people and driven millions more from their homes. This "offline harm" - the direct result of lies told by the Western corporate media - has not only gone completely unaddressed by Twitter - it is enabled by Twitter. 
Twitter - along with other US tech giants like Facebook and Google - aided the US government in sowing chaos across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, precipitating wars that are still raging today, claiming lives, and effecting "offline harm" impacting millions of people. 
The banning of the more absurd QAnon movement will pave the way for other purges - eventually eliminating any alternative to the corporate media and its demonstrably dangerous and dishonest narratives. QAnon's absurdity will make it easy for Twitter to justify its ban, but the momentum toward greater censorship across Western social media will eventually impact accounts and movements previously difficult to justify banning.  
US-based "social media" platforms - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. - are no longer truly social media. They are clearly transforming into centralized programed media where corporate monopolies create content that is consumed, removing the public, independent organizations, and competitors' role in creating content, contributing to discussions, offering alternative views, and interacting with one another. 
It is important that this fact be fully recognized and exposed as well as the creation of alternative platforms - especially overseas where US-based "social media" has been fully weaponized and used to undermine sociopolitical and economic stability. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: propaganda]

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[l] at 8/7/20 5:05pm
Western media - after claiming recent protests in Thailand were "leaderless" and comprised of "students," decries arrest of US-funded lawyer leading them - never mentions US funding.  

August 8, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The Western media was quick to decry the arrest of 34 year-old lawyer Anon Nampa who has been leading recent anti-government protests in Thailand.

Articles like, "Two protesters arrested, more sought," noted Anon Nampa faces charges including sedition. The Western media cites an organization - Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) - noting its role in advocating for Anon Nampa's release, but never notes that Anon Nampa himself works for TLHR or who funds and supports TLHR.

TLHR and the Protests it Leads Are US-Funded - Funding the Media Refuses to Mention 

TLHR was created out of the US Embassy in 2014 just two days after a coup ousted the US-backed client regime of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra - sister of fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. TLHR has since protested both the coup and reforms enacted to ensure such a client regime could no longer take power.

Prachatai - a media front also funded by the US State Department via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - in an article titled, "Interview with Head of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, on receiving human rights award from French Embassy," would reveal the creation of TLHR, quoting TLHR founder Yaowalak Anupan who claimed:
...on 24 May [2014], we gathered and established the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. All of the lawyers are anti-coup. At first most of us were young lawyers, and the senior lawyers joined later.
As to TLHR's supporters, Yaowalak Anupan would admit:
We have to thank many organizations which support us, such as iLaw, Cross Cultural Foundation, International Commission of Jurists, United Nations, European Union, British Embassy, Canadian Embassy, among others. 
"Among others" funding and supporting TLHR includes NED itself. Until recently, this funding was openly disclosed on NED's website but has since been erased. TLHR itself refuses to disclose its funding on its website though it has been admitted in earlier articles about the front.

Bangkok Post in a 2016 article titled, "The lawyer preparing to defend herself," would admit:
...[TLHR] receives all its funding from international donors including the EU, Germany and US-based human rights organisations and embassies of the UK and Canada.
In addition to the award presented by the French Embassy, the US State Department awarded TLHR member  Sirikan “June” Charoensiri the 2018 "International Women of Courage Award" presented by US First Lady Melania Trump.

The US embassy in Bangkok openly praised TLHR in its own post celebrating the award, exclaiming:
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is proud of Sirikan “June” Charoensiri’s work as a lawyer and human rights defender, and for being recognized by the Secretary of State as an International Women of Courage award recipient.

Ms. Sirikan is a co-founder of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), a lawyers’ collective set up to provide pro bono legal services for human rights cases and to document human rights violations.
With the US, France, UK, and Canada guilty of the worst human rights abuses of the 21st century including the invasion of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the proxy war against the nation of Syria, and the arming of nations like Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen declared by the UN as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world - among others - all done under the thin smokescreen of addressing humanitarian concerns - Washington's creation and support of TLHR and the street protests they now lead in Thailand serves ulterior motives merely hiding behind "human rights" concerns and "pro-democracy" demands. 

What are these motives?

The Protests Aren't "Pro-Democracy," They are Anti-Chinese

US-Chinese tensions have seen an uptick in recent years through a series of confrontations including in the South China Sea and through a growing "trade war." But simmering just out of view is a series of covert regime change operations the US is organizing both inside China's own territory and against China's closest allies throughout Asia.

This includes in the Kingdom of Thailand - the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, with a population of nearly 70 million, and who in recent years has expanded ties with China through a series of major arms deals, joint military exercises, increases in trade and investment, as well as through joint infrastructure projects extending Beijing's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative deep into Southeast Asia.

Thailand has begun replacing its aging US military hardware with new Chinese systems including VT4 main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, naval vessels including Thailand's first modern submarines as well as joint defense projects like the DTI-1 guided missile launcher.

China is also Thailand's largest export and import partner, the largest source of foreign direct investment, and the largest source of tourists - accounting for more tourism to Thailand than from all Western nations combined.  
Thailand has also openly and repeatedly refused to join the US in placing pressure on Beijing regarding the South China Sea. Thailand likewise refused to heed US demands to allow suspected Uyghur terrorists to travel through Thai territory and instead extradited them back to China - a move that resulted in the deadly 2015 bombing in Thailand's capital aimed at Chinese tourists. 

In addition to growing military, economic, and political ties, Thailand is jointly building high-speed rail lines to extend China's OBOR initiative from China, through Laos in the north, through Thailand, and to Malaysia and Singapore to the south. Once completed passengers and cargo will be able to move overland to and from China at unprecedented rates and volumes - cementing China's position as the regions central economic power - replacing the US permanently.

Unable to compete on equal terms economically, the US has instead turned to political subversion.

It has backed political opposition parties who have openly pledged to role back Thai-Chinese relations in favor of renewed obedience to Washington.

This includes political parties like Pheu Thai led by fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra and Move Forward (formally Future Forward) led by nepotist billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

Articles like Bloomberg's "Thailand needs hyperloop, not China-built high-speed rail: Thanathorn," illustrates clearly the agenda US-backed political parties and leaders like Thanathorn represent. The article would note:
A tycoon turned politician who opposes Thailand’s military government has criticised its US$5.6 billion high-speed rail project with China because hyperloop technology offers a more modern alternative.

It should be noted that not only does the "hyperloop" exist only as crude prototypes versus China's high-speed rail technology already moving billions of people a year - the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail line is already under construction.

Thus - Thanathorn's proposed reversal would mean cancelling actual ongoing construction and waiting years if not indefinitely for theoretical "hyperloop" technology to be developed let alone deployed.

Thanathorn - unsurprisingly - is also a critic of Thai military spending since much of it is directed toward Chinese hardware replacing the US as Thailand's primary arms supplier.

What's more is that Thanathorn and his "Move Forward" party is merely an extension of Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party with both parties' headquarters literally next door to each other on Bangkok's Phetchaburi Road. Both parties have identical political platforms and demands, and Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai even nominated Thanathorn as their candidate for prime minister in 2019.

Both parties support and have even participated in recent anti-government protests.

In addition to backing these political parties, the US has funded a small army of fronts posing as human rights nongovernmental organizations and media platforms through the notorious NED and corporate-funded foundations like Open Society.

As Thailand works to remove US-backed political parties like Pheu Thai and Move Forward further away from the levers of power, US-backed fronts have begun organizing Hong Kong-style anti-government protests in the streets.

The Western media and their partners in Thailand have eagerly depicted these protests as "leaderless," "organic," "student" protests.

In reality, the leaders are very visible, appearing at each protest and organized by central fronts including "Free Youth" and the "Student Union of Thailand." 

The "Student Union of Thailand" (SUT) includes notoriously anti-Chinese "activist" Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal who has ignored current, ongoing abuses by Western governments by accepting dinner invitations from Western embassies while protesting in front of the Chinese embassy annually over the Tiananmen Square incident which occured years before he was even born.

Netiwit and others in the SUT are also part of the so-called "Milk Tea Alliance" comprised of online "activists" from Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Thailand who have all "coincidentally" adopted the US State Department's stance on issues like the South China Sea, allegations made by the West regarding Xinjiang and Tibet in China, and support for US-backed unrest in places like Hong Kong.

Image: Netiwit (right) drinking wine at the British Embassy, Bangkok Thailand in 2017. While Netiwit protests in front of China's embassy annually over the Tiananmen incident which occured years before he was born, he appears more than willing to look the other way regarding ongoing US-British abuses including wars of aggression carried out on a global scale.   Netiwit had even invited Hong Kong's US-backed opposition leader Joshua Wong to Thailand to participate in political activities there.

The South China Morning Post in an article titled, "Thai activist invites Hong Kong’s Joshua Wong to address Bangkok students," would admit:
Netiwit Chotipatpaisal, a 20-year-old political science student, believes Thailand may see an Occupy-like movement in a few years’ time and has invited Wong to speak in Bangkok.
So while ongoing protests in Thailand pretend to be "leaderless," made up of "students," and championing the causes of "human rights" and "democracy" - they are the product of US government funding in the service of a regionally anti-Chinese agenda and part of Washington's wider bid to continue its primacy both in Asia and globally.

Only by ignoring US funding and the implications of "human rights activists" taking money from currently the worst human rights offender on Earth can Thailand's protests be depicting as anything other than another chapter in Washington's long history of backing covert regime change against a nation the US deems has drifted too far from its orbit and too closely to one of its competitors. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, color revolutions, Thailand]

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[l] at 8/7/20 5:05pm
US-backed protesters complain about economy, then seek to ruin regional relations with Southeast Asia's most important economic partner, investor, and source of tourism. 

July 22, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - One of Washington's reoccuring dreams is creating a "pan-Asian alliance" to encircle and contain China's economic and political rise. Unable to do this through regime change, economic incentives, military alliances, or even coercion and terrorism, it has drawn deeper and deeper from its "soft power" toolkit. 
The US is also increasingly lumping its various regional assets together to fight in its growing rift with China.
Image: The "Student Union of Thailand" who currently is leading anti-government protests and complaining about the Thai economy are seen here attempting to ruin relations with China through political provocations, mocking China's president, and condemning China for an incident they are not only lying about, but one that took place years before any of these "students" were even born.  In this way, it already has a "pan-Asian alliance" - made up of US-funded opposition groups, opposition parties, media platforms, and online information operations in virtually every one of China's neighboring countries as well as within Chinese territory itself.

They are funded and directed out of US embassies and consulates throughout the region as well as through US government-funded organizations and agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), and the Open Technology Fund (OTF) - as clearly seen behind the unrest in Hong Kong.
They lack any specific agenda or platform other than opposing regional governments targeted by the US and more recently - being "anti-Chinese," "pro-Western," and repeating ambiguous and deliberately unspecific slogans about democracy, freedom, and human rights.  

Aside from direct funding from the US government and the promise of potential fame and mention across the Western media, those recruited into this "pan-Asian alliance" get little else out of it and certainly offer the public even less should they and their agenda ever find their way into local or regional leadership roles. 
This alliance has increasingly found itself working together, attempting to create synergies in US-backed efforts aimed at specific Asian-Pacific nations as well as toward efforts aimed directly at China itself. 
The "Mik Tea Alliance" 
The name of this "alliance" is as puerile as its premise. It is essentially a collection of US-funded agitators from across the region consolidating their efforts against China specifically. 
While many of these individuals and organizations involved are often referred to as "activists," they rarely take up legitimate causes aimed at improving the lives of people in their communities and respective nations and instead function as political attack dogs unleashed against various targets of US angst. 
The pro-Western Google Grant recipient Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) in an article titled, "Milk is thicker than blood: An unlikely digital alliance between Thailand, Hong Kong & Taiwan," would attempt to positively publicize this so-called "alliance." 
There is very little that is "unlikely" about US-backed agitators consolidating their efforts, cooperating, or aiming their collective efforts at China - unless the common denominator of US-backing is omitted - which of course it is. 

HKFP claims:
For the first time, netizens from Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Asian countries, joined forces to hit back at China’s huge online army in an internet war.
The article admits the alliance focuses on various issues the US itself is particularly obsessed with including blocking the construction of Mekong River dams, ongoing US provocations in the South China Sea, and the West's annual shaming of China over the 1989 Tiananmen Square unrest. 
Most recently the "Milk Tea Alliance" was mobilized to help attract attention to US-funded opposition groups in Thailand - attract attention to their street protest and their regime change demands - certainly not to their US funding. 
Leader of US destabilization in Hong Kong - Joshua Wong - who has literally travelled to Washington DC multiple times to lobby for aid and receive awards - emerged as one of the leading figures of this alliance.

