Upcoming Thai Elections Next Battlefield in US-China Power Game

October 22, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Elections are set to be held sometime in early 2019 for the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand.


The nation has struggled with political instability since former police colonel-turned-billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra came to power in 2001. Two military coups, one in 2006 and another in 2014, have unfolded in attempt to remove Shinawatra and his political party from power after indulging in unprecedented corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations.

Shinawatra, his sister who sat as prime minister for him from 2011 to 2014 and several other prominent members of his political party now reside abroad in Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Shinawatra and his political allies have repeatedly used violence as a tool to seize back power, resulting in headline-grabbing episodes of bloodshed in 2009, 2010 and again in 2014.

Key to Shinawatra's political staying power is the immense support he receives from the United States, Europe and their collective influence over global media. Returning Shinawatra to power and pivoting Bangkok away from its growing ties to Beijing and back toward Wall Street and Washington has been a major priority of the US State Department and its functionaries in Southeast Asia for now nearly two decades.

"Pro-Democracy Forces" Represent a Fugitive and his Foreign Sponsors 

Thaksin Shinawatra lives abroad to evade multiple arrest warrants, myriad pending criminal cases and a criminal conviction coupled with a two year jail sentence handed down by Thai courts. His status as a fugitive clearly bars him from running for or holding public office.

Despite this restriction he still openly runs Thailand's main opposition party, Pheu Thai. Fearing that Pheu Thai may be disbanded for this very fact before next year's elections, it appears he had created a multitude of other parties to create a front he hopes to use to win elections and restore himself to power.

This includes billionaire heir Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's Future Forward Party which has repeatedly denied any ties to Thaksin Shinawatra despite Thanathorn himself admitting during an FCCT event that he had previously supported Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party in 2011 and participated in Shinawatra's various, deadly "red shirt" street protests. Also relevant is Thanathorn's uncle working as a senior minister in Shinawatra's previous governments and Thanathorn's family owning the notoriously pro-Shinawatra Matichon Media Group which includes the Matichon and Khaosod newspapers.

Additionally, the 2018 Concordia annual summit invited Thanathorn to speak in September. Concordia is chaired by notorious figures among the US business, political and intelligence communities as well as a senior minister in Thaksin Shinawatra's government, Suwat Liptapanlop.

Future Forward itself is co-founded by one of Shinawatra's lobbyists, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, who as part of the supposedly academic activist group "Nitirat" held indoor rallies for Shinawatra's "red shirt" street front. Future Forward also boasts co-founders who head a variety of US and European-funded fronts posing as NGOs.

As if to lay to rest any doubts, Thaksin Shinawatra himself would comment to the media recently that the strategy he hopes overcomes his opponents at next year's polls will be "pro-democracy forces" forming an alliance and taking power.

Kyodo News in its article, "Thaksin confident pro-democracy forces would win election," would admit:
An alliance of pro-democracy parties would defeat pro-military parties in the upcoming general election if it is held freely and fairly, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Thursday.
Of course, in a truly free and fair election, a fugitive and his proxies could not possibly contend elections let alone win them and then form a government afterwards, a fact intentionally and repeatedly omitted from news articles across the West.

In the interview, Thaksin Shinawatra all but admits he has created multiple parties to mitigate the political damage if any one is singled out and disbanded for its illegal associations with him, meaning that the participation of any of these parties in upcoming elections renders them most certainly "unfair."

Thailand is not the Only Target  

US meddling across Asia has sought for decades to encircle and contain China in an attempt to preserve American primacy in the region and around the globe.


The Geopolitics of Human Gene Editing

October 20, 2018 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - A cursory warning was left by renowned physics professor Stephen Hawking regarding a future where a race of superhumans, manipulating their DNA, would taking control of their own evolution. The warning came just before his death in March of this year.


The Washington Post in its article, "Stephen Hawking feared race of ‘superhumans’ able to manipulate their own DNA," would explain (my emphasis):
Before he died in March, the Cambridge University professor predicted that people this century would gain the capacity to edit human traits such as intelligence and aggression. And he worried that the capacity for genetic engineering would be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy.
To be clear, Professor Hawking wasn't warning about the technology in and of itself, but its monopolization by a handful of wealthy interests.

