Customers at a 7-Eleven just outside Bangkok, Thailand, put their shopping for Snickers bars and Slurpees on hold while a 6-foot-long monitor lizard more or less took over the store Tuesday.
What are the details?
Metro reported that the giant reptile came from a nearby canal and made its way into the convenience store.
Cellphone video of the jaw-dropping invasion showed the lizard at first attempting to open a door in the refrigerated section:
Image source: YouTube screenshot
But the creature was undeterred and proceeded to scale a nearby shelf, displaying its massive size in the process:
Image source: YouTube screenshot
This was no gecko.
But believe it or not, there wasn’t much screaming from customers — in fact, the most prominent reactions sounded like oohs and aahs with smatterings of laughter as the lizard climbed all the way to the top of the shelf and flicked its tongue:
Image source: YouTube screenshot
The lizard reportedly stayed atop the shelf next to the soft-drink machine for an hour, Metro noted.
How did the store handle its surprise visitor?
A store employee called police, the outlet said, and officers arrived with reptile handlers to snare the lizard after lunchtime.
“The rescue team arrived and chased it away,” an employee noted to Metro. “But they didn’t catch it; it just ran away into the bushes. I’ve never seen a monitor lizard that big in my life, so it was a surprise for one to come in the shop. There’s a forest behind the store, so we think it came from there.”
Narumpa Tangsin recorded video of the lizard, the outlet said.
“I only stopped at the shop to buy some food and then saw the huge monitor lizard inside,” Tangsin told Metro. “I wanted to buy a drink, but the animal was too close to the drinks aisle. They’re dangerous animals, especially when they’re angry, so I stayed back and recorded it on my phone.”
The outlet said the lizard didn’t take any food from the store and that it may have been struggling to find meals outside after months of dry weather with little rain.
Metro said Asian water monitor lizards live in canals and ponds in large cities in Thailand, where they feed on fish, snakes, frogs, and scraps of food from humans.
Monitors can be aggressive when threatened and have a mildly venomous bite that sometimes carries harmful bacteria, the outlet added, but do not tend to attack humans. Metro noted that some types of monitor lizards are kept as pets and are calm around humans.
The Honolulu Zoo said monitors — even small ones — can lash out with their tails upon the “slightest provocation.” The zoo added that the reptiles “will devour anything they are capable of dismembering and gulping down.”
March 13, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US government meddling around the globe isn’t aimed only at elections and regime change, but also at the legal processes within any given targeted nation – including referendums for things up to and including constitutional changes.
Thailand’s constitution will require 2 public referendums before being amended. This process is a matter of Thailand’s internal political affairs – but as in previous elections and regarding petitions to have the constitution rewritten in the first place – the US government and other Western special interests seek to influence and interfere in this strictly internal matter.
US government-funded fronts – through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – need to be watched carefully as Thailand prepares for these referendums while raising public awareness of this interference is essential in giving the Thai government the leverage it will need to effectively deal with it.
March 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The Thai Prime Minister recently joked with journalists – but through creative editing – the Western media was able to portray it as an “attack” all as part of a “bid to dodge some tough questions.”
I show the original clip, the edited version the West presented to the public, and the danger of nations like Thailand not having English-language media to present their side of stories to international audiences to check and balance Western disinformation.
March 6, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Reuters regularly distorts the events surrounding US-backed opposition protests in Thailand.
Far from simply being because Reuters is “Western media,” it is now confirmed that Reuters has recently worked with Western governments to carry out intelligence operations to interfere in the political affairs of nations abroad under the guise of “journalism.”
March 1, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US-backed anti-government protesters in Thailand have once again “rebranded” to shake off the image of an unpopular, violent mob only to stage a poorly attended, extremely violent protest as their first “rally.”
I explain how this is part of a wider US plan to create a regional crisis to deny China Southeast Asia as a viable economic, military, and political partner and how US-funded Thai opposition groups are working with US-funded protesters in Myanmar.
