West Backs Dangerous Myanmar-style Attempt to Divide Thailand Along Religious Lines

(George Soros chairs & funds the Crisis Group)
August 23, 2016 (The New Atlas) - Matthew Wheeler of the International Crisis Group (sometimes referred to as ICG or simply, the Crisis Group), recently wrote an editorial in the New York Times titled, "Can Thailand Really Hide a Rebellion?" The editorial took a coercive tone, with its final paragraph appearing almost as a threat, stating:
It would be shortsighted and self-defeating of the generals running Thailand to insist on dismissing these latest attacks as a partisan vendetta unconnected to the conflict in the south. They should recognize the insurgency as a political problem requiring a political solution. That means restoring the rights of freedom of expression and assembly to Thai citizens, engaging in genuine dialogue with militants, and finding ways to devolve power to the region.
Wheeler's editorial intentionally misleads readers with various distortions and critical omissions, mischaracterising Thailand's ongoing political crisis almost as if to fan the flames of conflict, not douse them as is the alleged mission of the Crisis Group.

Wheeler's recommendations to allow violent opposition groups back into the streets for another cycle of deadly clashes (which have nothing to do with the southern insurgency) while "devolving power" to armed insurgents in the deep south appear to be a recipe for encouraging a much larger crisis, not resolving Thailand's existing problems.

Wheeler never provides evidence linking the bombings to the insurgency or provides any explanation as to why the insurgency, after decades of confining its activities to Thailand's southern most provinces, would escalate its violence so dramatically. Wheeler also intentionally sidesteps any mention of evidence or facts that indeed indicate a "partisan vendetta."

Instead, his narrative matches almost verbatim that promoted by the primary suspects behind the bombings, ousted former-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters.

Wheeler's distortions include an intentional omission of the scale of violence Shinawatra and his followers have carried out in the past, as well as the political significance of the provinces targeted in the recent bombings in connection to Shinawatra's conflict with the current ruling government, not the insurgency's,

The provinces targeted represented political strongholds of anti-Shinawatra political leaders and activists, all of whom have no connection at all to the ongoing conflict in Thailand's deep south.

Crisis Group is Covering up an Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict

More alarming are Wheeler's attempts to cite growing tensions in Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai between Buddhists and Muslims as evidence, he claims, of the real dimensions of Thailand's conflict. Wheeler is attempting to claim Thailand is experiencing a potential nationwide religious divide, separate from Shinawatra's struggle to seize back power.

NATO Nukes in Romania: Rumor Mill Vs. Reality

August 22, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Unconfirmed reports regarding the US moving nuclear weapons it reportedly maintains at Incirlik Airbase, Turkey to Romania (a NATO member since 2004) made the rounds last week. It is just one of many stories surrounding the apparent fallout between the United States and its stalwart ally and fellow NATO member, Turkey.

Following a failed coup in July, Turkey has accused the US openly of orchestrating the attempted overthrow of the government. Despite this, US forces continue operating from Turkish territory, and according to official reports, American nuclear weapons remain in Turkey.

But what if they were being moved? And if not to Romania as Romanian officials insist, to another NATO members state, what would this mean? And if they are not being moved, who started this rumor and why?

NATO Nuclear Sharing 

The US currently maintains nuclear weapons in a number of NATO countries (Turkey, Belgium, Italy, German and the Netherlands) under a "nuclear sharing" program that dates back to the Cold War. The impact of joining this program is politically and strategically significant. There are risks and responsibilities involved with hosting US nuclear weapons, and those nations that seek to opt out once in the program can struggle for years before these weapons are finally removed from their territory.

A 2009 Der Spiegel article titled, "Yankee Bombs Go Home: Foreign Minister Wants US Nukes out of Germany," highlights just how difficult this can be, especially considering that as of 2016, US nuclear weapons remain in Germany, and as Deutsche Welle points out, new weapons may even be on their way.

Syria: China and Iran Join Russia in Larger Role

August 19, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Several developments this week mark an increase of activity from Syria's allies, Russia, Iran and now China.

These include a Russian-Iranian agreement to use Iranian territory to position Russian Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bombers as well as Iranian and Iraqi airspace for both the bombers and Russian cruise missiles to pass through on their way to militant targets in Syria.

It also includes China's recent pledge to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people as well as military support for Syrian government troops in their fight to restore order nationwide.