HKFP explains:
The forming of this new “Pan-Asia Alliance” – as coined by Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong – also indicated an ongoing frustration in the region regarding China’s influence and actions that affected less powerful countries on the ground level. The Milk Tea Alliance was an attempt to keep China’s unmatchable power in check, and it demonstrated the need for smaller nations to unite and cooperate. This unexpected internet war reflected a long-felt need to counter the unbalanced power dynamics in Asia.
Unsurprisingly Wong and others in the "Milk Tea Alliance" have very little to say about Washington's oversized role in Asia's "power dynamics" despite not even being located in Asia - or Washington's "unmatchable power" in places like the Middle East, North Africa, or Central Asia where it has destroyed entire nations and to this day still militarily occupies several of them. 
The "alliance" and media outlets like HKFP also have little to say about the coincidental nature of the alliance's agenda and how neatly it fits in with US foreign policy - especially since the most prominent members of the alliance are literally funded, backed, and publicly rewarded by the US government. 
Building Myths About "Imperial China" 
Another member of Washington's online "Milk Tea Alliance" and an eager recipient of Western backing is Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal of Thailand - whose Twitter timeline is filled with retweets of Western articles describing China's growing "imperial" ambitions.
Despite not even being born at the time, Netiwit (born 1996) annually protests the Chinese embassy in Bangkok over the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. He and the "Student Union of Thailand" now currently leading US-backed anti-government protests in Thailand - recently attempted to protest outside the Chinese embassy regarding Hong Kong's new security law in addition to Tiananmen.

A Khoasod article titled, "Activists Condemn Tiananmen Killings, Give Away Cookies," would report: 
“Student Union of Thailand (SUT) is one with the Hong Kongers in condemning the recent security law, which is a severe attack against the city’s autonomy, rule of law, civil rights, and liberties,” the activists said in a statement published in Thai, English, and Chinese.
The group, which counts about 200 students as its members, added in its statement that “Chinese imperialism” is threatening the independence and livelihood in many nations, including Thailand.
Apparently the fact that Hong Kong's current crisis is rooted in very real - and very British - imperialism is lost on Netiwit and his Student Union of Thailand. 

Meanwhile, Netiwit regularly receives and accepts invitations to various Western embassies in Bangkok, including the British embassy where he literally was wining and dining with British diplomats and fellow Western-backed agitators. 
Image: Netitwit at the UK embassy with Khaosod editor Pravit Rojanaphruk. As Netiwit annually complains outside the Chinese embassy about an incident that occurred years before he was even born and complains about China's attempts to fully recover its sovereign territory from decades of British imperialism - he is regularly hosted by foreign embassies that are - today - engaged in multiple wars of aggression, military occupations, torture, and abuse on a scale that even the wildest claims about China cannot rival. 
Netiwit has - unsurprisingly - yet to stage protests outside the embassies of these nations. 
The "imperialist" or "revisionist" China narrative Netiwit promotes in exchange for constant mention and praise across the Western media and repeated invites to Western embassy dinners may find its place inside the "Milk Tea Alliance's" online echo chamber - but for the vast majority of Asia's population it is transparent propaganda and an obstruction to real economic progress, peace, and stability. 
Ranting and Raving vs. Roads and Railways 
Conversely, the genuine economic might China is developing and the deep and enduring ties it is creating has built a much larger, more powerful - and most importantly - more sustainable "pan-Asian" partnership. 
It is a partnership in which roads, rail, airports, and seaports are being built and through which each respective nation in the region imports and exports the vast majority of their economic activity through. 
China's rise regionally and globally has created economic opportunities both within China itself for prospective students and workers and across the region as manufacturing, tourism, and trade continuously expands.
This is even noted by the Western media. In one breath it claims the "Milk Tea Alliance" shows Asia's youth is "losing their sense of kinship with China." In the next, it paradoxically admits that the number of Asian youths traveling, working, and studying in China "has never been higher." It is clear the former trend is artificial and deliberately overemphasized by the Western media while the latter represents an inconvenient truth to be buried dozens of paragraphs deep in any given article on the subject.  
Not only is China the largest and most important trading partner for virtually every nation in Asia, but local businesses focused on domestic markets either retail goods made entirely in China or manufacture goods made with components originating in China.  
For the average worker or business owner in Asia, the rantings and ravings online by the "Milk Tea Alliance" along with their repetitive street performances and the trouble between China and the rest of Asia they seek to create are unconvincing incentives when compared to the physical roads and railways jointly built with China bringing in goods, money, tourists, and technology. 
Without the US being able to match its massive soft-power political machinery with industry and investment providing a viable alternative to China - its "Milk Tea Alliance" and all those who are a part of it are simply spiteful speed bumps aimed at diminishing and disrupting regional progress, peace, and stability - not in any way promoting or contributing to it. 
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, china]

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[l] at 8/7/20 4:24pm
Thailand's "student protests" are transparent proxies for opposition led by corrupt, foreign-backed billionaires. Local-level meddling with geopolitical implications. 

July 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - A small protest in Bangkok, Thailand may seem insignificant, but those backing it have a much deeper agenda of driving much more widespread unrest in the near future.

Thailand - with the second largest economy in Southeast Asia and a key economic, military, and political partner of China - has been repeatedly targeted by the West in a bid to recreate the sort of political instability seen elsewhere versus China and Russia in places like Ukraine, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and beyond.

While a group of students certainly lent their face as "leaders" of yesterday's protest in Bangkok - demanding the government resign and the nation's constitution be rewritten - these are in fact the two core demands of fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party (PTP) and his nominees including billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his now disbanded Future Forward Party.

Both billionaires have significant backing from the US, UK, and EU with Thaksin having spent his time in office from 2001-2006 serving US interests and from 2006 onward the recipient of extensive lobbying and political support from Washington.

Thanathorn has all but vowed to roll back Thai-Chinese relations in favor of renewed obedience to Washington during his pre-election tour of the US and EU last year.

Image: Promotional material produced by Thanathorn's Future Forward Party announcing his "US & Canada Visit" before the 2019 elections and taking office as an member of parliament.  Current protests were launched when this opposition failed to take power during 2019 general elections and in the wake of several subsequent political and legal setbacks.

Local Level Meddling: Visibly Led by US-Backed Opposition 

The supporters of both parties visibly and admittedly filled the rank and file of the protests with some of Thaksin's supporters - called "red shirts" literally and openly wearing their signature red shirts.

The protests are also widely supported by both the Western media, their local partners, and a large collection of US government-funded fronts.

This includes the protest's leadership itself with figures like Anon Nampa whose organization - Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) - is entirely funded by the US government via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

US government-funded media organizations including Prachatai, iLaw, ThaiNetizens, and Anon Nampa's TLHR along with Thaksin Shinawatra's "VoiceTV" and other local media platforms loyal to him and his political machine promoted the protests.

None of these facts are included in articles by Western media outlets like Reuters whose article would merely claim:
Public opposition to Prayuth has been growing in recent months.

Since last year’s election, a court has dissolved the second-largest opposition party, giving his ruling coalition firmer control in parliament.
Reuters also mentions anti-military and anti-monarchy sentiments among the protesters but fails to connect them with accusations by Thaksin and Thanathorn that the military and monarchy played a role in their respective parties' election and legal setbacks.

Smearing the Thai military and monarchy and eventually eliminating both are long-held key objectives of the Thai opposition and their foreign sponsors who seek to replace both independent institutions with Western-style institutions that directly and permanently serve Western interests.

Reuters also doesn't mention the name of the dissolved party - Future Forward - its leader - billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit - or why the party was dissolved - because Thanathorn violated election laws by "loaning" millions of his own money to his own party when in fact he was clearly donating it.

It is loose, deliberately incomplete reporting like that at Reuters or the BBC designed specifically to create the illusion of "injustice" and spin the protests as legitimate movements in a bid to conceal the opposition parties behind the protests, their corrupt billionaire leadership, their multitude of crimes including egregious human rights abuses, and their foreign sponsors' role in destabilizing Thailand politically.

Geopolitical Implications: Target China 

Not only does Reuters fail to mention the billionaires actually organizing these protests or their foreign sponsors supporting them - they fail to mention the much wider geopolitical context for which these protests serve.

Thailand's current government has vastly expanded relations with China - a trend the US desperately seeks to reverse.

While the US rattles sabers by deploying military forces to the South China Sea, occupies Afghanistan on China's borders, and backs unrest within Chinese territory in places like Xinjiang and Hong Kong, it is also pressuring "allies" from Europe to Southeast Asia to roll back trade and ties with China.

This includes a ban on Huawei and pressure to abandon Beijing's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Thailand has explicitly refused to become involved in Washington's games in the South China Sea. It has also completely ignored the US ban on Huawei - having already included the Chinese telecom company in its 5G rollout and with its products still being sold prolifically in Thailand.

The Thai leg of China's OBOR initiative is also already under construction with high-speed rail already being laid that will eventually connect it with Laos and China to the north and Malaysia to the south.

Not only does the Western media omit this context, it omits the fact that billionaire opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit openly campaigned on a platform where he sought to cancel the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project and replace it the so far nonexistent "hyperloop" he proposed jointly developing with the US.

His policy would essentially cancel real infrastructure projects in favor of imaginary ones that would never be built. It would put Thailand at a stand-still and all simply because his US sponsors genuinely have no viable alternatives for investments, trade, and infrastructure projects offered by China.

Bloomberg in their 2018 article, "Thailand needs hyperloop, not China-built high-speed rail: Thanathorn," makes it abundantly clear where Thanathorn stands and to whose interests he serves, yet policies clearly stated by Thanathorn himself are now no longer mentioned or linked to the protests even at a time when Thailand's protest leaders openly cooperate with US-backed fronts in places like Hong Kong.

Thanathorn has also demanded a decrease in military spending to stop Thailand's ongoing military modernization through the replacement of aging US hardware with new Chinese alternatives.

When Thaksin and Thanathorn's foreign support is discussed and their policies linked to ongoing political unrest and geopolitical developments, crucial context unfolds.

When linked together and fully exposed, the protests take on a new, sinister face - a deliberate act of political interference by the West and the US specifically - aimed at coercing Thailand away from valuable trade, political, and military partners like China and back into a subordinate role within Washington's "rules-based international order."

"Student protests" is a much easier sell for the Western media than a protest funded by Washington to install into power their corrupt billionaire proxies. But just as these very same media outlets - from the BBC and AP to Reuters and AFP - helped sell regime change in places like Ukraine where "pro-democratic" protesters turned out to be far-right militant extremists led by corrupt oligarchs, the goal isn't to inform readers - the goal is to keep them uninformed for as long as possible while regime change is attempted. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Thailand]

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[l] at 8/7/20 3:53pm
In America's war on Chinese telecom, instead of promoting and showcasing American ingenuity, Washington opts to announcing its latest substitution for it.

July 9, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - For Washington, Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei presents a nearly unsolvable problem. We can draw this conclusion by looking at how the US has chosen to compete, or rather, what it is substituting instead for what should be competition. 

CNET in an article titled, "White House reportedly considering federal intervention in 5G," would explain:
5G networks across the US could get a boost from the federal government, according to a report Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. Trump administration officials are considering the move so they can compete better against Huawei globally, the report says.

The Trump administration has reportedly met with US networking companies including Cisco to discuss the acquisition of Western European networking giants Ericsson and Nokia. It's also looking into giving tax breaks and financing to Ericsson and Nokia, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The article notes that the US government also sought to organize a meeting with other tech giants in addition to Nokia and Ericsson including Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung to discuss "combatting" Huawei.

It is unclear how acquiring foreign networking companies already being outcompeted by Huawei would tip the balance in Washington's favor or how companies like Ericsson and Nokia with respectable market shares would benefit from being drawn into economic warfare between the US and China, two nations both companies currently enjoy doing business in.

Even in the best-case scenario it is unlikely US efforts would materialize and begin showing results fast enough to significantly or permanently set Huawei back.

A Need for Competition, Not Coercion 

The US appears to have done everything in its power to fight Huawei besides actually competing against it.

Competition would involve the creation of technology similar or superior to Huawei's either in terms of performance or cost, or both.

The US is unable to do this as even its own largest smartphone manufacturer, Apple, has all of its phones made in China. The fact that the US' most recently announced and perhaps most drastic measures so far against Huawei involve "investments," "equity firms," "acquisitions" and "holding companies" rather than improving education in relevant fields, domestic manufacturing and technical expertise, reflects a fundamental inability for the US to compete against China on equal terms.

As long as the US insists on facing its growing problems by moving numbers around on financial ledgers rather than picking and placing components on circuit boards inside the US, it may temporarily delay Huawei's rise but in no way stop it.

If anything, these roadblocks force Huawei and others to restructure themselves in more resilient ways that will make it even more difficult in the future when and if the US ever decides to take on China through actual competition.

Another note; Huawei's 5G technology will undoubtedly do more than merely build Huawei up as a telecommunications company. It will give nations deploying Huawei's 5G infrastructure an edge across a multitude of IT-related economic activities, giving them an advantage over other nations forced to settle on alternatives because of US pressure to do so.

If these alternatives truly suit a nation's telecommunications infrastructure and serve its economic potential that is one thing, but if these alternatives were picked because of political reasons it will cost these nations not only politically with China, but also economically.