The Threat of Technological Monopolies 

When we look at any chapter in human history, disparity in technology has always led to tragic episodes of exploitation, violence, atrocities and even genocide. The invention and use of firearms by Western Europeans against tribes everywhere from Asia and Africa to North and South America provide us one look at how huge advantages in technology have been abused against those who lack access to it.

The invention of the atomic bomb gave the United States a period of time where it held a virtual monopoly over nuclear weapons. It eagerly used not one, but two atomic bombs on the already defeated Japanese at the end of World War II. Before America's nuclear monopoly was finally broken up by first Soviet and then Chinese nuclear weapon tests, the US had considered using further nuclear weapons during the Korean War and at at least two junctures during the Vietnam War.

Today, corporate monopolies over the very sort of biotechnology that will give rise to the race of superhumans Professor Hawking warned about, are already a source of constant, steeply controversial use and abuse.

Whether it is deceptive business practices by large agricultural corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Bayer peddling unsafe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or pharmaceutical corporations seizing, then price gouging charity and publicly-funded breakthroughs like gene therapy, we can already see attempts being made to concentrate biotechnology in the hands of the wealthy, and it already being eagerly abused against those without access or control over it.

It Has Already Started 

The Washington Post article would elaborate further, quoting from Professor Hawking:
Humanity, he wrote, was entering “a new phase of what might be called self-designed evolution, in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA. We have now mapped DNA, which means we have read ‘the book of life,’ so we can start writing in corrections.”

Initially, he predicted, these modifications would be reserved for the repair of certain defects, such as muscular dystrophy, that are controlled by single genes and therefore make for relatively simple corrections.

“Nevertheless, I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,” Hawking wrote.

There would be an attempt to pass laws restricting the genetic engineering of human traits, he anticipated. “But some people won’t be able to resist the temptation to improve human characteristics, such as size of memory, resistance to disease and length of life,” he anticipated.
Hawking would also point out that, obviously, unimproved humans would be unable to compete and that significant political problems would result amid this growing disparity.

It is already possible to modify human DNA, and not necessarily before birth, but in living, breathing individuals. The process of gene therapy is the targeted editing of DNA through the use of viruses reprogrammed to, instead of hijacking a human cell and making copies of itself as it does in nature, inserting edited DNA designed to serve a specific purpose.

For example, researchers at Penn State University and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were able to edit the T-cells of leukemia patients who had otherwise terminal cancer, according to the New York Times.


American Media Seeks to Poison US-Russian Cooperation in Space

October 16, 2018 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - After a string of suspicious incidents involving Russia's venerable Soyuz rocket system, several prominent American newspapers have attempted to poison the last remaining area of significant cooperation between Russia and the United States.


This includes the Washington Post which has placed itself at the center of Washington and Wall Street's anti-Russian campaign. Its article, "Astronauts make harrowing escape, but Russian rocket failure roils NASA," would claim:
A Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff Thursday on a mission to the International Space Station, triggering an automatic abort command that forced the two-member crew — an American and a Russian — to make a harrowing parachute landing in their capsule, 200 miles from the launch site in the steppes of Kazakhstan.
The Post would further state:
Thursday’s launch failure came at a dicey moment in the U.S.-Russia space partnership. The two nations have been congenial 250 miles above the Earth’s surface even when events on the ground, such as the Russian annexation of Crimea or the interference of Russia in the 2016 election, have stoked tensions. 

But the United States and Russia have been at odds over the cause of a small hole discovered in August on the Soyuz module — Soyuz MS-09 — currently docked at the space station. Moscow says the hole, now repaired, was the result of deliberate drilling and has suggested sabotage, while the U.S. space agency said this week that investigators will determine the cause.
For NASA itself, it has expressed full confidence in the Russian space program and indicated no desire whatsoever to end its cooperation with its Russian counterparts.

The Guardian in its article, "'We will fly again': Nasa to keep using Russia's Soyuz despite failure," would explain:
Nasa’s chief has praised the Russian space programme and said that he expected a new crew to go to the International Space Station in December, despite a rocket failure. 

Jim Bridenstine spoke to reporters at the US embassy in Moscow a day after a Soyuz rocket failure forced Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff in Kazakhstan. The pair escaped unharmed.
The Guardian would further elaborate:
“I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket and I have no reason to believe at this point that it will not be on schedule,” the Nasa administrator said. 
It was the first such incident in Russia’s post-Soviet history - an unprecedented setback for the country’s space industry.
Space travel is notoriously challenging and both incidents could just be unlucky coincidences. It is also entirely possible that quality control within Russia is lagging and needs to be reexamined and reorganized. Even for NASA, episodes of lax quality control and complacency have caused launch failures including that of the space shuttle Challenger.

