ตะวันตกพบหุ่นเชิดผู้เป็นปฏิปักษ์ต่อจีนคนใหม่ในการเลือกตั้งไทย

West Finds New Anti-China Puppet in Wake of Thai Elections (Original English) 
ตะวันตกพบหุ่นเชิดผู้เป็นปฏิปักษ์ต่อจีนคนใหม่ในการเลือกตั้งไทย 

การแทรกแทรงทางการเมืองของโลกตะวันตกเผชิญกับความพ่ายแพ้อีกครั้ง คราวนี้ในแถบเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ที่ประเทศไทย 


ด้วยประชากรณ์กว่า 70 ล้านคน และเป็นเขตเศรษฐกิจที่มีขนาดใหญ่เป็นอันดับ 2 ของภูมิภาคเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ และกำลังก้าวสู่การเป็นพันธมิตรระดับภูมิภาคที่สำคัญในนโยบาย One Belt, One Road ของจีน ทำให้สหรัฐและพันธมิตรต้องการจะหนุนฝ่ายที่เป็นปฏิปักษ์ต่อจีนขึ้นสู่อำนาจในการเลือตั้งของไทยเมื่อเดือนมีนาคมที่ผ่านมา
อย่างไรก็ตาม พรรคพลังประชารัฐซึ่งมีความเกี่ยวโยงกับกองทัพได้คะแนนความนิยมที่สูงกว่า ทำให้ฝ่ายปฏิปักษ์ที่มีสหรัฐหนุนหลังพบกับความพ่ายแพ้ร้ายแรงในการเลือกตั้งเป็นครั้งแรก นับตั้งแต่ขึ้นสู่อำนาจเป็นครั้งแรกในปี 2544 

ฝ่ายปฏิปักษ์ที่มีสหรัฐหนุนมีผู้นำคืออดีตนายกรัฐมนตรี ทักษิณ ชินวัตร มหาเศรษฐี นักโทษหนีคดีผู้ลี้ภัยทางการเมือง เขาถูกโค่นล้มจากอำนาจในปี 2549 ภายหลังมีข้อครหาการคอรัปชัน การละเมิดสิทธิมนุษยชน และการพยายามจะกุมอำนาจรัฐทั้งหมดไว้ทกับตัวโดยมิชอบด้วยกฎหมาย 

จากนั้นมาทักษิณได้พยายามจะหวนคืนสู่อำนาจผ่านทางการใช้ตัวแทนหลายคน ซึ่งหนึ่ในนั้นมีน้องสาวของตน ยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร ผู้ซึ่งได้เป็นนายกรัฐมนตรีตั้งปี 2554 ถึง 2557 และเฉกเช่นเดียวกับพี่ชาย ได้ถูกโค่นล้มจากอำนาจโดยการแทรกแทรงของศาลและกองทัพ 

นอกจากพรรคเพื่อไทยแล้ว ทักษิณ ชินวัตร ยังคุมกลุ่มผู้ชุมนุมบนท้องถนนที่นิยมความรุนแรงที่รู้จักกันในนาม "เสื้อแดง" ในขณะเดียวกัน ทักษิณ ชินวัตร ก็ได้รับการสนับสนุนจากเหล่าเอ็นจีโอที่ได้รับเงินทุนจากสหรัฐ , กลุ่ม”นกเคลื่อนไหวนักศึกษา” และได้รับการสนับสนุนอย่างล้นหลามจากสื่อตะวันตก 

Battlefield Libya: Fruits of US-NATO Regime Change

April 10, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Libya is back in the news, as fighting escalates around the capital, Tripoli.


Forces under the control of Khalifa Haftar - a former Libyan general under the government of Muammar Qaddafi - turned opposition during the 2011 US-led NATO intervention - turned "opposition" again against the UN-backed "Government of National Accord" (GNA) seated in Tripoli - have most recently reached Tripoli's airport.