US vs. Huawei: Real Security Concerns or a Smear Campaign? 

The CNET article would also repeat the justification for Washington's growing hostility and aggressive tactics turned toward Huawei, claiming:
Huawei was blacklisted last year by the US when it was added to the United States' "entity list". In addition, President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.  
These "national security concerns" have been expressed now for years by the US yet no evidence has been presented.

It is interesting that even attempts across the US-European and even Australian media to explain Washington's growing obsession with Huawei generally admit these concerns are just an excuse and that protecting US dominance over global technology and the economic power and influence it provides, is the real goal.

ABC (Australia) in its article, "Huawei and Apple smartphones are both made in China, so what is the difference?," would note:
Professor Clive Williams from the Australian National University's Centre for Military and Security Law told the ABC that to his knowledge, no evidence has yet been provided of Huawei conducting espionage.

"Huawei is ahead of the field in 5G research so it could be an uncheckable way of reining it in and limiting its market share.
Uncheckable accusations (or later, proven-to-be-false accusations) have become the bread and butter of US foreign policy helping to grease the wheels of everything from economic warfare to literal wars.

Interestingly enough, there is real evidence that US intelligence agencies have infiltrated and compromised both software and hardware made in the West which could easily justify the same sort of measures the US is currently taking against Huawei to be turned back against US companies by the rest of the world.

MIT's Technology Review magazine in a 2013 article titled, "NSA’s Own Hardware Backdoors May Still Be a “Problem from Hell”," would admit (my emphasis):
In 2011, General Michael Hayden, who had earlier been director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, described the idea of computer hardware with hidden “backdoors” planted by an enemy as “the problem from hell.” This month, news reports based on leaked documents said that the NSA itself has used that tactic, working with U.S. companies to insert secret backdoors into chips and other hardware to aid its surveillance efforts.
In other words the US is in fact guilty and has been for quite some time of exactly what it is accusing Huawei of allegedly doing. Yet nations around the globe have not attempted to cripple or shutter US tech companies or even ban them from their markets.

Government organizations around the globe may prudently opt for domestically produced telecommunications equipment, but in general, the world has been fairly lenient on the US despite just how compromised its tech industry is by intelligence agencies and the special interests they work for.

Not only does the US fall short in creating viable alternatives to Huawei products, the products it does have and the corporations making them are as tainted in reality by ties to Washington's intelligence agencies as it claims (without evidence) Huawei is with the Chinese government.

It would appear that, like Washington's many literal wars around the globe burning US cash and its reputation upon the global stage, Washington's economic battles are also doomed to failure. Until constructive competition takes precedence over conquest and coercion, the US will continue down this unfortunate path where instead of promoting and showcasing American ingenuity, Washington opts to announcing its latest substitution for it.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, economics, huawei]

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[l] at 8/7/20 3:17pm
August 8, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Upon reading Australia's new defense strategy, one might think its authors believe they are surrounded by nations invaded and destroyed by China with Australia next in line.

News headlines declare, "Australia's new defence strategy unveils a significant strategic shift in foreign policy to meet new threats from China," "China the unspoken threat at centre of new defence strategy," and "Australia to buy ship-killing missiles and shift focus to Indo-Pacific" to "to protect overseas forces, allies and the mainland against rising threats including China."

The "threat" of China - the articles and the new defense strategy argue - requires Australia to spend billions on weapons bought from the United States and to depend more heavily on the US for Australia's protection.

Yet in the same breath, Australia's media openly admits that up until now, Australia's military has spent much of its time contributing to America's many and still-ongoing wars of aggression around the globe from Libya and Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, Washington has recruited Australia to help bolster its presence in the Strait of Hormuz in an effort to menace Iran as well.

In one of the above mentioned articles it's admitted that:
For decades Australia has been quick to send troops, naval vessels and planes to help the United States wage wars on distant shores.
Despite all but admitting the US - not China - is engaged in a global campaign of armed aggression and that Australia is a willing accomplice - Australia's new defense strategy points the finger at China as the ultimate global threat.

A likely explanation for this contradictory worldview among Australian policymakers is the possibility that deep-pocketed lobbyists from Washington still hold more sway over Australia's political levers than Australian businesses and certainly the Australian public - and plan to collectively squeeze Australia for billions in arms sales for missiles and other weapon systems pointed at what is otherwise Australia's largest and most important economic partner - China.

Not only does this fill up the coffers of corporations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others, but Australia's apparently hostile posture toward China will most certainly taint relations between the two nations, creating further conflict, and requiring continued and increased weapon sales well into the future.

Should any conflict erupt between the US and China, Australia will find itself a much closer target than the US - a sacrificial pawn of sorts that will bear the full brunt and consequences of any potential US-Chinese hostilities.

Well-Timed "Cyber Attacks" Help Sell an Otherwise Unappealing Defense Strategy 

The new defense strategy - long in the works - was unveiled only after a healthy dose of recent and mysterious "cyber attacks" Australian security agencies attributed with no evidence to China.

Again - the irony here is that the US has by far demonstrated itself to be as much a threat in cyberspace as it is to sovereign nations and their physical territory, and much more so than China.

Regarding Australia specifically, a 2013 Guardian article titled, "NSA considered spying on Australians 'unilaterally', leaked paper reveals," would note that a:
The US National Security Agency has considered spying on Australian citizens without the knowledge or consent of the Australian intelligence organisations it partners with, according to a draft 2005 NSA directive kept secret from other countries.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been revealed to have compromised communications worldwide, hacked the phones of national leaders both friend and foe, infiltrated and created backdoors in Western-manufactured high tech hardware, and carried out offensive cyber attacks against nations around the globe.

There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests many attacks attributed to nations like Russia and China - like the one recently carried out against Australia - were either fabricated entirely, or in fact carried out by actors in the US itself.

But what better way is there to sell the otherwise unpopular idea of Australia buying billions of dollars of weapons from America and poisoning relations with China than to cite an alleged act of aggression from China that is nearly impossible to attribute one way or the other? The Western media's clout has in the past and continues to be much more persuasive than fact or common sense in the short-term.

Other analysts have pointed out Australia's new defense policy is out of touch with reality. It will also do much more to undermine Australia's national security than underwrite it.

While it is sensible for nations to ensure they have a credible deterrence against all forms of aggression regardless of the nation of origin, Australia's defense posture has it facing a nation clearly more interested in economics than conquest, and facing away from a nation not only openly and repeatedly carrying out aggression worldwide, but one increasingly turning on its own allies for not exhibiting enough zeal against its many and multiplying enemies.

While Australia commits billions to buying American weapons and buying into Washington's continued and growing confrontation with China - in the end - Australia will need to pick between fading with the US economically or finally accepting China's rise regionally and globally and Australia's role as a partner with China rather than part of America's "primacy" over it.

Again - the irony here is of course that the most likely threat to Australia's national security will not be from a rising China eager to do business with Australia, but a scorned Washington seeking increasingly aggressive means to force Australia back into its traditional role of buttressing US primacy.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, australia, china, Pacific]

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[l] at 8/6/20 3:16pm
While America's "Woke" revolution topples statues and hunts down fictional characters at home, corporate America continues to engage in the mass murder and enslavement of blacks abroad. 

July 7, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - To drive home just how superficial and empty recent protests in America are and how little besides further division and destruction will become of them - take the fate of two fictional characters recently put in the spotlight by baying activists - PepsiCo's "Aunt Jemima" breakfast food brand and Mars Incorporated's "Uncle Ben's" rice products.

Both came into the crosshairs of "woke" America. Both fictional characters will now no longer be used.

It might appear like a huge victory for "woke" America.

CNN in their article, "The Aunt Jemima brand, acknowledging its racist past, will be retired," would claim:
Quaker Oats is retiring the more than 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and logo, acknowledging its origins are based on a racial stereotype.

"As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations," the Pepsi-owned company said in a statement provided to CNN Business.  
And the London Guardian in their article, "Uncle Ben's rice firm to scrap brand image of black farmer," would claim:
The rice company Uncle Ben’s is to scrap the image of a black farmer the brand has used since the 1940s and could change its name, as companies react to growing concerns over racial bias and injustice.

The parent company, Mars, said Uncle Ben was a fictional character whose name was first used in 1946 as a reference to an African American Texan rice farmer.
While there is no doubt that both fictional characters represented stereotypes and are rooted in America's racist past - "woke" America's belief that somehow this was a priority or some form of victory begs belief. So does the fact that those opposed to expanding mobs and their "cancel culture" have crafted the most anemic counterpoints.

Some claim that the fictional characters were either inspired or portrayed by real African Americans who profited from the branding.

What neither side mentioned was the very real abuses both companies are guilty of - abuses that are both inhumane and rooted in extraordinary, inexcusable, and thus far utterly unaddressed racism.

PepsiCo and Mars Sponsor/Profit From Slavery and Mass Murder 

Both "woke" America as well as those trying to form opposition to it have entirely missed the fact that PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - two multi-billion dollar businesses - are literally engaged in modern day slavery to create their products while sponsoring policy think-tanks that have engineered wars targeting African nations, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands and open-air slave markets where black people - today - are sold into bondage.

This would seem to be a much greater transgression against black people than their crude depictions in company branding and demand much more serious action than merely adjusting marketing strategies - such as demanding boards of directors to resign or full-spectrum, permanent boycotts for these businesses and their many subsidiaries and brands.

Unfortunately for "woke" America, fictional characters are a priority taken head-on all while activists blissfully munch on chocolate bars made by cocoa harvested by African slave labor and sip on drinks made by a corporation who sponsors US wars abroad in which blacks are mass murdered and enslaved.

Your Mars Inc. Chocolate Comes from Slave Labor

If you enjoy chocolate snacks like 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Mars, and Milky Way bars, the chocolate you ate most likely came from a developing nation with dismal working conditions and in many cases, child and slave labor.

Mars Inc. along with Nestle, Hersey, and many other chocolate companies, source cocoa from Africa and specically the nations of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

A Washington Post article published just last year titled, "Cocoa’s child laborers," would note:
Mars, Nestlé and Hershey pledged nearly two decades ago to stop using cocoa harvested by children. Yet much of the chocolate you buy still starts with child labor.
The article elaborated, noting:
About two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to a 2015 U.S. Labor Department report, more than 2 million children were engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.

When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor.
Black children used as labor and under conditions and for wages bordering slavery to produce cocoa Mars Inc. knowingly uses in its products - and makes billions of dollars off of - seems like a much bigger issue than what is undoubtedly offensive labelling practiced by Mars Inc. through its "Uncle Ben's" brand.

Indicative of the carefully controlled nature of ongoing protests is how the Washington Post has reported on Mars Inc.'s genuinely offensive, even criminal predation on black labor in Africa in the past as well as Mars Inc.'s offensive branding more recently, but failed to link the two in its most recent reporting - thus artfully avoiding a genuinely "woke" readership and any genuine damage real protests and boycotts would have on Mars Inc. and other corporations whose interests Washington Post regularly serves as a voice for.

Big-Biz like PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are an Affront to All

Mars Inc. - alongside PepsiCo, Nestle, and Hersey - was also involved in funding anti-labelling campaigns to prevent legislation from passing that would force food manufacturers to inform consumers their products contained genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Corporations spending money to hide dangerous ingredients from consumers endangers everyone's health - black and white, left and right.

Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others defend such campaigning, claiming that such legislation would be "costly" - as would ensuring  all of their ingredients are ethically procured and free of child and/or slave labor.

Yet Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others are multi-billion dollar businesses. The Mars family which owns Mars Inc. consists mostly of family members who are billionaires - not mere millionaires - but billionaires.

Their daily "concerns" include ensuring their sprawling 82,000 acre ranches have enough water and that they receive the most lenient penalties when crashing their Porsche SUV's into vans carrying families.

Mars Inc. and other multi-billion dollar businesses can afford to do better, simply at the cost of being slightly less well-off billionaires or perhaps even being demoted to millionaires - yet they simply and deliberately choose to profit off the backs of poorly informed consumers at home and exploited/enslaved labor abroad.

If what Mars Inc. and PepsiCo contributed too was only limited to cultivating ignorant consumers at home and using slave labor abroad it would be bad enough. And if America's "woke revolution" was serious about justice, Mars Inc. and PepsiCo would be on the chopping block for much more than their crude, racist marketing, and would have more demanded of them.

But that is not all Mars Inc. and PepsiCo are contributing to.

Sponsoring Warmongering and Mass Murder in Africa (and everywhere else)   

Both PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are sponsors of policy think tanks like the Brookings Institution whose "scholars" and "fellows" churn out the blueprints for US wars which are then rubber stamped by the US Congress and sold to the public by the corporate media.

Even as recently as Brooking Institution's 2019 annual report (PDF) both companies - PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - are listed as sponsors as were both companies in 2011 (PDF).