February 28, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has updated its list for programs, organizations, and companies that it is funding in Thailand to interfere in Thailand’s internal political affairs. This includes US government funding for companies that interfered in Thailand’s 2019 general election.
I explain how the NED’s board of directors is made up of people who promote wars and regime change merely behind the smokescreen of “promoting democracy” and “freedom.” I show which fronts the US has increased funding for as well as new fronts the US is now funding inside of Thailand.
I also show how the US NED through programs and companies that it funded interfered in Thailand’s 2019 general election on behalf of the US-backed billionaire opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his “Future Forward Party.”
US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – Board of Directors:
February 28, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US government-funded fronts posing as NGOs in Thailand have long undermined the image and role of legitimate nongovernmental organizations.
New legislation has been proposed in Thailand to create more transparency regarding the foreign funding of NGOs in Thailand and to regulate their activities to ensure they fall within the real of non-profit organizations working for the public benefit rather than abusive fronts merely posing as such.
February 24, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Leaked documents reveal the BBC and Reuters received secret British government contracts to interfere politically both inside Russia and in nations along Russia’s borders. It is a documented case in reality of everything (and worse) the West has accused Russia of doing in unfounded fiction.
I explain how media organizations like the BBC and Reuters serve more as extensions of Western intelligence services – using journalism as a cover and how they constitute a national security threat to every nation they operate in around the globe.
February 17, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Let’s take a look at a US-backed opposition party in Thailand – Future Forward (now renamed as the Move Forward and Progressive Movement parties).
These are parties that vow to create “equality” in Thailand – to take the “pyramid” of social order and turn it upside with “people power” at the top.
I explain how this is pure propaganda and how those selling these lies to the public in an effort to swell the ranks of US-backed anti-government mobs in the streets have organized their own parties and businesses into the very “pyramidal” structures they claim they seek to topple. They are pyramidal structures they will only make larger and more oppressive if ever they get into power.
In a wider context – these US-backed opposition groups seek to reduce or eliminate Thailand’s relationship with China in Washington’s bid to encircle and contain China.
February 15, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – A common feature of US-backed regime change is the creation and use of “medical” organizations that augment violent protesters and use their uniforms, vehicles, and facilities as a form of cover for subversion and sedition.
This is of course a breach of the principle of medical neutrality and a crime under the Geneva Conventions.
In the video above, I introduce the Thai-based “Doctors and Nurse Associate” which claims to be a medical volunteer organization and is frequently spotted at US-backed anti-government protests in Thailand. One of their medics was allegedly chased down, subdued, and arrested by Thai police.
A visit to their social media accounts reveals a very overt political agenda – often retweeting US government funded-fronts like iLaw, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Prachatai, as well as fake human rights groups like Human Rights Watch.
They are using their work as medics as a means to both promote anti-government protests in Thailand, and as a means to augment and provide cover for anti-government activities.
This should be particularly troubling for those who remember the use and abuse of medical uniforms during other US-backed regime change operations including recently in Hong Kong and during the proxy war in Syria where the notorious “White Helmets” were all but Al Qaeda terrorists dressed as medics and rescue workers and carrying out war propaganda.
January 31, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – I explain why US foreign policy never changes regardless of who is in the White House – how corporate-funded think tanks actually produce US foreign policy and how Washington merely rubber-stamps it.
I also explain steps nations like Thailand can take to protect themselves from constant US interference in their internal political affairs. References:
Council on Foreign Relations – Revisiting U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China:
January 29, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Why does Reuters and other Western media corporations consistently attack Thailand and repeat easily debunked lies while deliberately leaving out essential context?
I explain how Reuters is simply a media organization owed by special interests interested in manipulating public perception to suit their own business interests around the globe.