The confusing chaos that has continually engulfed Libya since 2011 should come as no surprise. It is the predictable outcome that follows any US-led political or military intervention. Other examples showcasing US-led regime change "success" include Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine.

And just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine - the Western corporate media has regularly omitted mention of Libya from headlines specifically to mask the very predictable consequences of US-led regime change as additional interventions against nations like Venezuela, Syria, and Iran are engineered and pursued.

Battlefield Libya 

In 2011, the North African nation of Libya was transformed from a prosperous, developing nation, into a divided, perpetual battlefield where local warlords backed by a milieu of opposing foreign sponsors and interests have vied for power since.

Libya's current status as a failed, warring state is owed entirely to the US-led NATO intervention in 2011.

Predicated on lies promoted by Western-funded "human rights" organizations and fought under the pretext of R2P (responsibility to protect) - the US and its NATO allies dismembered Libya leading to predictable and perpetual chaos that has affected not only Libya itself, but North Africa, Southern Europe, and even the Middle East.

The war immediately triggered not only a wave of refugees fleeing the war itself, but the redirection of refugees from across Africa seeking shelter and work in Libya, across the Mediterranean and into Europe instead.

Militants fighting as proxies for the US-led war in 2011 would be armed and redeployed to Turkey where they entered Syria and played a key role in taking the cities of Idlib and Aleppo during the early stages of that US-led proxy war.

Currently, Libya is divided between the UN-backed government based in Tripoli, eastern-based forces loyal to Haftar, and a mix of other forces operating across the country, holding various degrees of control over Libya's other major cities, and equally varying degrees of loyalty to the UN-backed government, Haftar's forces, or other factions.

Fighting around Tripoli has even allegedly prompted US military forces stationed in Libya to temporarily evacuate. CNBC in its article, "US pulls forces from Libya as fighting approaches capital," would report:
The United States has temporarily withdrawn some of its forces from Libya due to “security conditions on the ground,” a top military official said Sunday as a Libyan commander’s forces advanced toward the capital of Tripoli and clashed with rival militias. 

A small contingent of American troops has been in Libya in recent years, helping local forces combat Islamic State and al-Qaida militants, as well as protecting diplomatic facilities.
The presence of US forces in Libya might be news to some - and was certainly only a dream within the Pentagon until after the 2011 US-led NATO intervention finally toppled the Libyan government.

America's foreign policy of arsonist-fireman has endowed it with a large and still growing military footprint in Africa - one it uses to project power and affect geopolitics well beyond the continent.

America's Growing Footprint in Africa 

The ongoing Libyan conflict - flush with weapons pouring in from foreign sponsors - has also fuelled regional terrorism impacting neighboring Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, and Chad, as far west as Mali and Nigeria, and southeast as far as Kenya. The war has been a boon for US Africa Command (AFRICOM) which has used the resulting chaos as a pretext to expand Washington's military footprint on the continent.


In a 2018 Intercept article titled, "U.S. Military Says it has a "Light Footprint" in Africa. These Documents Show a Vast Network of Bases," it was reported that:
According to a 2018 briefing by AFRICOM science adviser Peter E. Teil, the military’s constellation of bases includes 34 sites scattered across the continent, with high concentrations in the north and west as well as the Horn of Africa. These regions, not surprisingly, have also seen numerous U.S. drone attacks and low-profile commando raids in recent years.
The article notes that much of AFRICOM's expansion in Africa has occurred over the past decade.

While the pretext for US military expansion in Africa has been "counter-terrorism," it is clear US military forces are there to protect US interests and project US power with "terrorism" a manufactured pretext to justify Washington's militarization of the continent.


West Finds New Anti-China Puppet in Wake of Thai Elections

April 8, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Western political meddling abroad faced another serious setback - this time in the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.


With a population of 70 million people, the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia, and transforming into a key regional partner for Beijing and its One Belt, One Road initiative, the US and its partners sought to propel opposition parties into power during recent elections held in March.