Brookings and its corporate-sponsored staff worked diligently in 2011 to help sell the US military intervention in the North African nation of Libya. It was a key institution involved in creating and spreading the notion of "R2P" or the "responsibility to protect" used as flimsy cover for a long-planned US desire to effect regime change in Libya.

As early as February 2011, the Brookings Institution published articles and papers like, "United States Must Take Lead on Libya," in which Brookings "Senior Fellows" - funded by the likes of PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - made the nascent calls for US military intervention that would eventually lead to the US arming militants openly and carrying out air strikes across the nation.

Indeed, the US armed militants in eastern Libya - a hotbed for racism and extremism and the epicenters of Al Qaeda in the country - as well as provided roving bands of armed gangs air support as they swept the nation.

When Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was violently swept from power later that year, the estimated 2.5 million Africans from across the continent he took in, providing housing and living wages to, found themselves being hunted by US-backed militants.

To explain the blatant and explosive racism that predictably swept Libya in the wake of the US-backed war, articles like the CS Monitor's "How Qaddafi helped fuel fury toward Africans in Libya," would claim:

Many experts – and African migrant workers themselves – say the animosity stems from anti-African racism found throughout the Arab world. But some say the anger has been made much worse by Mr. Qaddafi's moves to buy the loyalty of black Libyans from the south of the country as well as his decades-long efforts to build Africa-wide patronage networks at great cost to the country's Arab majority.
In other words - the CS Monitor and the Western "experts" it cited claim Qaddafi "fueled fury toward Africans" by merely spending resources to help them. It is an oblique attempt to justify the racism-driven genocide US-backed militants carried out during their "victory lap" in Libya.

Black Africans living in Libya were either driven out of the country, across the Mediterranean and into Europe to face hardship and racism there or either mass murdered in Libya or rounded up and enslaved.

The Western media - partners with institutions like Brookings - denied this at first - or attempted to excuse it like the CS Monitor - but eventually covered the fallout US military intervention in Libya and its long-planned regime change agenda triggered.

Reuters in their article, "African workers live in fear after Gaddafi overthrow," would admit:
Tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled Libya since the armed revolt against Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule began in February, with Africans afraid they have become targets for fighters who accuse them of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.

This antipathy appears to have spread to all Africans, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, robbery and other abuse by the gun-toting, mostly young, fighters who ousted Gaddafi.

Identity cards of nationals from Chad, Niger, Mali, Sudan and other African states have been found on the bodies of gunmen who anti-Gaddafi fighters say were paid to confront them.
The BBC in its article, "Libya migrant 'slave market' footage sparks outrage," would admit:
Migrants trying to reach Europe have spoken of being held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money.

The footage released by CNN appears to show youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.
While these media sources covered the fallout of the 2011 US military intervention, they were careful not to link the fallout directly to the intervention.

The US war against Libya was a humanitarian catastrophe deliberately engineered by Western think tanks funded by big-business like PepsiCo, Mars Inc., and many others, rubber stamped by politicians in Washington - both Democrat and Republican - and eagerly sold to the public by the corporate media.

And even as recently as 2016, Brookings "Senior Fellow" Shadi Hamid in a piece published on Brookings' site titled, "Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong," would remain insistent in defending the US-led war and the decimated, racist, and dysfunctional Libya left in its wake.

He argues that if the US didn't intervene, Qaddafi would have successfully eliminated the racist extremists in eastern Libya and particularly in Benghazi who would eventually carry out genocide against Libya's black population. Hamid simply omits any mention of this or who actually was based in Benghazi and instead refers to them merely as "protesters."

Thus, PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - alongside oil corporations and weapons manufacturers - are funding an institution that not only engineers and eagerly promotes wars, they fund an institution that is utterly unapologetic about the calamity these wars cause - including wars like in Libya ending tragically for 2.5 million black Africans.

"Woke" America needs to be conscious enough to recognize the true injustice underpinning American society. It is very likely that as protesters in America and online around the globe rail against "Aunt Jemima" and "Uncle Ben's" many activists are eagerly enjoying many of the other products produced by and profiting PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - oblivious to the fact that the ingredients are procured through child and slave labor in Africa and the profits are directed into promoting wars that leave blacks abroad dead, displaced, or enslaved.

And as long as this is the case, nothing of any genuine substance will ever change in America or across the wider Western World.

If real justice is what Americans - all Americans - want, they need to truly wake up to this fact first.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: US]

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[l] at 8/6/20 2:28pm
Editor's Note: US meddling in Thailand is part of a much wider regional effort to pressure or overthrow governments deemed to have "tilted too close" to China. Thailand is one of China's key partners  in Southeast Asia with many major arms deals, economic trade, and infrastructure projects ongoing and with Thailand having repeatedly refused to cooperate with the US on issues like the South China Sea. 
August 7, 2020  (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - If Russia was funding an NGO in the US petitioning for the US Constitution to be rewritten - and rewritten specifically to make it easier for Russian-backed politicians to get elected into the US government - one could expect an immediate and extreme backlash across the media exposing this.

Yet in Thailand where US government-funded groups are doing precisely this in regards to the Thai constitution - the media not only conceals US funding, it spins the move as "pro-democratic."

English language newspaper The Nation in an article titled, " iLaw launches petition for charter rewrite ," would claim:
The Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw), a human rights NGO, has launched a campaign seeking signatures from 50,000 voters to sponsor a motion for a Constitution rewrite.
No where in The Nation's article is mentioned that iLaw's primary source of income is the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - a notorious US government arm involved in political interference and regime change operations around the globe.

The organization's US government funding can be found  on NED's official website  under the name, "Internet Law Reform Dialogue" (iLaw).

On iLaw's own website under " About Us " it admits:
Between 2009 and  2014 iLaw has received funding support from the Open Society Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and a one-time support grant from Google.

Between 2015 to present iLaw receives funding from funders as listed below1. Open Society Foundation (OSF)2. Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBF)3. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)4. Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR)5. American Jewish World Servic (AJWS)6. One-time support donation from Google and other independent donors
A foreign-funded organization - an organization that would not exist without this foreign funding - petitioning for Thailand's very constitution to be rewritten is not only a clear cut case of conflict of interests and foreign political meddling - it undermines the very foundation and fundamentals of democracy and self-determination.

Democracy and self-determination means that Thailand's constitution and efforts to either maintain or amend it should be determined solely by the Thai people - not by Washington and fronts it funds like iLaw.

The rewritten constitution would make it easier for US-backed opposition parties to take power and help the US reverse Thailand's growing ties with China - Thailand's largest trade partner, foreign investor, arms provider, source of tourism, and partner in building and maintaining essential large-scale infrastructure projects - ties the US has no alternative to hence its use of political meddling and subversion instead.

That The Nation reports on iLaw's activities but not on who funds the organization and the conflicts of interest that funding poses is poor journalism at best, and part of a wider Western media campaign to paint foreign-backed agitators as "pro-democracy activists" in yet another episode of US-backed covert regime change.

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: color revolutions, Thailand]

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[l] at 8/5/20 1:56pm
August 6, 2020 (21st Century Wire) - BEIRUT – Yesterday, an immense explosion ripped through Lebanon’s capital of Beirut, emanating from the city’s busy port situated right next to the city centre.

Image: Aerial view of the aftermath of the port explosion showing grain silos still standing next to unusually large crater (Image: CNW@Twitter)
  • Lebanese Red Cross says more than 100 people are dead and thousands are injured from the explosion
  • Health minister appeals for intl assistance
  • Medical supplies stored at a warehouse close to the Beirut port have been destroyed
  • Up to 300,000 could be made homeless by the disaster
  • Lebanon’s prime minister cites ammonium nitrate as the likely cause
  • High Defense Council declares a two-week state of emergency
  • Secretary-general of the Kataeb Party Nizar Najarian reportedly killed
  • Lebanon’s internal security chief says the blast was in a port area with highly explosive material
  • Explosion heard from 150 miles (approx. 240 kilometres) away
According to an official of the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the Beirut explosions were caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate which was apparently left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse.

Is the US going to lift sanctions on Lebanon now? #BeirutBlast #BeirutExplosion pic.twitter.com/2a1zc5uSDu — Syrian Girl (@Partisangirl) August 5, 2020

The government vows to punish any officials shown to be negligent in this unprecedented incident which has now claimed the lives of at least 100 residents and injured a further 4,000.

Death tolls could rise sharply once rescue crews are able to search the port area which has been completely leveled as a result of the blast waves.

Windows and doors across the city were blown-in, and blast tremors could be felt as far away as Cyprus.

Continue following 21st Century Wire's coverage here

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: lebanon, middle east, MiddleEast]

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[l] at 8/5/20 4:26am
US seeks to disrupt growing Thai-Chinese relations. US-funded protesters seek to remove elected government and rewrite constitution, or at the very least, cause Hong Kong-style chaos.  

July 18, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The Western media is claiming "pro-democracy" protests are taking place in Thailand.

English-language paper Bangkok Post in their article, "Hundreds rally for democracy," would claim:
Several hundred people led by a group called Free Youth gathered on Saturday near the Democracy Monument in Bangkok to call for the dissolution of the House and a rewrite of the constitution.
Little information is provided as to who "Free Youth" is or where they are getting their money to organize this event at a time when the vast majority of Thais are struggling to get back to business after the COVID-19 crisis.

But there were clues.

The article included photos of the protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument, as well as professionally printed "missing" signs attempting to attribute a large number of missing activists to the current government.

However, at least one poster is of an activist - Somchai Neelapaijit - who went missing under the government of Thaksin Shinawatra -a politician favored by the US but long since ousted from power - who is one of several sponsors of the current protests. His "red shirt" mobs are visibly present in the ranks of recent protests.

Another poster is of Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen aka "Billy" who went missing under Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra's regime whom many in the current government helped oust from power.

Another poster still is of Surachai Saedan - a convicted murderer and terrorist who helped lead Thaksin's militant "red shirt" street front in past episodes of violence.

The photo of the posters was courtesy of "Thai Lawyers for Human Rights" (TLHR). The Bangkok Post never mentions who TLHR is or that one of their members - Anon Nampa - is leading the current protests.

Also not mentioned is that TLHR is funded by the US government.

TLHR, Prachatai, others - All US-funded, All involved in Recent Protests 

The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has funded TLHR since 2014. Bangkok Post in a 2016 article titled, "The lawyer preparing to defend herself," would admit:
...[TLHR] receives all its funding from international donors including the EU, Germany and US-based human rights organisations and embassies of the UK and Canada.
One of the founding members - Sirikan “June” Charoensiri - was later awarded the US State Department's "2018 International Women of Courage Award." She is also regularly accompanied by US and European embassy staff when hearing charges regarding her overt foreign-funded sedition.

Prachatai - which claims to be "an independent, non-profit, daily web newspaper" is also funded extensively by the US government as well as various European govenrments and multiple corporate-funded foundations including convicted financial criminal George Soros' Open Society.

To date, Prachatai has only made one disclosure regarding its foreign funding and ties and has not updated it since 2011 (9 years ago). Virtually all of the 8 million baht it disclosed came from the US government or affiliated corporate and government foundations.

It is still listed by the US State Department's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as a recipient of funds (1.5 million Thai baht) as of 2019 under the "Foundation for Community Educational Media" after previously being referred to as "Prachatai" in previous NED disclosures.

Prachatai's "executive director" - Chiranuch Premchaiporn - is still listed by the US NED as an NED "Fellow."

NED Fellows admittedly contact counterparts in Washington calling into serious question Prachatai's claims of being "an independent, non-profit, daily web newspaper" rather than an outlet of US State Department-funded propaganda.

Prachatai along with other US NED-funded fronts have played a key role in both promoting recent protests, helping organize and train protesters, as well as defend them. 
Together with TLHR member - the above mentioned Anon Nampa - leading protests against the current government and now calling for the government to step down we see a push for regime change being led and organized by individuals and organizations with confirmed links to the US government.  
US Targets Thai-Chinese Relations 

Thailand - with a population of 70 million and the second largest economy in Southeast Asia - has been expanding its relations with China for years.

It has begun replacing its aging US military hardware with new Chinese systems including VT4 main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, naval vessels including Thailand's first modern submarines as well as joint defense projects like the DTI-1 guided missile launcher.

Thailand and China also are now holding joint military exercises in Thailand - balancing out joint drills carried out with the US since the 1980s.

Thailand is also a key One Belt, One Road (OBOR) partner with a section of high-speed rail meant to connect China, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia already under construction in Thailand and neighboring Laos.

China is also Thailand's largest and most important import and export partner, the largest source of foreign direct investment and the largest source by far of tourists. Chinese FDI in Thailand is 13 times higher than America's. Chinese tourists account for more tourism in Thailand than all Western nations - including the US - combined.

It is safe to say that Thailand has much stronger ties with China than it does with the US - a trend the US has sought to rectify not by offering Thailand better economic, political, or military partnerships - but through the sort of political meddling now playing out in the streets of Thailand today and meddling that has destabilized Thailand politically since US proxy Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in 2006.