Papers like the Washington Post, attempting to shoehorn the incident into the much larger adversarial narrative it has invested itself into and aimed at Moscow could indicate merely the cynical leveraging of an otherwise string of unfortunate accidents.

However, US-Russian cooperation remains a serious and prominent contradiction to those in Washington attempting to portray Russia as a threat to global peace and stability. After all, if Russia is so untrustworthy and truly involved in all that it is accused of by Washington, why does Washington still entrust the lives of NASA astronauts to the Russian Federation?

US-Russian Cooperation in Space Represents the Best of Both Nations 

Space truly is the final frontier, and in more ways than one. It was one of the first areas of cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union and is one of the last areas of cooperation between the United States and Russia today. America's NASA and Russia's Roscosmos have proven the height of achievements possible when the US and Russia are able to set aside their differences and move forward together.


The International Space Station represents the pinnacle of human aerospace technology, a permanent homestead in Earth orbit that has been occupied by astronauts and cosmonauts continuously for nearly 20 years. The experience earned on the ISS will be used to further extend humanity's foothold into space, possibly even making us a multiplanetary species.


US "Investigates" Genocide in Myanmar, Commits Genocide in Yemen

October 12, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Rarely is US hypocrisy so cynical and overt as a recent US State Department investigation into ongoing violence in Myanmar, all while the US continues its full spectrum support of Saudi Arabia's genocidal war on Yemen.


In addition to Washington's role in Yemen, the US also occupies Afghanistan and Syria while carrying out drone strikes and covert military interventions in territory stretching from North Africa to Central Asia.

In Myanmar specifically, the US has openly and for decades funded and supported groups and individuals involved directly on both sides of ongoing ethnic violence. Now, it is leveraging that violence to single out obstacles to US influence in Southeast Asia and in Myanmar specifically. 

Reuters in their article titled, "U.S. accuses Myanmar military of 'planned and coordinated' Rohingya atrocities," would claim:
A U.S. government investigation has found that Myanmar’s military waged a “well-planned and coordinated” campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the Southeast Asian nation’s Rohingya Muslim minority. 
Reuters admits the US State Department's report, titled "Documentation of Atrocities in Northern Rakhine State," was in fact merely interviews conducted with alleged witnesses in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Was it Really an Investigation? 

Imagine a fight breaks out between two groups of people. The police are called in. But instead of arriving at the crime scene, the police instead interview only one group, and do so at their home before drawing their final conclusions. Would anyone honestly call this an "investigation?" The US State Department apparently would, because this is precisely what the State Department has done in regards to ongoing ethnic violence in Myanmar.

The full report, found here on the US State Department's website, would admit:
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), with funding support from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), conducted a survey in spring 2018 of the firsthand experiences of 1,024 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh. The goal of the survey was to document atrocities committed against residents in Burma’s northern Rakhine State during the course of violence in the previous two years.
No physical evidence was collected or presented in the report, because investigators never stepped foot in Myanmar itself where the violence allegedly took place. The report also failed to interview other parties allegedly involved in the violence.

While the witness accounts in the US State Department's investigation were shocking, had investigators gone to Rakhine state and interviewed locals there, they would have heard similar stories told of Rohingya attacks on Buddhists and Hindus.


American Meddling in the Maldives is Aimed at China

October 12, 2018 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The United States was exuberant after its proxies took power in the Maldives during the September 24th elections.  Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) came out with 58% of the vote over incumbent, President Abdulla Yameen.


Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power would exclaim on social media:
The people of the Maldives (turnout: 89%!) showed extraordinary bravery in ousting their repressive president at the ballot box. They join Ethiopians, Armenians, Malaysians & others in making clear the enduring power - and necessity - of democratic values.

The American media also did little to hide its excitement, and linked the victory directly to a wider US-led effort to set Beijing's regional influence back.