The Reuters Institute – How activists and digital publishers are redefining media freedoms in Thailand:
January 29, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Thailand has for months faced anti-government protests. While portrayed by the Western media as organic, self-organized, and “pro-democratic,” US government-funding and the protest leaders themselves openly aligning with US-funded opposition groups in Hong Kong and Taiwan have revealed the ongoing unrest as aimed at China.
The US seeks to complicate Thai-Chinese relations and either replace the current government with one willing to pivot the nation toward Washington, or sufficiently destabilize the nation and deprive China of a constructive regional partner.
Thailand Today is not the Thailand of Cold War Past
Despite persistent Cold War rhetoric about Thailand’s “major non-NATO ally” status with the US – Thailand today has shifted (with much of the world) eastward with its major economic, political, and even military ties now residing squarely in Asia.
Today’s Thailand counts China as its largest trading partner with 12.29% of its exports going to China versus 10.75% to the US. The rest of Thailand’s major export partners all reside in Asia.
20.16% of Thailand’s imports come from China versus 5.82% from the US. Again – the vast majority of Thailand’s other major import partners reside in Asia.
China is also Thailand’s largest foreign investor providing over 13 times more direct foreign investment than the United States.
Thailand’s tourism industry has expanded drastically owed to the huge influx of visitors from China pre-COVID-19. In fact, annually, more tourists arrive from China in Thailand than from all Western nations combined.
There are also major infrastructure projects China and Thailand are currently involved in including the rollout of Thailand’s 5G networks and a high-speed railway that will ultimately connect Thailand to China via Laos. The completion of this project will allow the movement of people and goods more directly to and from China not only into Laos and Thailand but into the rest of Southeast Asia and will fuel further growth for the region.
Then there are Thailand and China’s military relationship. Thailand has begun replacing its aging US military hardware with newer Chinese defense systems ranging from main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers to naval vessels including Thailand’s first modern diesel electric submarines. There are also joint-weapon programs including the DTI-1 guided missile system.
Considering these economic, financial, and military ties there is little mystery as to why Washington would seek to reverse them.
Lacking any means to offer more attractive economic, financial, or military ties – the US has opted to utilize the tools of “soft power” instead – in other words – the tools of political interference up to and including regime change.
The protests themselves are being organized by Thailand’s billionaire-led opposition including exiled ex-prime minister now fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Core organizations helping drive the protests are funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – an organization created by the US government, funded annually by the US Congress and overseen by both Congress and the US State Department.
These US-funded organizations provide the protests its key leaders, legal services, support in the media, and have even organized petitions for the rewriting of Thailand’s entire constitution.
And while they began as anti-government – they have quickly revealed their ties to Washington’s wider anti-Chinese policies. Thanathorn himself along with core protest leaders have actually travelled to Hong Kong to meet with US-funded opposition leaders there.
Thanathorn – who at the time was a member of parliament – prompted an official protest from Beijing regarding his relationship with Hong Kong opposition leader Joshua Wong. An October 2019 article in the Bangkok Post titled, “Chinese embassy condemns Thai politician’s meeting with Hong Kong activist,” noted (emphasis added):
“A Thai politician has contacted the group calling for Hong Kong’s independence from China, showing a sign of support for the group. This action is extremely wrong and lacks responsibility. China hopes that the relevant individual can be made aware of facts regarding Hong Kong’s problem, be cautious and do what will benefit the relationship between China and Thailand,’’ the spokesman said.
The criticism came after pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong recently posted on social media a photograph of himself and Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit.
China’s rare criticism for Thailand was prompted by Thanathorn’s open support for Joshua Wong – with Thanathorn leading protests within Thailand itself modelled after Hong Kong’s unrest. Thanathorn and his opposition political party ahead of Thailand’s 2019 general elections would also propose cancelling the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway in favor of non-existent “hyperloop” technology from America – according to Bloomberg.
The protests in Thailand now openly align themselves with the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” – a united front of US-funded opposition groups aimed at undermining China’s regional rise.