However, the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) won the popular vote, delivering US-backed opposition parties their first serious defeat at the polls since rising to power in 2001.

The US-backed Thai opposition is led by fugitive billionaire, ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted from power in 2006 after a series of corruption scandals, human rights abuses, and attempts to illegally consolidate power.

Shinawatra has since attempted to return to power through a series of nepotist proxies including his sister Yingluck Shinawatra who served as prime minister from 2011-2014 until likewise being ousted by judicial and military intervention.

In addition to Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai political party, he also maintains a violent street front known as the "red shirts," and is bolstered by US-funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), "student activist" groups, and extensive support throughout the Western corporate media.

In the most recent election, Shinawatra divided his political forces into multiple parties in a hedging strategy meant to preserve at least one party against disbanding for serving illegally as the fugitive's proxies.

In addition to Pheu Thai, Shinawatra also fielded Thai Raksa Chart, Pheu Tham, Pheu Chart, and Future Forward.

US Finds "New" Proxy in "Future Forward" 

While Pheu Thai and other parties are openly run by Shinawatra as proxies, the latter - Future Forward - has attempted to claim it is not a nominee party.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The party - headed by billionaire Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit (normally referred to as Thanathorn) - not only promotes an identical agenda of removing Thailand's military from politics - thus paving Shinawatra's return to power - it literally established its party headquarters next door to Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party. It includes various pro-Shinawatra politicians in its party, and was promoted by Shinawatra's Thai Raska Chart (TRC) party as a nominee after TRC's disbanding ahead of elections. 

Thanathorn himself is co-heir of the Jungrungreangkit fortune accumulated by his late father, and since taken over by his mother. The Jungrungreangkit family has long allied itself with Shinawatra.

Media interests the family controls have served as stalwart supporters of Shinawatra and his political agenda for years. This support extends itself to promoting the same Western interests and agendas that in turn are sponsoring and benefiting from Shinawatra's bid to return to power.


Thanathorn himself - ahead of elections - went out of his way to court foreign interests and support - including visits with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and speaking at venues like the Concordia Summit - chaired by inveterate regime change promoters and pro-war advocates including John Negroponte and David Petraeus, as well as representatives of verified dictatorships like Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.   

Thanathorn has repeatedly declared his intentions to roll back joint Thai-Chinese infrastructure projects and slash the Thai military's budget, undermining its ability to fend of foreign interference - both foreign policy dreams long sought after by Washington.

It should come as no surprise then to see concerted support across the Western corporate media for Thanathorn and his Future Forward Party - as an alternative to supporting Shinawatra whose credibility and popularity are flagging despite years of extensive Western lobbying.


Western "Rights Advocates" Rush to Chechen "Activist's" Aid

April 7, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth recently decried legal proceedings against the alleged "leading human rights defender in Chechnya," Oyub Titiyev.



But as with much of what HRW decries, Titiyev has less to do with actually defending human rights, and more to do with ongoing US-subversion in Russia's southern Chechen Republic.

Roth, in a social media post, would claim:
The Russian government's "case" against the leading human rights defender in Chechnya, Oyub Titiyev, is farcical--as many holes as Swiss cheese--but authorities have still locked him up for 14 months and are threatening a four-year sentence.
The article Roth's post would include, leads to an opinion piece in The Moscow Times (written by fellow HRW regional director, Rachel Denber) who insists Titiyev is innocent of drug charges based entirely on Titiyev and his lawyer's own claims.

Whether Titiyev is guilty or not is for Russia's courts to decide. However, the entire process of mobilizing supposed human rights advocacy organizations like HRW to rush to Titiyev's aid illustrates how "rights advocacy" is transparently used to advance politically-motivated agendas, not to actually advance human rights.

No matter what the evidence against Titiyev, HRW and others would claim the charges against him were politically motivated. It is an example of foreign-funded organizations attempting to assert themselves over a nation's sovereign right to manage its own internal affairs, including by overriding local law enforcement and judicial processes.