The Wall Street Journal in its article, "More Belt and Road Backlash: The Maldives turns away from China and back toward democracy," would claim:
On Monday President Abdulla Yameen conceded defeat to Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a longtime member of parliament. Some 90% of eligible voters turned out. Mr. Solih won with 58% of the vote after promising to restore democracy and improve relations with the West. He also vowed to take a harder line against Chinese investment. 
The Wall Street Journal would repeat a now familiar narrative promoted by the US regarding China's One Belt, One Road initiative, claiming:
Alarmists say climate change means the Maldives will be underwater soon, but predatory loans could drown the nation’s finances first. China began investing heavily in the country’s public works in recent years. A 2017 International Monetary Fund report found that its debt-to-GDP ratio “rose nearly 11.5 percentage points from 2014-16.” Its external debt could hit 51.2% of GDP by 2021 thanks to Chinese projects. The IMF says servicing this debt will cost about $92 million a year for four years, while the government takes in only about $1 billion a year.
It is interesting that the Wall Street Journal cites the IMF, a Western-dominated financial institution notorious for its own debt traps, debt traps nations were placed into minus the tangible public works China is building across Eurasia.

As for claims that the Maldives have turned "back toward democracy," nothing could be further from the truth.

America's Proxies in the Maldives Not the Democrats They've Been Made out to Be  

The victorious opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, is headed by former Maldives president, now fugitive Mohamed Nasheed.

Nasheed had been president from 2008-2012. He was forced to resign after being charged with terrorism.

In 2015, he was finally convicted and sentenced to 13 years in jail. After significant pressure from the West, the Maldives allowed Nasheed to travel to the UK on grounds of receiving medical treatment. Nasheed was subsequently granted asylum by the UK government and has worked to return himself to power ever since.


Many reports across the Western media categorically (and likely intentionally) fail to provide details regarding the charges and convictions.

This is because the details tell an astounding story of Western hypocrisy and reveal America's proxies in the Maldives as being as repressive as they've claimed their opponents to be.

The terrorist charges were linked to Nasheed's jailing of a judge in 2012. Western media accounts have since omitted the details of this arrest for obvious reasons, but a BBC article published in a January 2012 titled, "Maldivian army arrests senior judge Abdulla Mohamed," would admit at the time that:
A government statement said the judge, Abdulla Mohamed, had allowed "his judicial decisions to be determined by political and personal affiliations". The arrest comes after he released an opposition leader who had been detained for allegedly defaming the government.
The BBC would further elaborate:
Opposition [to Nasheed's government] activists said that the arrest was in retaliation for the judge ruling that the detention of opposition leader Mohamed Jameel Ahmed one day earlier was illegal, AP news agency reported. 

Mr Ahmed had been arrested for allegedly defaming the government in a television interview. 
In other words, America's "pro-democracy" ally in the Maldives, had jailed an opponent for merely criticising his government on television, then jailed the judge who ruled the imprisonment illegal.

Nasheed's repression is precisely what the US, UK and their virtual army of supposed human rights organisations had used as a basis to label Yameen's government as "repressive."

Nasheed's National Endowment for Democracy Connection

While the Western media has hardly made it a secret that Nasheed and his Maldivian Democratic Party are Washington and London's proxies in a power struggle with Beijing, some of the details of Nasheed's escape to the UK and his activities there since provide greater context to American meddling in the Maldives, contradicting any remaining notion that recent elections had anything to do with democracy.



A 2017 panel discussion organised by the University of Michigan titled, "The Island President's Struggle for Democracy and Environmental Justice in the Maldives," would describe Nasheed's escape as follows:
With his health deteriorating, he managed to find exile in London with the help from international lawyers Jared Genser, Amal Clooney, and Ben Emmerson. He continues his tireless efforts to promote democracy in his homeland and is now poised to pursue presidency again in his beloved homeland.
Nasheed's international lawyer, Jared Genser, also spoke at the panel. His biography was also illuminating (our emphasis):
Jared Genser is Managing Director of Perseus Strategies, a law and consulting firm that focuses on human rights, humanitarian, and corporate social responsibility projects. He is also Founder of Freedom Now, a non-governmental organization that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide. Genser was an Associate of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University from 2014-2016, a Visiting Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy from 2006-2007, and was previously named by the National Law Journal as one of “40 Under 40: Washington’s Rising Stars.” Before founding Perseus Strategies,
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is openly Washington's primary means of influencing, infecting, coercing and even overthrowing political orders in an industrialised process of global meddling. Genser's Freedom Now is one of many organisations working in parallel with the NED, and is funded by many of the same government and corporate foundation sponsors.