US efforts to return Thaksin and his political allies to power have defined Thai politics ever since, including two attempts in 2009 and 2010 by Thaksin and his supporters to take power by force. In 2010 these efforts included hundreds of armed militants with war weapons resulting in nearly 100 dead and widespread arson.

2019 elections saw Thaksin and his allies lose both the popular vote and fail to create a larger coalition than the current ruling government.

Among Thaksin's allies is fellow billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. His party - Future Forward - came in distant third with 2 million fewer votes than the current ruling party. He is openly backed by the US and has openly expressed policies which include abandoning the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway and reducing military spending - parenthetically on Chinese weapons.

Image: US, UK, and EU embassy staff accompany Thanathorn in Bangkok in an open act of support as he faced various criminal charges for corruption and election law violations.  Protests today are designed to either affect regime change - seeking to place either Thanathorn or another nominee of Thaksin's into power - or to create enough chaos to reduce Thailand's ability to function as a reliable partner for China's economic rise regionally and globally.

Thanathorn has previously, openly supported US-backed sedition in Hong Kong and has openly planned to employ similar tactics in Thailand.

The US finds itself attempting to claw back regional primacy in Asia-Pacific and around the globe - leveling a growing number of sanctions against nations like Russia and China, battling Chinese companies directly, sowing chaos in streets in and around China - most recently in Hong Kong - and attempting to sabotage relations between China and its growing list of partners and allies.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead the US and its partners will continue attempting to seek leverage in Thailand to do just this - and the protesters the Western media claims are "pro-democracy" but clearly paid by and working for Washington are just the beginning. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, Thailand]

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[l] at 8/5/20 3:50am
And why is the Western media pretending the US isn't funding them? 
August 5, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The Southeast Asian nation of Thailand has in recent years "tilted" too far toward China for Washington's liking. 
Now, the familiar signs of US-backed covert regime change are evident in Thailand's streets. Protests are openly targeting Thailand's current government as well as its military and constitutional monarchy. Protests are similar to US-backed unrest seen recently in Hong Kong and are becoming more frequent despite their poor attendance and an overall protest-weary public.

Despite the superficial and deliberately ambiguous stated goals of protesters - the real goal of US-backed unrest in Thailand is similar to its motivations for sowing chaos in Hong Kong - to pressure Beijing by attacking China's stability directly and the stability of its most important trading partners and military allies which currently includes Thailand. 
Thailand - with the second largest economy in ASEAN - has boosted ties with China significantly in recent years - China being Thailand's primary export and import partner, providing Thailand the majority of its foreign direct investment, tourism, the majority of its arms purchases in a recent bid to modernize it military, and in the construction of major infrastructure projects including a high-speed railway system that will extend China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative deep into Southeast Asia. 
Thailand has also openly and repeatedly refused to join US efforts to pressure Beijing regarding issues like the South China Sea.

It is obvious why the US would want to pursue regime change in Thailand - and failing that - what lies behind its desire to plunge the nation into disastrous chaos denying it and China any prospect of stability or prosperity. 
Western Media Seeks Secrecy for Protest Leaders, Sponsors 
The Western media was all too happy to report on a "Harry Potter" themed protest at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on August 3. Protest leader Anon Nampa openly criticized Thailand's key independent institutions including the military and the monarchy. 

US government-funded front - Prachatai - extensively covered the small protest in its article, "The revolution will be magical: Harry Potter-themed protest calls for monarchy reform" despite the protest clearly drawing less than 100 people. 
What the Western media and US-funded fronts didn't mention was who Anon Nampa is, his role in leading protests, who funds his activities, or why. More specifically, nothing is mentioned about the real motivations people like Anon Nampa have for targeting Thailand's military and monarchy specifically.

Obviously the US would prefer a client regime completely dependent on Washington financially and politically - something much more preferable to strong Thai institutions like the military and monarchy which do not answer to Washington and have the resources and ability to act independently. 

Despite occasionally mentioning Anon Nampa and other leaders by name, the Western media and their local partners have insisted the protests are "organic" and "leaderless" and aimed at achieving superficial and deliberately ambiguous goals like "democracy" and "human rights."

The Protests are not "Leaderless"  
Anon Nampa is a lawyer and member of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR). The front has been funded since it was created in 2014 by the US State Department via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) long-since exposed as an arm of US-backed regime change efforts around the globe.

Bangkok Post in a 2016 article titled, " The lawyer preparing to defend herself ," would admit:
...[TLHR] receives all its funding from international donors including the EU, Germany and US-based human rights organisations and embassies of the UK and Canada.
One of TLHR's founding members - Sirikan “June” Charoensiri - was later awarded the US State Department's " 2018 International Women of Courage Award, " presented to her by US First Lady  Melania Trump.  

The US embassy in Bangkok also openly praised TLHR in its own post celebrating the award, exclaiming:
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is proud of Sirikan “June” Charoensiri’s work as a lawyer and human rights defender, and for being recognized by the Secretary of State as an International Women of Courage award recipient.

Ms. Sirikan is a co-founder of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), a lawyers’ collective set up to provide pro bono legal services for human rights cases and to document human rights violations.
TLHR staff are also regularly accompanied by US and European embassy staff when hearing charges regarding their overt foreign-funded sedition. 

It is clear that the US government and its European partners have invested heavily in TLHR and groups like it in Thailand. 

It is also clear that TLHR and other US  government -funded fronts in Thailand are leading current protests and that the Western media is deliberately attempting to nonetheless portray the protests as "leaderless," never asking obvious questions regarding money trails and political motivations. 


Secrecy an Obvious Prerequisite for Covert Regime Change 

The Diplomat is an explicitly pro-Western policy journal partnered with other journals and organizations openly funded by and/or affiliated with various governments in the West including the United States government itself.

In its article, "As US-China Competition Grows, Will Covert Regime Change Make a Return?," academics admitted that growing US-Chinese tensions provide ample motivations for Washington to pursue Cold War-style covert regime change operations against "regimes that tilt too close to China."

The article would admit (emphasis added):
As the rivalry between the United States and China intensifies against the backdrop of a pandemic and (dis)information wars about culpability, some have wondered whether covert regime change might make a comeback. During the Cold War, the the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), almost always at the direction of the president, quietly engineered the overthrow of numerous regimes who drifted — or were perceived to be drifting — too close to the Soviet Union. It is not hard to imagine how competition with China for the allegiances of other countries might create similar incentives.
The article notes that while the Cold War saw the height of such operations carried out by the US government, such operations have most certainly continued until present day - citing US-led regime change efforts in Syria as a specific example.

Under an entire section of the article titled, "The Appeal of Secrecy," the authors would note (emphasis added):
The ongoing battle over the rules of international order also means that U.S. policymakers may be especially keen on hiding violations of existing laws governing intervention — laws that they helped create. Given China’s own embrace of the principles of non-intervention and non-interference, brazen violations could cede the moral high ground and result in greater support for the Chinese model. It is conceivable that these dynamics could play out in regions like Africa where the United States and China continue to compete for economic and military influence.
Finally, any consideration of using the quiet option to topple regimes that tilt too close to China must include a full accounting of the inherent risks. These include the prospect that a covert operation will become public knowledge prematurely and the possibility that it could destabilize the target state and create longstanding ill-will in the process.
Thus - by the West's own admission - pretending obviously US-funded subversion in Thailand aimed at a Thai government that "tilts too close to China" is "organic" and "leaderless" is all part of the "covert regime change" playbook. 

TLHR - brought into existence by the US embassy in Bangkok in 2014 and funded by the US government ever since - has openly led anti-government protests in Thailand alongside other similarly US-backed fronts with Anon Nampa taking on a more visible role physically leading protests in recent weeks.

Without the millions of dollars provided to Anon Nampa, TLHR, and other fronts like it by the US government their ongoing activities would be impossible and these protests would never have materialized. 

Eliminating Thailand's military and monarchy - two institutions with independent means to fund themselves and with full agency over their own decisions - and replacing them with opposition groups entirely dependent on US and European funding and political support is the surest means to rectify Thailand's "tilt to China." 

An opposition installed into power by the US would lack any means to make its own decisions and would represent its sponsors in Washington rather than the Thai people it claims to champion for.

Obviously keeping Washington's role in current Thai protests as quiet as possible for as long as possible is meant to protect the illusion of legitimacy the protests have been given by the Western media. It helps prevent any revelations or public outcry that "could cede the moral high ground and result in greater support for the Chinese model."

It is neo-colonialism dressed up as a pro-democracy movement meant to end Thailand's ability to decide for itself its own foreign policy, economic partners, and military allies. It couldn't be any less "pro-democracy" - which is precisely why maintaining "secrecy" regarding the protest's real sponsors and agenda is so important. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china, Thailand]

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[l] at 8/4/20 7:32am
August 4, 2020 (John Pilger - True Story Documentary Channel) - The Coming War on China, from award winning journalist John Pilger, reveals what the news doesn’t – that the world’s greatest military power, the United States, and the world’s second economic power, China, both nuclear-armed, may well be on the road to war.

Nuclear war is not only imaginable, but planned. The greatest build-up of NATO military forces since the Second World War is under way on the western borders of Russia. On the other side of the world, the rise of China is viewed in Washington as a threat to American dominance.

To counter this, President Obama announced a ‘pivot to Asia’, which meant that almost two-thirds of all US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific, their weapons aimed at China. A policy which has been taken up by his successor Donald Trump, who during his election campaign said “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing”. 
Filmed on five possible front-lines across Asia and the Pacific over two years, the story is told in chapters that connect a secret and ‘forgotten’ past to the rapacious actions of great power today and to a resistance, of which little is known in the West.

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china]

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[l] at 8/4/20 6:27am
Editor's Note: Since LandDestroyer has been censored on Twitter and Facebook its sharing of interesting content is only possible on this blog. This op-ed was too good not to share, a link to the rest of the op-ed is here and at the bottom of this post. 
August 4, 2020
(Caitlin Johnstone - RT) - In the American corporatist system, where wealthy elites control the elected government through lobbyists, corporate media is state media, promoting narratives that help maintain the corporate-approved status quo.

The New York Times published an astonishingly horrible article the other day titled “Latin America Is Facing a ‘Decline of Democracy’ Under the Pandemic” accusing governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua of exploiting Covid-19 to quash opposition and oppress democracy.

The article sources its jarringly propagandistic claims in multiple US government-funded narrative management operations like the Wilson Center and the National Endowment for Democracy-sponsored Freedom House, the extensively plutocrat-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the United States Naval Academy.

The crown jewel of this piece of State Department stenography reads as follows:

“Adding to these challenges, democracy in Latin America has also lost a champion in the United States, which had played an important role in promoting democracy after the end of the Cold War by financing good governance programs and calling out authoritarian abuses.”

Whoa, nelly.
The fact that America’s most widely regarded newspaper feels perfectly comfortable making such a spectacularly in-your-face lie on behalf of the US government tells you everything you need to know about what the mass media in America really are and what they do.

The United States has never at any time been a champion of democracy in Latin America, before or since the Cold War. It has intervened hundreds of times in the continent’s affairs throughout history, with everything from murderous corporate colonialism to deadly CIA regime-change operations to overt military invasions. It is currently trying to orchestrate a coup in Venezuela after failing to stage one during the Bush administration, it’s pushing regime change in Nicaragua, and The New York Times itself admitted this year that it was wrong to promote the false US government narrative of electoral shenanigans in Bolivia’s presidential race last year, a narrative which facilitated a bloody fascist coup.

This is propaganda. There is no other word for it. And yet the only time Western politicians and news reporters use that word is to talk about nations like Russia and China.

Why is propaganda used in an ostensibly free democracy with an ostensibly free media? Why are its news media outlets so consistently in alignment with every foreign policy objective of US government agencies, no matter how destructive and inexcusable? If the media and the government are two separate institutions, why do they so consistently function as though they are not separate?

Well, that’s easy. It’s because they aren’t separate. The only thing keeping this from being seen is the fact that America’s real government isn’t located where people think it is.
Continue reading the entire op-ed here. 

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: propaganda]

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[l] at 8/1/20 7:06pm
Hours of videos on YouTube alone showing real coconut farming in Thailand proves just how badly PETA and its partners in the Western media lied about the Thai coconut industry and how dishonest the Western media is in general. 

August 2, 2020  (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - PETA has claimed Thailand's coconut industry is dominated by the use of "monkey labor" and that "most coconuts that come from Thailand are picked by monkeys."

This is a blatant lie.

Not only is PETA's claim a complete lie, it is a lie that was eagerly repeated by every major Western media organization without question, investigation, or what the Western media often refers to as "fact checking." This includes British state media - the BBC in bias fact-free articles like, "Supermarkets snub coconut goods picked by monkeys."

PETA's lies were also never investigated by British supermarket chains who moved with lightning speed to immediately ban the sale of coconut products from Thailand.

Attempts by Thailand's government to defend the nation's coconut industry were muted by the Western media and derided by Western commentators and pundit despite PETA's lack of evidence regarding its own claims as well as overwhelming evidence that PETA did indeed lie. 

