08.04.2014 Author: Tony Cartalucci

A Tale of Two Protests: Ukraine and Thailand – End Game

image (1)Nothing illustrates the bottomless hypocrisy of the West’s alleged principles more than its stance on two simultaneously unfolding political conflicts – one raging in Eastern Europe’s Ukraine, the other in Southeast Asia’s Thailand.

Not only is the West’s rhetorical stance on each protest hypocritical, but the support they have demonstrably lent to players in each conflict illustrates a troubling pattern of foreign special interests meddling in, and shaping the future of nations around the world. Such meddling is divergent of any principle it is generally done in the name of, with such principles serving merely as a facade behind which the West advances its hegemonic designs.

The Similarities…  

Both protests in Kiev, Ukraine and Bangkok, Thailand kicked off in late 2013. Both involved large crowds of protesters permanently occupying rally sites, the seizure and occupation of government buildings, the use of construction equipment to remove police barriers, and clashes with police, some of which turned deadly. Both protests were against “corrupt governments,” and both protests sought to remove from power their respective, elected governments.

 

In Ukraine…

In Ukraine’s capital of Kiev, protesters hailed from a coalition of ultra-right wing parties with long standing ties to the West. These were the benefactors of 2004’s so-called “Orange Revolution,” which on record was a US-engineered uprising designed to install into power an anti-Russian regime. The Guardian would admit in its 2004 article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” that:

…while the gains of the orange-bedecked “chestnut revolution” are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

While the Guardian attempts to justify American meddling in multiple nations as an attempt to “salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes,” it does not deny that the meddling took place and goes on to explain in great detail just how that meddling was carried out.

“Euromaidan,” heirs to the US-engineered “Orange Revolution,” are just the latest benefactors of this regime-change industrial complex. They seek to integrate Ukraine into the European Union. When the sitting government of Viktor Yanukovych backtracked on integration, the mobs came out, and did so with considerable Western backing.

When recent protests in Kiev became increasingly violent, the West portrayed the Ukrainian government as a brutal dictatorship using disproportionate force against what it claimed were “unarmed” protesters. Shortly after the fall of Viktor Yanukovych, it was admitted by the BBC itself that in fact ultra-right wing Neo-Nazi militants not only led the unrest, but were very much armed. These armed militant groups the public were repeatedly told never existed, are now being demobilized by the new regime in Kiev who is fearful they may turn their guns on them next.

Despite the opposition being led by armed groups openly professing Nazism, racism, and bigotry, the US and Europe stood stalwartly behind them. The groups advocated Ukraine’s integration into the European Union, which would put it in arm’s reach of Wall Street and London’s corporate-financier monopolies – the true and only driving principle behind the West’s support of otherwise unsavory, literal Nazis.

So stalwart was the West’s support of “Euromaidan,” US Senator John McCain flew to Kiev and took the stage, side-by-side with the leader of the ultra-right Svoboda Party. McCain has called not only for the West’s continued support of the new regime in Kiev, but also for military advisers and weapons to begin shipping out to Ukraine in what he hopes will become a new armed front against neighboring Russia.

In addition to McCain’s threats, the West has attempted to impose sanctions against prominent Ukrainians and Russians perceived as threats to the newly installed regime in Kiev. There is no doubt upon which side the West is on in Ukraine – and while they attempt to dress up those they have helped into power with “democratic” principles, even cursory inspection reveals otherwise.

In Thailand… 

8687In Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, protesters are drawn from a wide coalition of academic, political, and social causes. Prominent among them is the leading opposition party, the Democrats. Joining them is everyone from labor unions and universities, to civil servants and cheated farmers. They are drawn from across all segments of Thai society both geographically and socially.

They stand opposed to Thaksin Shinawatra. Rather than citing some sovereignty-usurping scheme the government is obstructing, as was the case in Euromaidan, protesters in Thailand are opposed to the autocratic rule of billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra who has maintained an iron grip on Thai politics for now over a decade. Currently, his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is symbolically holding the prime minister’s office, in his stead, while he openly runs the country remotely while evading a two-year jail sentence, multiple arrest warrants, and a long list of pending court cases.

He has maintained close ties to the Western corporate-financier elite since as early as the 1990s when he served as an adviser for the now notorious Carlyle Group. When he took office in 2001, he eagerly sold out Thailand’s infrastructure, natural resources, and sovereignty to Wall Street and London. He also accumulated the worst human rights record in Thai history, killing nearly 3,000 people in 90 days during a botched “War on Drugs” in 2003, killing 85 protesters in a single day in 2004, and over his first term in office, having assassinated or disappeared 18 human rights activists attempting to shed light on his systematic abuses.

