The change of guard in the American White House has proved that nothing has changed from the Trump regime with respect to US foreign policy. President Biden and his party continue the American propaganda attacks on Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other nations that try to march to their own tune, and will continue preparations for aggressive actions focused on Russia, Iran and China, in other words for war against those nations.
Already, in just the first week of Biden’s presidency we have witnessed the attempt to weaken Russia internally with the Navalny gambit being used as a device to undermine Russia. The Navalny scenario cannot succeed but the Americans will not stop at that. During that same week, Biden diverted the aircraft carrier, USS Roosevelt, a ship named after a president who a number of historians believe did not die a natural death, from its recent mission of threatening Iran in the Persian Gulf, to a new mission of threatening China in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straight, and China’s important sea trade routes that are concentrated in that region.
While the Democratic Party accused Trump of being a Russian agent, his supporters claim Biden is a Chinese agent. Americans take these absurd claims seriously because they need to believe in foreign scapegoats who they can punish for the failures of their own government and an economic, social and political system that is incapable of solving the many problems facing that declining power and its people.
But the propaganda has become so constant and intense that it takes on a life of its own and becomes an important factor in making decisions. It has been successful in creating hostility and bigotry towards China and Russia that the hegemon uses as a pretext to increase its preparations for war against both countries if they do not bend down and kiss America’s feet.
The American-NATO encirclement of Eurasia progresses with NATO building up its offensive capabilities in the west from the Baltic down to the Mediterranean, through the Black Sea, the Middle East, Afghanistan, to the east with its huge build up of forces in the Pacific, its constant provocations in Chinese territorial waters, in Hong Kong, in western China and its support of the renegade regime in the province of Taiwan. This has reached such a level that China, frustrated with refusal of the Americans to answer continuous calls for dialogue is prepared for war over Taiwan if that is what it takes to defend China’s sovereignty.
But these direct military threats are not the only means they are using to attack and undermine Russia and China. They use regional alliances, economic blockades, labelled as “sanctions,” cyber warfare, all forms of hybrid warfare to try to weaken them.
The situation in Thailand is a prime example of this strategy. One of the few nations of southeast Asia to escape European imperialism and colonialism, it maintains its independence while trying to balance between competing powers in the region. After the Second World War it cooperated with the United States in its war against Vietnam and fought against communists in its own country, allowed the US to use some of its military bases for their operations and engaged in annual joint military exercises called Cobra Gold.
During most of that time the Americans were not too concerned with “human rights” or “democracy” in Thailand. But since the rise of China from the devastation caused by the west’s colonialism, the invasion and occupation by the Japanese and has succeeded in establishing socialism, a better life for its people and become a world economic power, Thailand has come to regard China as a more reliable and sympathetic regional partner than the United States both in terms of economic issues and with respect to security.
The decline of the influence of the United States in the region and the rise of China’s influence, particularly since the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative, has led logically to Thailand seeking closer relations with China, something which the United States cannot tolerate.
The United States has tried to restore its influence in the region but aside from Japan, and South Korea, still occupied by US forces, and Australia, which enthusiastically supports the US aggression, it has not succeeded in luring other Asian nations away from good relations with China. But it has not stopped trying, and if it cannot persuade or force a government to adhere to its will, it goes to the next step of attempting to overthrow the existing government and replacing it with one more willing to be its vassal.
The Arab Spring, so-called was an example of this strategy. Libya was the result. The Americans have tried this with Vietnam, and The Philippines, among other nations, and is trying with Thailand. To do this it sings the worn out tune of “democracy” of “human rights” and demands the “democratisation of Thailand” and an overthrow of its constitutional monarchy.
That these calls are sheer hypocrisy the world knows all too well. The United States has never supported any democratic government, whether socialist or capitalist, that does not serve its interests and has supported dictatorships the world over. Where is democracy in Afghanistan occupied by the US, and its allies, for 20 years? Where in Iraq, in Rwanda, in Libya, the former Yugoslavia, or any other country it has invaded or whose government it has overthrown? Where is the democracy in the United States where only two political parties are allowed to share power, each almost a mirror image of the other, and representing not the people but two factions of capital, one of which, represented by Trump, a nationalist faction, and the other, now represented by Biden, a “globalist” faction, which seeks to break the world into small pieces they can easily to dominate for their profit.
Just as it has tried in Hong Kong, in Belarus, in Myanmar, in other places around the world from Africa to Latin America, the United States is increasing its attempts to undermine the Thai government in order to replace it with one that will serve its interests and which will be opposed to China’s influence in the region and its Belt and Road Imitative. One of the Americans’ key strategies to accomplish this objective is by backing what they calls “democratic groups,” or “ the civil society,” and “human rights” groups.
On December 3, 2020 nine US Senators submitted to the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Congress a Resolution aimed at Thailand which among things,
“Calls on the United States Government to support the right of the people of Thailand to peacefully and democratically determine their future;
and, Unequivocally states that a military coup to resolve the current political crisis would be counter-productive and risk further undermining bilateral relations between the United States and Thailand.”
In other words the United States is directly interfering in the internal affairs of Thailand, something that it will not tolerate from other nations with respect to itself as we saw in the recent US elections and the false American claims of Russian and Chinese influence in the elections.