Fact Checking is Easy

PETA's claims are easy to expose.

At face value PETA's own "evidence" is a video less than 2 minutes long and appears to be taken at a single farm and features the same 2-3 monkeys throughout the entire video. One clip is even used twice, indicating just how scant PETA's actual "evidence" is.

Despite PETA claiming to have visited "8 farms" - the locations, dates, and details of these visits are never disclosed.

No statistics are compiled or disclosed by PETA. The methodology of their "investigation" is never revealed nor any details of anything resembling an actual investigation presented in either their video or their " investigation " webpage.

In the comment section of their YouTube video, PETA representatives themselves admitted (emphasis added):
A PETA Asia investigator was told by a worker at one farm that it supplies coconuts to brands Aroy-D and Chaokoh both of which are sold in major stores across the U.S. According to an industry insider, most coconuts that come from Thailand are picked by monkeys.
This "worker" and this "industry insider" were never named. No evidence exists to substantiate the claims either allegedly made and no evidence that PETA confirmed these claims was ever produced.

For real journalists, PETA's claims should have raised so many red flags that any article written about them should have been about PETA's attempts to spread fake news. Instead, the Western media made a deliberate and concerted effort to amplify these lies.

In all, it was a sloppy, lazy smear campaign that should offend anyone with common sense and basic critical thinking skills - but a smear campaign that was immediately bolstered by the weight of the Western media and British businesses - reeking of political motivation at a time when both the UK and US are carrying out punitive measures aimed at China and the rest of Asia's growing economic might.

Countering PETA's claims is exceptionally easy. There are literally  hours  of videos on YouTube alongside PETA's 1 minute and 39 second long video clip, showing how Thailand's coconut industry is  actually  run.

Industrial coconut farming is done by humans and  as the video above shows , at a scale, pace, and in volumes no amount of monkey labor depicted by PETA could possibly compete with.

Coconut trees specifically bred for their short stature are planted along canals.

While monkeys trained to collect coconuts can twist one or two off a tree at a time within the span of a several minutes - as shown in PETA's video - a human harvesting coconuts with blades attached to poles can cut down 10 or 20 coconuts at a time in mere seconds.

Claims by PETA that a single monkey can collect "1,000" coconuts a day while humans can only collect 80-100 are revealed as absolutely absurd when watching videos of actual coconut farming in Thailand.

The coconuts at actual Thai coconut farms are deliberately cut so that they fall into a canal system below, protecting them from damage and keeping them in bunches that are more desirable for distribution - something trained monkeys are incapable of doing.

The coconuts are then floated down the canal system to a central collection point where thousands are carried off in trucks at a time. Again - something absolutely impossible with monkey labor.

Trained monkeys used to harvest coconuts is a tiny, traditional art practiced by a dwindling number of rural Thais and in no way is representative of Thailand's coconut industry and plays little if any role in the 880,000+ tons of coconuts (approximately 600 million coconuts if each coconut weighs about 1.4 kg) produced in Thailand each year.

For PETA's claims to be true nearly 2,000 monkeys would need to each pick 1,000 coconuts a day (125 per hour for 8 hours), everyday, 365 days a year. Nothing even remotely resembling this absurd scale was depicted in PETA's video or presented on PETA's website - or in any of the Western "news" organizations who rushed to uncritically repeat PETA's claims.

Videos of trained monkeys picking coconuts show the process to be slow, with monkeys sometimes preferring to stay up in trees after releasing only 2-3 individual coconuts. Trucks leaving at the end of the day often have only a few hundred coconuts collected by  both  humans and their monkeys combined - nowhere near the massive number collected on large-scale coconut farms by human workers.

With much more substantial evidence (hours of videos on YouTube alone -  herehereherehere , and  here  - for example) showing how industrial coconut farming is actually done in Thailand, it is much easier to see not only how Thailand is able to produce so many coconuts annually, but easy to see that PETA maliciously lied about it.

Not only do videos showing actual coconut farming in Thailand expose PETA's lies, each video linked above is longer and provides a more detailed account of Thailand's coconut farming industry than the cherry picked clips PETA presented. Videos depicting monkeys collecting coconuts shows just how inefficient the traditional and dwindling practice is compared with modern Thai coconut farming.

The West Spreads Fake News, Not Fights It 

With the Western media increasingly emphasizing "fact checking" but still spreading lies like those produced by PETA - it seems much more likely that "fact checking" is a mere gimmick used by the Western media to reinforce its monopoly over public discourse, not ensure the public is actually getting factual information. In many cases, "fact checking" is used to help better conceal and spread disinformation.

That social media platforms are erasing accounts over allegations of "fake news" and "inauthentic behavior," but the fact that PETA still retains its Facebook, Twitter, and other US-based social media accounts - all in "verified" and "good standing" - is another indicator of how all of these notions are being abused to undermine facts and truth - not uphold them.

Thailand's only misstep was perhaps trading with nations like the UK in good faith or placing any amount of trust in the Western media and the West's army of nongovernmental organization (NGOs) including orgs like PETA - falsely believing that they conduct their business fairly and honestly rather than as tools of political coercion and economic warfare.

While PETA's claims of monkeys being harmed on vast scales is a baseless, verified lie - the damage PETA and the Western media's lies have done to real ordinary people who depend on coconut farming is very real.

The damage done by fake NGOs like PETA, the malign Western media they cooperate with and who enable their lies, and Thailand's own trading partners in the West regarding something as benign as coconuts is just a small example of how the West really does business. Nations doing business with the West must understand this reality and protect themselves accordingly.

Hopefully in the future Thailand's industrial and political leaders will be more careful with the trust they place in the West and take steps in the near future to protect themselves from malign smear campaigns like that carried out by PETA, the Western media, and British businesses.

A good start might be to create a series of videos illustrating modern industrial and agricultural practices in Thailand regarding essential economic activity to head off smear campaigns before they're even launched. These videos would have the dual purpose of promoting Thai industry.

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: propaganda, Thailand]

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[l] at 7/31/20 4:31pm
A British arms embargo on Hong Kong over "human rights concerns" while the UK continues to arm and train Saudis amid Yemen genocide? 

August 1, 2020 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Further evidence the UK hides behind "human rights" rather than stands for them was demonstrated when London placed sanctions on Hong Kong after the passing of a security law aimed at combating overt foreign interference in special administrative region of China.

British state media in an article titled, "UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong," would claim:
The UK government will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong "immediately and indefinitely".
The article also stated:
[British Foreign Secretary] Mr Raab also confirmed the government would extend its arms embargo - which has been in place with China since 1989 - to Hong Kong, stopping the UK exporting equipment, such as firearms, smoke grenades and shackles, to the region.
The article cited other members of the British government condemning China for alleged human rights abuses, violations of international law and a lack of democratic values. This comes after the UK caved to US pressure and banned Chinese telecom company Huawei from involvement in the UK's 5G rollout.

Omitted from the BBC article was mention of the UK's own and very real abuses.

British Human Rights Concerns are Projections of Own, Real Abuses  

At a time when the UK condemns China for its "actions in the South China Sea" the UK still finds itself involved in wars of aggression and military occupations around the globe, side-by-side their US allies.

Worse still is that while the UK pledged to extend an arms embargo on Hong Kong over human rights concerns, the British government continues to arm nations like Saudi Arabia who is still currently waging war on neighbouring Yemen in a conflict the United Nations itself has called "the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

The New York Times in its article, "Britain Says It Will Resume Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia," would admit:
Saudi Arabia is a big market for British arms manufacturers. Between April 2015 and March 2018, Britain’s government licensed the sale of at least 4.7 billion pounds (around $5.89 billion) of military equipment to the Saudis, and a further £860 million to its coalition partners.
Sales of arms were temporarily "suspended" over growing awareness of their use in Saudi atrocities in its ongoing war of aggression in neighbouring Yemen. After sufficient lip service was paid to "investigating" the issue, sales were resumed with claims abuses were "isolated."  The US has likewise sidestepped concerns over arms sales to Saudi Arabia with a $478 million missile sale moving forward. 

This staggering hypocrisy was noted even within the British government itself, the NYT would note:
Emily Thornberry, who speaks for the opposition Labour Party on international trade, described the resumption of arms licenses to Saudi Arabia as “morally indefensible.” The timing, she added, suggests “at the very least a case of mixed messages, undermining the government’s claim to be human rights defenders.”
Indeed, the British government's claim to be human rights defenders is undermined if not entirely exposed as a façade behind which it advances various agendas. It cites "human rights" when smearing its opponents on the global stage such as China (often with fabricated claims), then eagerly, openly and unapologetically tramples human rights when convenient.

The common denominator between Britain's otherwise contradictory stance regarding China and Saudi Arabia is its desire to advance its geopolitical agenda in undermining competitors and bolstering its own wealth and influence globally. Human rights is a mere prop to be used or abused.

Never were human rights an actual principle driving UK foreign policy, but merely a superficial enabler or inconvenient speed bump toward moving it forward.

Besides the UK's stunning hypocrisy, the latest moves made against China regarding Hong Kong remind the world that the very sort of imperialist ideology that saw the British take the territory by force in 1842 is still very much alive and thriving in policy circles in London and across the Atlantic in Washington. While outright military occupation is impractical, the UK and its American partners still seek to influence and interfere in Hong Kong's political and economic affairs.

The continued antagonising of China within its own borders, the use of warships to provoke China off its own shores and sanctions aimed at crippling the nation economically are all very deliberate acts undermining not only China's peace, prosperity and stability, but that of the entire world who increasingly see China as a valuable economic and political partner.

The ultimate hypocrisy here is that as the UK claims it stands as a force for "good" in the world, it is in fact an enabler of waning Western interests desperately trying to plunge the world into chaos to spoil the success of its competitors and search for an opportunity to reassert themselves, reclaim their wealth and revive their demonstrably malign influence globally.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, HongKong, uk]

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[l] at 7/29/20 12:47am
Editor's note: Since PETA's smear campaign people in Thailand have responded by posting hundreds of hours of videos on YouTube showing how coconuts are really harvested in Thailand - by humans and far faster and more efficient than any trained animal can. 

July 29, 2020 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Animal rights front PETA and British retailers and media have teamed up to deliver a collective and politically-motivated blow to Thailand's agricultural exports and in particular its large coconut industry (second largest coconut exporter in the world).

PETA makes the absurd claim that Thailand's immense coconut industry depends on "monkey labour" to collect coconuts from trees and that these alleged monkeys are regularly abused.

The vague, baseless report citing neither specific numbers nor basic statistics regarding Thailand's coconut industry and practices nonetheless prompted, according to PETA, "more than 18,000 stores around the world" to "never stocking products sourced from monkey labour after speaking with PETA and its affiliates." The campaign was also publically supported by the British prime minister's fiancée, Carrie Symonds.

The economic impact is already being felt in Thailand by some with Reuters claiming in an article titled, "Coconut milk maker hit by monkey labour accusation," one of the nation's largest coconut product exporters has seen sales drop by 20-30% after the move.

PETA and the UK's collective action comes at a time when the US and British governments have been increasing pressure on China and its allies.

Thailand has in recent years expanded its cooperation with China at the cost of US-European influence in Asia-Pacific and as a result has suffered serial public relations attacks, political subversion and targeted condemnation from the West.

This most recent attack is hardly an isolated incident. It makes up part of a much larger campaign of baseless attacks aimed at undermining Thailand's economic and political stability and Asia's continued rise as a whole.

Thailand's Coconut Industry is Huge, PETA's "Evidence" Nonexistent 

The use of monkeys to collect coconuts in Thailand in reality is almost nonexistent on large farms. Thailand produces over 800,000 tonnes of coconuts a year, meaning "monkey labour," if true, would be so extensive PETA would have had an easy time documenting specific numbers and presenting sufficient, overwhelming evidence.

Instead, it posted vague accusations and admits it only visited eight farms (though provides no evidence of even this). Its own "video" shows only 14 scenes from what appears to be only one farm and the same 1-2 monkeys used throughout the entire short 1 minute and 39 second video clip. No information was provided about where or when the video was taken or how representative it is of Thailand's overall coconut industry.

At least one "scene" was reused twice in the clip meaning PETA didn't even have enough video footage of its own allegations to pad out its extremely short presentation.

At the time of this writing, no full report is linked to on its website (if one even exists) and no statistics at all are presented amid what is otherwise clearly propaganda aimed at audience's emotions rather than genuinely investigating and exposing "abuses."

Hypocrisy and a Warning 

While the UK and other Western countries eagerly target Thailand's entire coconut industry based on PETA's 1 minute and 39 second long video of 1-2 monkeys collecting coconuts, these nations and the specific stores boycotting Thai products still eagerly consume products using cocoa produced in Africa through the use of child labour.