But there is much more to consider regarding Titiyev's case than this.

Terrorism as Washington's Sword, "Rights Advocacy" as its Shield

Russia's Chechen Republic had previously seen two wars as armed separatists attempted to carve out an independent region from Russian territory. From 1994-1996 and again from 1999-2009 militants waged both open war and an armed insurgency against Russian forces until eventually Moscow prevailed.

Today, attempts to rekindle divisions, upheaval and even violence have been the primary goal of both US-funded and directed "rights advocates" like HRW and US-backed militants, though admittedly Russia now has the upper hand.

As the United States has been revealed to have done elsewhere, the Russian government has accused it of lending direct aid to Chechen militants.

A 2015 BBC article titled, "Russia's Putin: US agents gave direct help to Chechens," would note:
Vladimir Putin has accused US agents of directly aiding rebel fighters in the second Chechen war.   
In order for fighters to have contested Russian control over Chechnya, they would require equal or greater financial and military support than that committed by Moscow. State sponsorship would be the only way of achieving this and the list of potential states both capable and motivated to back Chechen militants is exceedingly short.


In Iraq, as US Influence Ebbs, Iran's Flows

March 31, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - In the dead of Christmas night last year, to evade possibly being shot down, US President Donald Trump made a surprise, whirlwind visit to US troops in Iraq.


He visited Al Asad Air Base about 100 miles west of Baghdad in Al Anbar province, or about halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border where US forces are also operating. Between Al Asad and Baghdad are the notorious cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, hotbeds of resistance after the 2003 US invasion, and since then, hotbeds of extremism fueling the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.

The base is home to about 5,000 US service members. 

As in Syria, America's presence in Iraq seems to be clinging to areas where extremism and separatism are greatest. In many instances, it is the US openly and deliberately encouraging both, especially in Kurdish territory stretching over both nations, but also in areas dominated by Sunni Muslims where extremist fronts like Al Qaeda and IS believe they can find support.

The fact that President Trump visited American forces in the dead of night, meeting no one from the actual Iraqi military or government, helps illustrate the increasingly isolated position the US holds in Iraq.

While the US claims it is fighting extremists from Syria to Iraq and beyond, with Syrian, Russian, Iranian and Iraqi forces clearing these extremists out of virtually all corners of Syria and Iraq except where US forces occupy, it seems the US isn't fighting extremism, it is cultivating it. 

Enter Iran

Several months later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made his first official visit to Iraq. His trip brought him to the center of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. There he met with top representatives of the Iraqi government including Iraqi President Barham Salih. He also travelled through the city to visit Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, a particularly important pilgrimage site for Shia'a Muslims.


President Rouhani had previously commented on Trump's swooping in at night and his failure to meet with any actual Iraqis in an open and official capacity. The Washington Post would quote President Rouhani as also stating:
“You have to walk in the streets of Baghdad ... to find out how people will welcome you.”
In addition to meeting Iraqi representatives and leaders, and travelling through Baghdad, President Rouhani also signed agreements involving "oil and gas, land transport, railways, agriculture, industry, health and regarding the central bank," the Washington Post would report.

French news portal France24 would note in their article, "Iraq attempts balancing act as Iran’s Rouhani arrives for first official visit," that:
Last year, Iran's exports to Iraq amounted to nearly $9 billion. Tehran hopes to increase the roughly $13 billion volume in trade between the two neighbouring countries to $20 billion. Also, some 5 million religious tourists bring in nearly $5 billion a year as Iraqis and Iranians visit Shiite holy sites in the two countries.
The article would note the growing ties between the two nations and the growing influence Iran has over Iraq in contrast to America's ebbing presence there.

Iraq-Iran Ties are Built on Mutual Interests - US Ties are Built on Fabricated Threats 

The Trump-Rouhani visits and the stark contrast between the two illustrates another very important point.

President Trump would openly admit the US was in Iraq to "to watch Iran," the New York Times would report.