Thai protests now regularly feature chants declaring Hong Kong as “a country” and include protesters flying flags of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” including those of the Taiwanese independence movement, Tibetan rebels, Uyghur separatists, and the Hong Kong rioters.
The irony is that among the many complaints made by Thai protesters is the current state of the Thai economy. Yet by attacking Thailand’s relationship with China – the nation’s largest and most important economic partner – protesters are attempting to cut economic ties that cannot be replaced and thus ensuring economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 crisis extends long after other nations in the region recover.
The protesters’ other demand includes the resignation of the current government in the hopes of Thanathorn and his political opposition party coming to power. Thanathorn’s openly anti-Chinese policies would likewise be disastrous for the country – if for nothing else their economic implications.
It is clear that anti-government protests not only in Thailand but across the region are being stoked by US political interference. The US and its “Milk Tea Alliance” are determined to turn the region upside down just as the US did in 2011 during the so-called “Arab Spring.” It stands to reason that nations in the region should create their own form of cooperation to defend against this interference – both in terms of physical security and across the region’s information space.
Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
January 26, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – I have been often asked what’s behind the logo of the US-backed billionaire opposition party Future Forward’s orange upside-down triangle logo. While some have tried to link it to the “Illuminati” the truth is actually much more interesting and revealing.
The upside triangle is meant to represent the upending of social hierarchy and in particular – the removal of Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.
But as I explain – the US-backed opposition party and its leader’s family business – Thai Summit – are themselves organized as a pyramidal hierarchy – serving as their own source of wealth and power as well as their own means to lure in and exploit ordinary people below them. In essence they hiding behind class warfare rhetoric to lure ordinary people in to do their bidding with no real intention of creating the social equality they claim doesn’t exist in Thailand and that they promise followers at protests and at the polls.
January 13, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) -We’re told by the US-backed Thai opposition and the Western media who promote them that Thailand’s military regularly interferes in Thai politics and undermines “democracy” by doing so. But Thaksin Shinawatra, in a recent interview, admits himself the horrific human rights abuses and conflict he stirred up while in office and makes the strongest case yet for why the military needed to remove him from power – and keep him out of power.
Thai Enquirer – Exclusive: Interview with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra;
Wikileaks – THAILAND’S DEAL OF THE CENTURY: TEMASEK BUYS OUT PM’S SHIN CORP:
I’ve talked about the US backed anti-government protests here in Thailand. How the US government through the National Endowment for Democracy is funding all the core organizations involved. Everything from leadership and media promoting the protests to legal services and even organizing petitions to do everything up to and including trying to rewrite the Thai constitution.
I’ve also talked about these Western backed opposition parties that are hiding right behind these protests. That includes Thanathorn’s Future Forward, Move Forward, Progressive Movement parties. But also Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party.
Now one of the things these protesters are always complaining about is the military’s role in Thai politics. They complain about the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin Shinawatra from power and they also complain about the 2014 coup which ousted Thaksin’s sister – Yingluck Shinawatra – from power.
Now I’ve explained in the past why these coups were absolutely necessary – that when a government breaks the law, trampling human life and the rule of law – when the courts decide against these governments and demand that they step down and they refuse to, if the police are unable to or unwilling to remove them from power then the next step is to have the military intervene and of course they did.
Regarding these abuses, especially Thaksin Shinawatra’s abuses from 2001-2006 – a lot of his supporters and even these mobs in the street trying to condemn the military for intervening – will try to say it’s just his critics who are making these things up about him. But I’ve come across a recent interview done by Thai Enquirer which is opposition media here in Thailand – an interview with Thaksin Shinawatra – it was published on January 5, 2021 – it’s over 47 minutes long, it’s conducted in English with Thai subtitles, and even though it was supposed to be basically a whitewash of Thaksin’s legacy and an excuse for Thaksin and Thai Enquirer to complain about the military and monarchy interfering in Thai politics – what it turned out to be was basically a very confusing, convoluted confession by Thaksin – because he’s trying to distance himself from the things he’s accused of doing but at the same time ends up admitting to what he did.