A Washington Post article published as recently as 2019 titled, " Cocoa’s child laborers ," would note:
Mars, Nestlé and Hershey pledged nearly two decades ago to stop using cocoa harvested by children. Yet much of the chocolate you buy still starts with child labor.
The article further notes:
About two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to a 2015 U.S. Labor Department report, more than 2 million children were engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.

When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor.
Stores in the UK including Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose, Tesco and others still carry products produced by Mars, Nestlé and Hershey.

Beyond blatant hypocrisy, the UK's selective outrage demonstrates what are clearly political motivations and serve as a warning for the rest of the world when doing business with not only the UK but the West in general.

What Can Targeted Nations Do? 

Nations like Thailand have several options to avoid or at least manage similar attacks in the future.

First and foremost and as Thailand is already doing, investments should be made in auditing supply chains and being able to provide evidence quickly to refute baseless accusations like those made by PETA.

Better yet would be media campaigns to preemptively showcase labour conditions within key Thai industries to head off potential attacks on economically important sectors.

This could be done by investing more in English-language media to help tell Thailand's side of the story including through documentaries detailing key Thai industries. Such documentaries like those already done by China's CGTN, Japan's NHK or Russia's RT would help collectively educate the world about Thailand and insulate the public from propaganda like PETA's recent attack.

A second option is to continue diversifying exports away from Western nations and toward more reliable and trustworthy partners less prone to abusing rights advocacy as a political and economic weapon. Further development of domestic markets would also help soften the blow of such attacks.

This is already happening with nations like China, Japan and other ASEAN partners collectively providing Thailand with its largest and most important export markets. This trend continues as Asia rises and Western economic power continues to stagnate and wane.

While Thai companies and many others in Asia certainly benefit from doing business with the West, they must fully recognize the danger the West's style of economic warfare presents, the many ways it is waged and ensure nothing critical to Thailand's and Asia's wider prosperity or stability is overly dependent on these markets.

For the UK, it makes up but a fraction of Thailand's export market and its ban on Thai coconuts is just another small step the UK takes in further exposing its unreliability as a trade partner and further isolating itself from a world it attempts to coerce and control through such tactics.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.   

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, economics, Thailand]

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[l] at 7/23/20 4:46pm
July 22, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - While there are no doubts that the "QAnon" political movement is a purveyor of repeatedly absurd and unfounded claims, "predictions" so inaccurate and consistently wrong that it is difficult to take any of it seriously, Twitter's move to across-the-board ban not only accounts associated with the movement but any talk of it citing fears of "offline harm" is even more absurd.

CNN in its article, "Twitter cracks down on QAnon accounts," would claim (my emphasis):
Twitter is cracking down on accounts linked to QAnon, a group known for spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation online.
"We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm," Twitter's safety team said late Tuesday in a tweet. "In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called 'QAnon' activity across the service."
CNN would also note specific measures Twitter is taking (my emphasis):
"We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension — something we've seen more of in recent weeks," Twitter said.
While deliberate campaigns of disinformation are almost certainly going to lead people who believe it into making poor real-life decisions that could potentially lead to "offline harm," QAnon is not the only source of such disinformation nor the most dangerous.

The Most Dangerous Liars are Not Only Safe, They Have Blue Check Marks 

Twitter's concern comes across particularly hollow when considering the US and European corporate media, outlets like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the BBC, AP, AFP and Reuters.

They and their employees enjoy "blue check marks" handed out by Twitter and proudly displayed next to their names "proving" to others on Twitter that they are verified and "trusted."

Conspiracy theories spread by the corporate media led directly to "offline harm" in places like Libya where supposed "freedom fighters" turned out to be racist, genocidal terrorists fighting under the flag of Al Qaeda, killing thousands and driving millions more out of the country.  Together, these "trusted" media platforms have repeatedly spread lies that have caused very real and catastrophic "offline harm."

This includes lies and conspiracy theories regarding "weapons of mass destruction" they alleged were hidden in Iraq and required an invasion and subsequent occupation to "find" and "destroy."

The weapons were never found, but hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would be slaughtered in the resulting war, millions more displaced and the nation ravaged by conflict and instability from 2003 to present day with US forces still occupying the country and these "blue check mark" accounts still promoting the US occupation.

Similar, now verified lies, were used to sell US wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria as well as US-led regime change in Ukraine where the US and European corporate media deliberately concealed the central role Neo-Nazi political parties and armed groups played in ousting the elected Ukrainian government.

Corporate Media Repeats Disinfo While Covering QAnon's Ban for Disinfo...

What's even more ironic is that this same corporate media, protected and promoted and now with an even larger monopoly over narratives discussed on Twitter, repeated lies even as it discussed QAnon's ban.

CNN would claim (my emphasis):
Followers make unfounded claims and then amplify them with doctored or out-of-context evidence posted on social media to support the allegations.

The anarchical group's birth, and its continued seepage into mainstream American life, comes on the coattails of the Russian disinformation campaign that targeted US elections in 2016.

While the Russian campaign had an apparent objective -- influence voters to elect Trump -- QAnon is decentralized, having no clear objective aside from its popular slogan, "Question everything." 
The "Russian disinformation campaign that targeted US elections in 2016" was investigated for years with zero evidence ever emerging that it ever occured.

Not only was no evidence ever found, but those accusing Russia of election interference were themselves caught posing as Russians to swing US elections. This includes the shadowy "New Knowledge" group who even submitted reports to the US Congress regarding "Russian disinformation."

The Washington Post's article, "Secret campaign to use Russian-inspired tactics in 2017 Ala. election stirs anxiety for Democrats," would reveal New Knowledge involved in interference in Alabama elections.

While the misleading headline claims the interference used "Russian-inspired tactics," in fact, the Post itself admits in its own article the tactics were simply to falsely accuse Russia of supporting a Republican candidate to poison voters against him.

The article explains (my emphasis):
The document, for example, says it “planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet. We then tied that botnet to the Moore campaign digital director, making it appear as if he had purchased the accounts.” Morgan [CEO of New Knowledge] denied any knowledge of the incident involving Russian bots.

During the campaign, journalists wrote stories about Twitter accounts that appeared to be Russian followers of Moore.

Those accounts were later suspended by Twitter. The Post found an archived version of a misleading tweet and also several news reports and tweets by journalists during the Alabama election describing evidence that Russian bots were supporting Moore. The Project Birmingham document cited an article in the New York Post with the headline “Roy Moore flooded with fake Russian Twitter followers.”
Thus, not only was no evidence found that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election, those making those claims and even involved in the investigation were caught openly posing as "Russians" to taint targeted candidates and manipulate voters while simultaneously smearing Russia and adding extra weight to justify sanctions aimed at Russia's economy.

Here we see the media covering QAnon's banning, citing their own collection of debunked conspiracy theories, lies that have led to sanctions and conflict that have most certainly created "offline harm" for Russia, its economy and its people.

Should we hold our breath waiting for Twitter to ban them as well?

Twitter Shifting from Social Media to Programed Media 

With QAnon purged from Twitter, the way will be paved for Twitter to blanket ban and purge others, not for specific abuses of their terms of policy, but simply for holding or promoting a certain point of view.

It won't be long before Twitter is entirely dominated by corporate media accounts and ordinary people who listen rather than speak out of fear of being next in line for Twitter's growing purges.

Social media is clearly being transformed from a platform where people communicate with each other on equal terms, into something resembling traditional programed media where giant conglomerates pick what the public sees, and the public consumes rather than interacts with or contributes to it.

For individuals, organizations and others seeking a social media platform, it is clear Twitter (and Facebook for that matter) have long since become something else. For nations who do not have their own Twitter and Facebook alternatives, the increasingly controlled and manipulated nature of both platforms pose obvious national security risks.

When a platform is purging ordinary people for "disinformation" but providing "blue check marks" to individuals and organizations that have literally lied nations into war and sent hundreds of thousands of innocent people to their graves, it no longer serves any other purpose but as a vehicle for propaganda and propaganda that will most certainly be aimed at these vulnerable nations to cause "offline harm."

While more traditional armed forces of the air, land and sea are still crucial for a nation's defense, it is clear that nations now also need to defend their information space. Nations that take this threat seriously will be prepared and able to weather the storm that is clearly brewing. Those that do not, will suffer the fate of others who have faced US-led conflicts, in part, precipitated by America's and Europe's control over social media.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: propaganda]

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[l] at 7/22/20 11:54pm
Another US "Act" that hides behind human rights while compounding conflict and the destruction of all lives caught within it. 
July 23, 2020
(Salman Rafi Sheikh - NEO) - The so-called US “Civilian Protection Act” does everything except “protect” the people of Syria. If anything, it aims, what a draconian law would normally do, to further destroy and strangulate the Syrian economy to make the country’s post-war economic reconstruction and development even more difficult. 

As the act’s “statement of policy” states in explicit terms, the US continues to seek a “regime change” in Syria. Indeed, the cardinal US purpose behind igniting a “civil war” in Syria was always to “send Assad home”, but the combined military strategy of Syria, Iran and Russia turned out to be the key to defeating the CIA–sponsored militant groups. The US, as it stands, continues to pursue the same objective, although its military defeat in Syria has forced it to shift its focus from direct military intervention and support for militant groups to economic sanctions.

While this is not for the first-time that sanctions have been imposed on Syria, the fact that this “protection act” expands the US reach to even non-Syrians i.e., Syrian’s “foreign friends” (Russia, China, Iran) makes it an even worst attack on Syrian economy. This is in turn part of an officially declared US strategy to make Syria a “quagmire for Russia.”

The aim is two-fold: to restrict the ability of Syria’s foreign friends to freely pour money into Syria’s reconstruction economy, and to exacerbate even further the already extremely poor conditions. With famine already knocking on the doors of Syria, fresh US sanctions will only deteriorate the economic conditions, which have already forced about 83 percent of Syrians to live below the poverty line.

The Syrian pound, which held steady at around 500 to the US dollar for several years, went into free fall last year, hitting a low of 3,000 in June, in anticipation of fresh sanctions. That currency drop is hindering Assad’s plans for buying up all of this year’s wheat to make up for a shortfall in imports that is drawing down on strategic reserves.

What, according to the UN itself, Syria needs is “immediate and substantial injection of funds, life-saving provisions of food, water, health care”, what, however, it gets from the West is extensive sanctions and, what Mike Pompeo called, continued US “stabilisation activities in northeast Syria” where most of Syria’s oil wells are located. Whereas the oil could prove crucial for Syria’s economic recovery, this is obviously not what the US wants to see happening in Syria. Accordingly, an “oil disaster” under the US auspicious is already looming large in northeast Syria.

At the same time, where the US is warning of an imminent crisis, the “Protection Act” aims to make sure that the Syrians get nothing. The act says the US president will impose sanctions on a “foreign person” if they undertake actions that include knowingly “sell[ing] or provid[ing] significant goods, services, technology, information or other support that significantly facilitates the maintenance or expansion of the Government of Syria’s domestic production of natural gas, petroleum or petroleum products.”

The act goes on to further explain that part of this US “strategy” is to “deter foreign persons from entering into contracts related to reconstruction in the areas” under the direct control of the Syrian government or its supporters from Russia and Iran. The self-explaining act makes it clear that its clauses are a deliberate attempt to ensure that Syria, devastated by a war that the US and its allies engineered and imposed in 2011, is not rebuilt, and that Syrians have to live amid ruin.

This, the US hopes, may force the Syrians to rise up against their government eroding its legitimacy. But it is highly unlikely to produce the desired results; for, as it stands, sanctions without a clear policy objective are nothing more than making a political point at the expense of the most vulnerable i.e., common people of Syria. Therefore, if the underlying reasons for the Syrian people’s poor conditions are US sanctions, as even the Red Crescent said in its recent report, the Syrian people are unlikely to mobilise against the government, which has been resilient enough to bring political stability to a large part of Syria, on a large scale.

That this is unlikely to happen is indeed one principal reason why the US has decided to impose sanctions on Syria to mainly wrest Assad’s and those of its allies’ ability to stabilise the country. Therefore, while the US sanctions have never worked to bring, as in case of Iran and Venezuela, “regime change”, they are most likely to create a humanitarian crisis and make reconstruction efforts difficult. The “protection act” is, therefore, not anti-regime; it is mainly anti-people and anti-development. It aims to spread chaos and erode political and economic stability efforts of the government. On the other hand, if the act “protects” anything, it is the US interests.

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: middle east, MiddleEast, Syria]

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[l] at 7/22/20 1:58am
July 17, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - China's special administration region of Hong Kong saw the passing of a security law outlawing acts universally recognized as criminal and threats to any nation's security and sovereignty.

Despite what would appear to be common sense legislation, the Western media has cried "controversy." While the West claims it fears curbs on freedoms inside China - it is becoming increasingly clear that the West's real fears revolve around the "freedom" of its proxies and their attempts to maintain Hong Kong as a defacto Western foothold.