The Details

The BBC would report in its article, "Syrian conflict: Russian bombers use Iran base for air strikes," that:
Russia's defence ministry says it has used a base in western Iran to carry out air strikes in Syria. 

Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi-34 strike fighters took off from Hamedan on Tuesday, a statement said. 

Targets were hit in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir al-Zour provinces, it added.
The BBC would also report:
Last week, Russia asked Iran and Iraq to allow Russian cruise missiles to fly through their airspace for attacks on terrorist targets in Syria.
It should be noted that Russian Tu-22Ms have already been used during Russia's operations in Syria, however they have been based in southern Russia. Moving them forward west of Tehran, allows for shorter and more frequent missions, saving fuel and time. This further strengthening of Russian-Iranian ties come amid the delivery of Russian S-300 anti-air defense systems to Iran as part of an $800 million contract signed in 2007.

US "Colour Revolution" Haunts Cambodia

August 16, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Washington's friends in Southeast Asia, with only a few exceptions, have had a difficult time in recent years. Their favourite billionaire-politician Thaksin Shinawatra has been repeatedly ousted from politics in Thailand, Anwar Ibrahim now resides in jail in Malaysia and prospective friends in The Philippines and Indonesia appear more interested in doing business, or at least in smoothing over relations with Beijing, than investing too deeply in Washington's various and risky regional projects.

Washington's Man (Sometimes) in Phnom Penh

Then there is opposition leader Mr. Sam Rainsy of Cambodia. The US State Department's VOA (Voice of America) media platform describes him as "self-exiled." He has been an opposition politician in Cambodia for decades, and in between inciting unrest and subsequently fleeing abroad to France before being regularly pardoned and allowed to return home, he has served as a constant contributing factor to the nation's instability.

Rainsy plays a balancing act between tapping into Cambodian nationalism, thus co-opting popular government stances such as cultivating greater ties with China, as well as seeking Western backing to weaken, even topple the government to pave his own way into power.

VOA's recent article on Rainsy, "Cambodian Opposition Leader Says Europe Considering Sanctions," does much in explaining the vector he serves through which pressure is exerted upon the ruling circles in Phnom Penh by the West.

The article claims:
Self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy is lobbying the European Parliament (EP) to impose measures on Cambodia in the wake of a concerted government crackdown on dissent and the murder of a prominent government critic last week.
For a political leader to seek foreign sanctions against his own nation, especially in light of the demonstrable damage they have incurred elsewhere around the world, seems to indicate Rainsy's motivation is less in serving the Cambodian people, and more in serving himself. For the Cambodian voters he seeks to court in upcoming elections, the fact that he has attempted to seek favour among the nation's former colonial rulers in order to place economic pressure on the nation in a bid to place himself into power, seem to chaff against his own previous attempts to use nationalism politically.

Thailand Gets the Libya-Syria Treatment

August 14, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Just as the Western media attempted to hide the true nature of violence unfolding in Libya and Syria during the opening phases of the so-called "Arab Spring," it is now attempting to do likewise regarding the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.

Between August 11-12 and within a 24 hour period, several bombs detonated in four separate regions of Thailand including Trang, the resort city of Hua Hin, Phuket, and Surat Thani. Several deaths were reported and dozens were maimed as shrapnel tore through their bodies.

The Western media was quick to blame the violence on southern separatists - however - that low-intensity conflict over the course of several decades has never ventured into any of the areas recently struck. There also is a matter of no motive existing for such a drastic escalation.

What the Western media intentionally is omitting, however, or ambiguously referring to dozens of paragraphs down within their respective reports, is that the primary suspects are instead the US-backed opposition headed by ousted ex-Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra, his Pheu Thai political party (PTP), and his ultra-violent street front, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as "red shirts."

They possess the means and the motive, and the targets and timing also all point to them.

The areas hit are all strongholds of anti-Shinawatra sentiment, including areas with leadership who helped oust his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power in 2014. Hua Hin also serves as a second residence to the nation's highly-revered king who also serves as head of state.

The timing coincided with Thailand's Mothers' Day, which is also a day Thais celebrate their royal institution. Shinawatra and his followers have spent years attempting to undermine and overthrow this institution, seeking to replace it with a political dynasty headed by Shinawatra's family.

The attacks also take place just days after a democratic referendum overwhelmingly approved a new national charter that all but ended any prospects of Shinawatra returning to power.

Finally, there is also the matter of Shinawatra's enthusiastic use of violence and terrorism as political tools, on a scale much wider than ever seen in the nation's troubled southern region.