So what I’m going to do is I’m going to show you in the interview where he’s asked about the 2003 War on Drugs or his disastrous needlessly heavy-handed policy in the deep south in Thailand – and a conflict that has now left over 7,000 people dead – and I want you to see for yourself him admit with his own mouth what he was doing and then I want to show you later where they’re both complaining about the Thai military being able to intervene in Thai politics as if what Thaksin just admitted to isn’t exactly why the military needed to intervene and needs to this very day prevent people like Thaksin Shinawatra from ever getting into power again.
So that’s Thaksin right there saying that he was “bluffing” when he said he was going to kill the drug dealers in the streets – and then he said it’s – you know – police he wasn’t able to manage who actually did exactly what he told them to do. But if we remember the investigations that took place there were actual orders by Thaksin’s administration that told police to go out and do that. So this is him admitting that he said these things, but he’s making an excuse as to why he’s not responsible for people doing things that he told them to do.
Here is Thaksin Shinawatra admitting that instead of engaging with the people in the South – he went down there – you know – “policing” meaning he sent people down there with guns to push the people there around. When you use violence against people who already might not like you – they’re going to violence back and I want to remind people that before Thaksin Shinawatra took office there was peace in the deep south for over 20 years – it was brokered by General Prem – and it endured until he took office. And here he admits that it was his policies – not the Royal Thai Army’s policies – that triggered the conflict.
So here is Thai Enquirer and Thaksin complaining about the Thai military being independent and its ability to make decision on its own and to intervene when it wants to and they’re both agreeing that it would be nice if the military was completely under the control of the government – and in this case – wouldn’t it have been nice if from 2001 onward the military was completely under the control of Thaksin Shinawatra.
And then i guess we can only imagine how his “war on drugs” would have went if in addition to the police he also had the military go out and carry out his “bluff” – you know – accidentally on purpose. Or how his policies in the deep south would have went if everyone in the military was on board instead of just the people he appointed and sent down there himself personally. And I think we can only imagine how little would be left of Thailand at this point today to even argue about this over.
Why are people in Thailand afraid of Thaksin Shinawatra? Why are Thai conservatives afraid of Thaksin Shinawatra? Really? As if him admitting that he was – he bluffed – you know -over 2000 people into their graves over the course of 90 days in 2003 in his botched war on drugs – as if that’s not enough of a reason to be afraid of someone like this and want them removed from power. As if his unnecessarily heavy-handed policy in the deep south and triggering a conflict that has now killed over 7,000 people – as if that isn’t enough of a reason to be afraid of Thaksin Shinawatra and want him removed from power and kept out of power permanently.
And what wasn’t’ even discussed in this interview was things like his sale of Shin Corp to Temasek in Singapore. What he did was – he changed the telecommunications laws in Thailand and laws regarding foreign ownership of Thai companies and their ability to buy shares in Thai companies – he changed it in January 2006 and later that month on the day the law came into effect – his family sold Shin Corp to Temasek – they made billions of Thai baht – tax free – and at the same time they were selling telecom infrastructure of Thailand to foreign investors.
And it was such as huge deal that even the US Embassy noted it and this was from a cable published by Wikileaks – it’s from January 2006 and its titled “Thailand’s Deal of the Century: Temasek buys out PM’s Shin Corp.”
And ultimately the US Embassy is quite pleased with what Thaksin did which is no surprise. The way they saw it was “hey this is Thaksin normalizing the selling out of Thailand to foreign investors. Could you only imagine if this trend continues and he’s able to put together a Thai-US free trade agreement. Then whatever’s left of Thailand to sellout he can sellout to US companies. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
So there is another reason people might be afraid Thaksin Shinawatra and want him removed from power, and kept out of power permanently.
Just like a common criminal resents the police when they show up and hold them accountable for whatever it is they did wrong – people like Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters like the people there at Thai Enquirer and even these mobs in the streets today resents anyone in society whether its the military or the courts that are able to stand up to them and hold them accountable.