British state media, the BBC in their article, "Hong Kong security law: What is it and is it worrying?," would note:
Hong Kong was always meant to have a security law, but could never pass one because it was so unpopular. So this is about China stepping in to ensure the city has a legal framework to deal with what it sees as serious challenges to its authority.
The BBC would also list acts criminalized under the law which include:
  • secession - breaking away from the country
  • subversion - undermining the power or authority of the central government
  • terrorism - using violence or intimidation against people
  • collusion with foreign or external forces
Nothing on the list is in any way controversial, with virtually all other nations on Earth maintaining similar laws on their respective books.

Additionally, Hong Kong - a region that belonged to China before being taken by force by the British Empire in 1841 and a region that now once again belongs to China after its handover to Beijing in 1997 - is clearly China's to govern and to do so in any manner China decides. Laws it passes regarding Hong Kong are not Washington or London's business just as laws passed regarding US or UK territory are none of Beijing's.

The BBC and many others across the Western media have attempted to claim the new security law is "controversial" simply because despite the UK's handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the UK and the US have both attempted to maintain the region as a foothold inside China - and to do so specifically by engaging in literally everything on the list outlawed by the bill - including secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion.

The BBC article explains:
Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control in 1997, but under a unique agreement - a mini-constitution called the Basic Law and a so-called "one country, two systems" principle.
The BBC never explains why China should be bound by an agreement made with the UK - a hostile foreign occupier now fully departed from China's restored sovereign territory.

Those complaining the loudest in Hong Kong - according to the BBC article itself - include culprits guilty of all the above - including Joshua Wong and his US-backed "Demosisto" political party and other recipients of US and UK funding and support.

Wong and mobs he helped organize and lead systematically destroyed Hong Kong's infrastructure, used violence against political opponents, and openly appealed to the US and UK to intervene.

Repeatedly exposed have been the vast amounts of resources from the US government funneled into Hong Kong propping up this so-called "pro-democracy" movement.

The generally pro-Western South China Morning Post even admitted to extensive US meddling in Hong Kong in an article titled, "US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests."

The article noted:
Imagine how the American government would react if multiple Chinese state agencies such as Xinhua were exposed secretly helping protest groups across the United States to evade surveillance and crackdowns by law enforcement agencies.

Washington would probably threaten China with war. Roughly, though, the little-known but powerful US Agency for Global Media has been doing just that in Hong Kong. It oversees funding for various news and information operations around the world, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

About US$2 million was earmarked for the protest movement in Hong Kong, but has now been frozen as part of a general overhaul and restructuring by a new agency boss.
As clear as the South China Morning Post article makes US meddling in Hong Kong, it is just scratching the surface of the scale and duration of US meddling in China's internal affairs - particularly in regards to Hong Kong.

Virtually every aspect of Hong Kong's opposition is a product of US meddling with the majority of protest leaders having literally been hosted in Washington D.C. and the direct recipients of US funding and support to build up their respective movements and carry out US objectives under the smokescreen of promoting "democracy." This has been the case for years, long before the most recent protests.

All of this constitutes a clear breech of China's sovereignty - a violation of international law and norms - but also a violation in terms of Washington's own laws. For example, were China - as the South China Morning Post article imagined - aiding subversion in the US in a similar manner - it would be deemed absolutely illegal under US law and those involved would face equal or harsher punishments than under Hong Kong's new security law.

That China's move to shield its borders from overt, admitted foreign meddling should be considered "controversial" by the West illustrates just how deep the West's double standards run and how Western foreign policy is driven by the principle of "might makes right" with all other principles serving merely as smokescreens.

And while the US and UK condemn China for reasserting itself over its own territory and people, the US and UK both continue illegal wars and occupations thousands of miles from their own shores all across the globe. The Western media is tellingly silent about this hypocrisy.

While the US and UK may believe crying "controversy" over the new Hong Kong security law helps paint themselves as defenders of "human rights," "freedom," and "democracy," it in fact only further paints Western foreign policy as dangerously hypocritical.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china, HongKong]

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[l] at 7/22/20 1:09am
July 15, 2020 (James O'Neill - NEO) - On the 7th of July 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jin Ping held one of their regular telephone conversations. The fact of the call, let alone its content, received scant coverage in the western mainstream media. This was unfortunate because what the two men had to say conveyed major geopolitical decisions. The impact of those decisions will have major consequences.

Rather than paying heed to what the two men were discussing, and its broader implications, the West was instead focused on the ongoing conflict in Hong Kong. Three countries in particular were using their agents to stir up trouble in the former British colony; the United States, Great Britain and Australia.

There is a deep irony in the loud protestations of the leaders of those three countries in their professed concern for Hong Kong democracy. It was only a little over 20 years ago that Hong Kong was returned to China, which it had been an integral part of for more than 1000 years until forcefully colonised by the British in the mid 19th century.

For the next 150 years there was no democracy in Hong Kong. It was ruled by a British government appointed Governor. The people of Hong Kong did not even have the right to vote. The protestations about Hong Kong’s alleged loss of democracy after its return to China (with a 50-year transition!) are a classic example of that long-established British trait of hypocrisy. One would be hard put to locate illustrations of western governments, including the United States and Australia, clamouring for Hong Kong democracy prior to 1999.

This historical record needs to be kept firmly in mind when one reads in the western media of their politicians lamenting the loss of Hong Kong “democracy” as the Beijing government asserts its authority. One would search long and hard for any other example in the world where a colonial power relinquished its control on such adverse and restrictive conditions.

The western powers, especially the aforementioned trio, have no intention of recognising China’s legitimate rights in Hong Kong. Their actions go beyond political speeches, and lamenting the alleged loss of democracy in the former colony. The evidence is overwhelming that the protesters in Hong Kong demonstrating, often with considerable violence against persons and property, are armed, financed, and politically supported by the aforementioned trio of countries.

There are approximately 3 million Hong Kong citizens (of a total population of 7,000,000) who, at least in theory, have the capacity to emigrate to the United Kingdom or some other country such as Australia. Part of the anti-Beijing propaganda from the aforementioned trio is to suggest that those 3 million or so individuals could emigrate to their countries.

The western media, which solemnly reports these vague proposals without qualification or question, never consider the logistics of such an exercise, assuming for the moment, improbably, that it was either feasible or indeed the wishes of the aforementioned 3 million Hong Kong citizens.

While it is probable that at least some, no-one can say how many, of the supposed 3 million would either wish to leave, or would be welcomed in the three countries, and would actually leave. No one familiar with the current and past attitudes of any of the three countries to mass Chinese migration can be in any doubt that the vague promises currently being offered are strictly for propaganda purposes.

The aforementioned telephone conversation between Putin and Xi was exactly right in their reported pledge to cooperate against “external sabotage and intervention”. The two leaders recognise the brutal truth that the western politicians do not care one iota for the people of Hong Kong, but see them as useful tools in the ongoing propaganda war against both China and its increasingly close ally, Russia.

This was reinforced by Xi when he referred specifically to the “external sabotage and intervention of the western powers” in his conversation with Putin. The specific Russian view was set out by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in her press conference on 2nd June. Ms Zakharova noted Russia’s support for what the Chinese government was endeavouring to achieve in Hong Kong. Russia considers “all issues pertaining to Hong Kong to be China’s domestic affairs” she said.

Both Russia and China are pursuing a larger geopolitical agenda. Trade between the two countries exceeded $110 billion in 2019. Their geopolitical cooperation may also be seen in their effective underwriting of Iran’s continued freedom from direct United States attack, and incorporation of Iran into a prominent role in the rapidly expanding Belt and Road Initiative.

It is more than a coincidence that neither of the United States, United Kingdom or Australia have expressed any interest in, or support for, the BRI. To the contrary, Australia and the United States are busy trying to create alternative economic structures to compete with the BRI. There is also evidence of direct attempts by the United States to foster internal disorganisation within China, notably with their support for the returned jihadists in China’s western regions.

As the recent moves by Japan indicate, such manoeuvres are doomed to fail, because their motive is manifestly anti-China. Desperate propaganda attempts such as portraying China’s involvement with the island nations of the eastern and southern Pacific as contrary to those nations interests notwithstanding, it is obvious that China offers a better future than the neo-colonial past of those nations. Or indeed the neo–colonial future that is the inevitable outcome of United States and Australian “protection”.

Trump appears to share the delusion of the compelling attractiveness of the western model. He recently invited Russia to attend the next meeting of the G7 nations which had expelled Russia over the manifestly false narrative regarding Crimea. The G7, which does not include the world’s largest economy, China, is not as attractive as United States thinking assumes.

On 4 July 2020 Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov described the United States invitation to Russia to attend the G7 as a “flawed idea”. The American concept of expanding the G7 was itself flawed, Ryabkov said, “because it is unclear to us how the authors of that initiative consider the Chinese factor. Without China it is impossible to discuss certain issues in the modern world.”

Russia clearly sees itself in a similar position. Trump’s invitation was not aimed at getting Russian involvement in canvassing critical geopolitical issues. Even if Trump himself had worthy intentions, they are not shared by other members of his administration, let alone the Democrat party and the overwhelming majority of United States mainstream media, the military and CIA establishments, or the United States Congress.

What the experience of China in the current furore over Hong Kong demonstrates above all, is that the western powers will stop at nothing to undermine it and every national organisation that enjoys the benefits of cooperation and development with China. That manifestly does not include the western nations (with some exceptions) who are not reacting well to the steady demise of their geopolitical dominance of the past 200 to 300 years.

Hong Kong may be properly regarded as a weapon in a much larger geopolitical battle.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china, HongKong, Oneill]

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[l] at 7/22/20 1:09am
July 12, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - It should surprise no one paying attention that the suspect in the recent stabbing spree in Reading, UK was not only known to British security agencies as an extremist and security threat, but that he comes from the pool of extremists the British aided Washington in funding, arming, training, and providing air support for during the 2011 overthrow of the Libyan government and have harbored before and ever since.

The London Guardian in its article, "Libyan held over Reading multiple stabbing 'known to security services'," would admit:
The suspect in an alleged terror attack that left a teacher and two others dead was known to security services and other authorities, it emerged on Sunday.

Khairi Saadallah, the 25-year-old Libyan refugee held over the stabbings in a Reading park, was on the radar of MI5 in the middle of last year, sources told the Guardian.
Saadallah joins a long and growing list of extremists - and in the UK's case, Libyans specifically - who have carried out attacks in the UK after receiving political and material support from Western governments in proxy wars waged across the globe.

The 2017 Manchester Arena bombing killing 23 and injuring over 800 was also carried out by Libyans Salman and Hashem Abedi, also extremists long known to British security agencies.

The London Guardian in its article on the Manchester bombing titled, "Salman Abedi: from hot-headed party lover to suicide bomber," would report:
Quite when Abedi’s aggressive tendencies acquired an ideological bent is difficult to establish, but it has emerged that he travelled to Libya as a 16-year-old in 2011 to join the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and fight alongside his father in the battle to oust Gaddafi.
His father was a prominent member of the militia, which was banned in the UK because of its jihadi links.
Despite terrorists from LIFG still carrying out terrorism to this day the US and UK have both removed the group from their lists of terrorist organizations.

The Western media admits that LIFG was involved in fighting and toppling the Libyan government in 2011 and admits they provided weapons to fighters in Libya as well as granted them asylum after Libya collapsed into disarray in the wake of US-led regime change.

US Senators would even shower awards and support on senior LIFG leaders after the fall of the Libyan government - including Abdelhakim Belhaj who served as "emir" of LIFG and who would at one point lead what was left of Libya after 2011.

Western newspapers regularly admit that Western security services are fully aware of LIFG members living within the borders of their respective nations - having deliberately provided them asylum there.

It takes little imagination to predict tragedies resulting from the West's policy of creating extremists, deploying them in proxy wars abroad, and then placing them amongst their own populations at home.

It was predicted long before the first US and British bombs dropped on Libya that their war of aggression against the North African nation would spread terrorism across the Middle East and North African region (MENA) as well as flood Europe with both refugees fleeing the catastrophe and extremists deliberately created by Western interventionism.

It is so predictable - in fact - that incidents like the Manchester Arena bombing or the Reading stabbings in Reading should be interpreted as deliberate by the British government - who like its American counterparts - readily uses extremists as armed proxies abroad and as an omnipresent threat at home justifying a growing police state while dividing and distracting the public.

Narrative management in the UK seeks to turn the stabbings into an issue surrounding race, religion, and social conditions when in reality the murders are a direct and deliberate product of the UK's foreign policy and those responsible reside in London, Washington, and Brussels, not in mosques or in the pages of the Qu'ran.

To call it "blowback" is not accurate since blowback implies the consequences were somehow unpredictable or undesirable. It is inconceivable that the British government believes harboring thousands of terrorists within its borders will not result in terrorism.

It harbors these terrorists in order to cultivate and deploy them in future proxy wars and in the meantime prevents them from being liquidated abroad when targets of Western aggression get the upperhand.

To solve the problem of extremism the Western public must focus on the deliberate foreign policy creating it - not on the social, religious, and racial excuses used to cover it up and to distract away from it.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Libya, uk]

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