The United States also tries to manipulate the Thai people, especially the youth, through numerous so-called non-governmental organisations funded by the battalion of agencies it has created to support and encourage them. It flows funds and expertise and personnel through a number of its agencies set up to interfere in other nations under the guise of “supporting democracy” including the National Endowment For Democracy, USAID, the CIA The Peace Corps and related agencies. It also uses military-technical cooperation aimed at gaining influence over young officers in the armed forces, and scholarships to American universities for students they have identified as useful to them in the future. It’s influence has also been exerted through outside agents, for example some of the British and US financed and controlled “protestors” from Hong Kong travelled to Bangkok land Thai “democracy” activists visited Hong Kong last year to stir up trouble and advised local groups on tactics, even styles of dress and colour codes.
To get some idea of the extent of American interference in Thai domestic politics we need only look at a US State Department Fact Sheet for Thailand, which brags about, “the US Peace Corps Volunteers, active in Thailand since 1963,”
The Peace Corps has long been known as a conduit for the CIA to infiltrate nations and gain influence over people. They go on to state,
‘The US government funds more than 30 exchange programs in Thailand to connect Thai youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and rising leaders to their counterparts in the USA and the ASEAN region…”
This is not done out of the goodness of their heart but to identify and control youth who regard as potentially useful to them as collaborators willing to advance US interests over Thai national interests. They add,
“Thailand’s alumni community from US government programs is robust, with more than 5,000 members hailing from the Fulbright Program, International Visitors Leadership Program, the Young South East Asian Leadership Initiative and other programs. The Leadership Initiative has grown to nearly 15,000 members in Thailand since its inception in 2013, 500 of whom have travelled to the US,” and they should have added for indoctrination.
The American organisation USAID (Agency For International Development is very active in Thailand. Their fact sheet states that,
“Recognising the numerous opportunities for and challenges to democracy in Thailand, USAID has committed to working with civil society, the media, and independent agencies to strengthen government transparency and accountability and bring together citizens and government to build a more fair and just society.’
It is astonishing that such a statement can be made when they have not succeeded in establishing a just and fair society in the United States, but America is famous or notorious for its hypocrisy. And, of course, the “challenges” in their view are the Thai government itself, whose constitutional monarchy established in 1932 is not good enough for the Americans to tolerate thought it tolerates them and absolute monarchies among many of its allies, from many NATO countries to the Gulf States.
One of the main tools used to interfere in nations targeted by the USA is the National Endowment For Democracy, whose function used to be under the aegis of the CIA. It states on its website that in 2017 (the latest year available on their site but we can assume nothing has changed since then) that,
‘The Endowment prioritized countries in Asia that faced “fundamental democratic deficits” and states that it has switched significant resources to Thailand.’
It then lists a number of groups and organisations in Thailand to which it has given funds, all having the objective of bringing “democratic values” to Thailand, meaning in reality funding groups used to manipulate the people into overthrowing the present government to replace it with, not a better one, but one willing to supports US interests instead of its own, willing to surrender Thai sovereignty.
The list includes a number with the words “human rights” included in their name. Other examples are the Union For Civil Liberty, Café Democracy, The Thai Volunteer Service, The Solidarity Centre, the EnlawThai Foundation, online media platforms such as 101 Perecent Company Ltd. and The Isaan Record,
US influence is also exerted by the Soros Open Society Foundation, whose name reflects not a respect for democracy but for the opening up of national economies to the free flow of western capital to make profit. George Soros has a bad reputation in Thailand as it believed by many that he helped crash the Thai currency in 1997, harming the Thai people, but profiting him. Soros also funds the Thai journal Prachatai and various ngos as well as the US organisation, Human Rights Watch, to which he gave 100 million dollars in 2010 and which on January 13, 2021 issued a statement condemning the Thai government for repression of protests and encouraging students to carry out further protests.
One can imagine what the US government would do if Russia or China or Thailand called for protestors for democracy in the US to increase their activities there. But of course, the Americans are an exceptional people, above all laws and morality, always asserting their right to judge others while denying the right of others to judge them.
In their important 1999 paper on military theory, “Unrestricted Warfare,” two Chinese Army Colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansiu, now both generals, I believe, advanced the idea that the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden. They then examined the use of full spectrum warfare and why it is the only strategy to adopt in order to resist a powerful aggressor who does not obey international rules but makes up its own, such as the United States which, as they point out, cannot even be trusted to obey its own rules. How can anyone trust a nation that seems to have the same motto as the Mediterranean pirate chief in the middle ages who said, “Law? I make up my own laws and I take what I want.”
The United States has adopted this type of warfare for its own purposes and the undermining of a nation from within is one of their most dangerous types of this kind of warfare.
Thailand, like Russia, China, and other nations, must ever be alert to the dangers represented by the many tentacles of American influence that have spread across the world and threaten world peace and security. They must demand that the United States respect and adhere to the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations; the sovereignty of nations, the right to self-determination of and non-interference in nations, and the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations. The Americans want us to forget about those principles. But we cannot. We will not.”
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”