You just heard Thaksin Shinawatra admit himself that it was his own policies that led to all those deaths during the war on drugs. We heard Thaksin Shinawatra himself that it was his policies that created the crisis in the Deep South. It wasn’t the King of Thailand. It wasn’t King Rama 9. It wasn’t the Thai military who did any of that. It was Thaksin himself and he admits it in this most recent interview. So it’s actually Thaksin Shinawatra himself who explains best why the military had to remove him from power in 2006. Why the military had to remove his sister from power in 2014 and why the military, Thailand’s courts, and every other institution with the ability to do needs to keep him and people like him away from the levers of power in Thailand indefinitely into the future.
And one other thing for the Thai Enquirer to just causally interview Thaksin Shinawatra as if he’s just an ex-PM and not the worst human rights violator in Thailand’s history just goes to show you what kind of operation Thai Enquirer is. And this should come as no surprise to anyone because every step of the way of the current anti-government protests – Thai Enquirer has been there trying to justify the violence, the criminality, the defamation that has been a daily part of these protests since they began.
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December 28, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Despite being exposed as US government funded agitators working to divide and destroy Thailand, despite plummeting numbers of supporters and disastrous election results, and despite the continuous damage they are doing to the Thai economy – mob leaders like Anon Nampa have vowed to continue disruptive street protests well into next year.
They also vow to bring back fugitives “by 2022.”
I explain why these fugitives are not “dissidents,” why Thailand’s anti-defamation laws are not “archaic,” and offer an alternative we can work on to help offset the negativity people like Anon Nampa have planned for Thailand in 2021.
December 19, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The UN has once again made yet another inappropriate and inaccurate statement about yet another country the US is meddling in.
I explain why the UN’s statement regarding Thailand’s current political crisis is wrong and how it helps serve US interference in Thailand’s internal political affairs – an actual issue the UN should speak up about – but doesn’t.
December 9, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – US-funded anti-government mobs in Thailand have once again “re-branded” their movement, using a “communist” toned logo with English letters spelling out “RT,” most likely part of their anti-monarchy agenda.
I explain why this movement has rebranded itself so many times, what that means, and why Thailand needs to be more careful than ever regarding this foreign-backed regime-change operation.
December 7, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – I take a look at Thailand’s Father’s Day celebration, and share my experience celebrating with the Thai people.
I explain what it means to them and what it means to me personally. When you see how important and special this day is, you will understand clearly why those who dislike Thailand seek to undermine it and everything it represents.
December 5, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) -For millions of Thais, sufficiency economics – promoted throughout the life of King Rama 9 – serves as a blueprint for building sustainable wealth. Critics claim it is a scheme to convince people to embrace poverty and maintain the ruling elite’s grip on power.
I explain what sufficiency economy means and why critics – especially in the West – lie about it.
December 4, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – While many around the globe are hopeful that a change at the White House means a change for US foreign policy – many of the most contentious and disruptive aspects of US foreign policy carried out over the last 4 years were simply a continuation of policy that had already been in motion for years beforehand – and are policies that are unlikely to change any time soon.
This applies especially to Washington’s desire to reassert itself in Asia and Southeast Asia specifically in its increasingly desperate bid to “contain” China.
Lacking any sort of actual incentive for Southeast Asian nations to tilt from China toward the US and its Transatlantic partners in Europe – the US has instead invented a series of “crises” and “concerns” with the two centerpieces being “conflict” in the South China Sea and US “concerns” over nations downstream of Chinese dams built along the Mekong River.
These downstream nations include Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Just as is the case with America’s interference in the South China Sea – nations along the Mekong are constantly pressured to share Washington’s “concerns” and work toward “addressing” them by adopting frameworks developed by Washington.
However, with the exception of Vietnam, these nations all have solid and growing relationships with China – and even Vietnam depends heavily on China economically.