Protesters see the increasingly autocratic rule of Shinawatra as an existential threat to the country. In addition to rolling back concessions Shinawatra has made to the West, since the 2011 general elections that put his sister into office, protesters are alarmed with how his proxy regime has managed to single-handedly destroy Thailand’s once world-leading rice industry. Rice exports that had set the international standard for years have fallen in both quality and quantity, with promised rice subsidies to thousands of farmers left unpaid for now over half a year as unsold, inedible rice rots in regime warehouses across the country.

Additionally, the regime has attempted to rewrite the nation’s constitution, granting themselves amnesty for a vast array of criminal offenses while eliminating provisions that limit the powers of the Prime Minister’s office – all in a clear move to extralegally exonerate Thaksin Shinawatra, allow for his return to power, and grant him expanded powers once he returns.

The West’s response to the protests has been decisive. They have leveraged their vast media machine against them, portraying them as “elitists” even as thousands of impoverished, rural farmers ebb and flow from the countryside to join their ranks. The Western media has also labeled their activity as “anti-democratic” and even “militancy.”

Unlike the Euromaidan protesters, there are no armed factions among Bangkok’s protesters. This is even with the regime itself promising a campaign of systematic terror against protesters if they do not cease and desist. TIME magazine on January 16, 2014 would report in their article, “Bangkok Shutdown: Yingluck Supporters Prepare to Fight for Democracy,” that:

As Thailand’s anti-government protests enter their fourth day, observers say prospects for violent confrontation are increasing, with reports of government supporters stockpiling weapons in case of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ouster. 

According to the Bangkok Post, radical members of the Red Shirts — diehard champions of Yingluck and her notorious brother Thaksin Shinawatra — are readying a cache of arms in case the 46-year-old premier is forced from office by either military or judicial intervention.

The paper quoted a Red Shirt source as saying “There are strong anti-coup and anti-court sentiments among the red-shirt mavericks who are familiar and experienced with weapon use.”

In addition to the West’s stalwart support for Thaksin Shinawatra across their media, like Ukraine, representatives of the West have “taken to the stage.” A recent pro-regime rally saw corporate-lobbyist Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Peroff “Skype-in” and assure regime supporters that the West was on their side (VIDEO). He implored them to discard Thailand’s courts, independent institutions and agencies, including the National Anti-Corruption Commission, and even dismiss the authority and duties of Thailand’s armed forces, alluding to what appeared to be an unchecked, absolute dictatorship of Thaksin Shinawatra and his political party.

Amsterdam, like Thaksin Shinawatra and his proxy regime, are bracing for what they call a “judicial coup,” where court cases involving the regime’s systematic abuse of power, corruption (regarding the failed rice subsidy program in particular) and continuous circumvention of the constitution are expected to result in the legal ousting of the current ruling party. In many countries, this would be considered “justice.” In the West’s version of reality, the removal of a client regime for any reason, can be considered “injustice,” requiring extreme measures. Some of these measures Robert Amsterdam himself suggested, including sanctions similar to those the West has recently imposed on Russians and Ukrainians who opposed the armed takeover of Kiev.

The End Game  

Within the West’s global order, armed Nazis seizing power in Kiev is “democracy,” while court decisions against overt corruption and abuse of power in Bangkok is considered a “coup.” What determines these considerations is clear – the utility of those it is backing in regards to Western hegemonic global expansion. While the Nazis in Kiev willingly offer Ukraine up to the European Union for plundering, Thaksin Shinawatra has been willingly doing so for decades with Thailand in the form of free trade dealsselling off national assets, and committing Thai troops and territory to the West’s global military adventures.

In Ukraine, the West appears to have at least a tenuous foothold in Kiev, even despite losing Crimea altogether and with the threat of eastern Ukraine peeling off next. The end game is still unclear, but as the West’s influence wanes elsewhere around the world, it will only further embolden those opposed to the new regime in Kiev to rise up and challenge it.

In Thailand, it appears that the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra has reached the end of its lifespan. The courts appear poised to remove his sister Yingluck Shinawatra from power, and having mismanaged the country so poorly since 2011, much of his once formidable support base has either melted away, or worse yet, joined the opposition.

His permanent removal from Thailand’s political landscape will, like Egypt’s success against the Western-backed Muslim Brotherhood, continue the irreversible decline of Western influence. While the West has busily set the narrative for a what it claims will be a “civil war” in Thailand, demographically and statistically it is impossible. Instead, the end game for Thailand will be one of terrorism employed by the ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra, one that will only further cement his departure from Thai politics and obstruct any associated with him from ever returning to power again.

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


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