Whatever issues dam construction along the Mekong River may be creating – there is more than enough incentives for all nations involved including China to resolve them bilaterally and without interference from disingenuous mediators with transparent motivations aimed at amplifying tensions, fraying ties, and inhibiting the collective rise of Asia.
And because of this obvious fact it is no surprise that nations along the Mekong have not taken Washington’s efforts seriously. Instead, they appear to be paying them mostly lip service to buy time and avoid additional coercive measures from Washington.
However, it is clear that Washington has already included additional coercive measures alongside its South China Sea and Mekong strategies. This includes funding opposition groups pursuing regime change to remove governments across the region who refuse to adopt US frameworks and proposals regarding these issues, and replace them with client regimes eager to cut ties with China regardless of the self-inflicted and irreversible damage it will most certainly cause.
An advocate of US interference in Southeast Asia and in Thailand specifically is Associate Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University.
In a recent op-ed he penned for Bangkok Post titled, “China-US rivalry on Mekong mainland,” he noted specifically (emphasis added):
As a US treaty ally, Thailand stands out for its pivot to China under a military-backed regime since its military coup in 2014, but this trend could change directions if a genuinely democratic system comes into place as per the demands of the protesting youth movement. Similarly for Cambodia, if the younger generation and oppositional supporters can rise up, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s “all-in” approach to China may go on a different path. But for the foreseeable future, the Mekong mainland is likely to gravitate further into China’s orbit.
Here – Thitinan is admitting that the governments of Southeast Asia have pivoted to China and will only continue building further ties with Beijing regardless of the supposed urgency the US claims surrounds issues like the South China Sea and Mekong River.
He also admits that the only way this will change is if “a genuinely democratic system comes into place as per the demands of the protesting youth movement.”
Thitinan is referring to ongoing anti-government protests in Thailand who aim to overthrow the current government as well as Thailand’s traditional institutions and who have in recent months displayed increasingly extreme anti-Chinese views.
What Thitinan omits is that these protests are backed by organizations funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a front whose board of directors are lined with some of the most prominent architects of US regime change projects around the globe including in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and most recently, Hong Kong.
And this is ultimately the only card the US has left to play – attempted regime change across Southeast Asia to either install client regimes that will cut ties with China – or create sufficient instability as to transform Asia’s collective rise into decades of internal conflict followed by a long, painful phase of reconstruction as North Africa and the Middle East has since suffered in the wake of a similar regime change campaign – the “Arab Spring” – starting in 2011.
While many continue depicting protests and unrest from Hong Kong to Thailand as isolated, internal political disputes or even semi-connected “pro-democracy” movements – in reality they are part of a cynical, singular, and regional campaign by Washington to reassert itself vis-à-vis a rising China – with even “associate professors” advocating US foreign policy in Asia admitting the protests serve as the only vector through which US success can emerge.
For Southeast Asia, foiling US interference and preventing a potentially region-wide crisis similar to the 2011 “Arab Spring” is a matter of ensuring Asia’s continued rise in the years to come versus spending the next several years containing conflict and costly rebuilding in its aftermath.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
December 2, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – It’s not hard to see that the BBC’s coverage in Thailand has – for years – been biased toward the Western-backed opposition and aimed directly at undermining Thailand’s institutions including its military and monarchy.
I expose the BBC as British government-funded propaganda known even back in the UK as being directly involved in selling some of the worst crimes against humanity of the 21st century and how dangerous its presence is in Thailand.
The National (Scotland) – BBC: Ofcom report shows corporation’s impartiality score at record low:
November 30, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The Western media and the US-backed protesters in Thailand have claimed the current Thai government is a “dictatorship” and that Thailand’s military constantly seeks to overthrow democracy through “coups.”
I explain how this is untrue, how the abuses before the 2014 coup by the Yingluck Shinawatra government left the military no choice, and explain why the Western media covers this up and lied about it then – and still lies about it today.