What Washington Really Wants in Syria

October 19, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - When the United States announced that it would be abandoning "peace talks" with Russia regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria, many had already dismissed them as disingenuous.

The Washington Post in an article titled, "U.S. abandons efforts to work with Russia on Syria," would claim:
U.S.-Russia relations fell to a new post-Cold War low Monday as the Obama administration abandoned efforts to cooperate with Russia on ending the Syrian civil war and forming a common front against terrorists there, and Moscow suspended a landmark nuclear agreement.
The Washington Post would also admit however, in regards to Russian allegations that the US categorically failed to separate militants it has been backing in the 5 year long conflict and universally-designated foreign terrorist organisations, that:
Russia’s version of the sequence of events mandated by the deal is “explicitly not true,” a senior administration official said. “Separation was not step one,” but was supposed to occur after seven days without major violence. The Russians, the official said, have “constantly tried to move the goal posts.”
This admission made by US policymakers, politicians and the Western media all but admits that the US has never prioritised confronting terrorism in Syria and has been using the presence of terrorist organisations merely as a pretext for more direct Western military intervention. In fact, by acknowledging that Western-backed militant groups are indistinguishable and inseparable from designated terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Jabhat Al-Nusra, the US is all but admitting it is intentionally arming and equipping the terrorists themselves.

Why is the Passing of Thailand's King a Big Deal?

Image: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
October 16, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The passing of Thailand's head of state, the 88 year old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, marks a historically significant event in Thailand's history. For most Thais, they have known only one king their entire life - King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The significance of Thailand's monarchy to Thai people is difficult for Westerners to understand. Unlike Western monarchies who rule from above, Thailand's monarchy has historically ruled through service to the people. It is in recognition of this service that drives hundreds of thousands of Thais into the streets of Bangkok to participate in the beginning of funeral rites this week.

The depth and scope of this service includes not only the political boundaries and stability the monarchy provided when politicians and political parties clashed within the nation, but also service in driving long-term infrastructure projects regarding irrigation, energy, and agriculture shortsighted politicians refused to pursue.

Many aspects of Thai agriculture, from the introduction of new crops to the concept of cooperatives and localizing rice mills, were introduced through initiatives promoted and funded by the Royal Family itself. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's royal palace in Bangkok was many years ago converted into a demonstration and training center where today, foreigners and Thais alike can augment their skills and diversify their economic activity.

Politically, the monarchy's ability to reside above contests of political power and the deep respect Thais hold for the institution, creates a set of boundaries that have prevented dangerous - even violent political struggles - from expanding into the sort of destructive conflicts seen previously in neighboring Cambodia or currently expanding across the Middle East.

For Thailand's enemies who seek to undermine political stability or overthrow Thailand's political order, their primary obstacle and thus target has always been the nation's revered, powerful monarchy. The passing of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej presents a perceived vulnerability Thailand's enemies will undoubtedly seek to exploit to weaken Thailand and thus by doing so, disrupt regional stability.

Thailand's Importance to Southeast Asia 

Thailand is a prominent Southeast Asian nation, home to 70 million people, a dynamic and diverse economy ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, and remains the only nation in the region to have eluded Western colonization.

It has played a pivotal role throughout history, leveraging colonial powers against one another before the World Wars, a battlefield during World War 2, a contributing  factor to France's loss of Indochina and host to US military forces during the Vietnam War.

Since the conflict in Vietnam, Thailand has slowly and incrementally pivoted away from its role in US regional hegemony toward a more balanced place in the region.

Thailand: The Truth Before the Storm

Before Western lies begin, what you need to know about this critical moment for Thailand.

October 13, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Thailand is a pivotal nation centered amid Southeast Asia and commanding a prominent economy with a large population. It played a pivotal role during the US war in Vietnam, but has since then incrementally diverged from serving US hegemony in Asia.

As of now, Thailand has clearly and decisively performed its own "pivot" away from Washington and toward a diverse portfolio of alternative ties, including with Beijing and Moscow. Its military inventory has been incrementally transformed from housing aging American hardware to Russian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and even Swedish weapon systems. It also is increasingly cooperating closer with China regarding economics and regional security, a role the US has presumed a monopoly over for decades.

In fact, Thailand has diverged so much so that its political stability has now become the regular target of US efforts to undermine it. This includes through economic and sociopolitical attacks, as well as through covert means up to and including terrorism.

The key to Thailand's political stability, despite fierce infighting between rival special interests and political camps throughout the nation's ancient history, has been the nations much revered and unique monarchy. Knowing this and seeking to undermine stability in Thailand, and thus undermine yet another ally of Beijing and Moscow, the United States through its media has pursued a campaign of disinformation to attack and destroy the monarchy, hoping Thailand emerges exponentially weaker after the current head of state, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, passes on from advanced age.

The True Nature of Thailand's Monarchy

Unlike Western monarchies, Thailand's historically possesses an entirely different social contract between its head of state and the people. Despite superficialities cited by dishonest Western commentators to portray the Thai people as subservient - like prostration and a prayer-like gesture known as a "wai" - much of the symbolic respect Thais exhibit toward their king is identical to that which they exhibit toward their own parents, including both prostration and the "wai."

Image: Thai prostration is a sign of respect, not submission.
Both the monarchy itself and its "subjects" see themselves as a large family and a living sociocultural expression of Thai culture and history. The role Thailand's king has served historically to rally and unite the Thai people has contributed to the fact that Thailand is the only nation in Southeast Asia to escape European colonization - and is perhaps another reason why the West is so determined to eliminate this institution.

The Western media intentionally exploits both culturally differences between East and West as well as their audiences' general ignorance to paint Thailand's institutions in the most negative light possible.

An Institution That Serves, Not Merely a Throne to Sit 

The kings of Thailand have historically served the role as living founding fathers - for 800 years - pushing the nation forward through difficult transitional periods politicians were unable or unwilling to navigate the country through themselves.

This includes the abolition of slavery, a period of technological modernization similar to Japan's Meiji Restoration, and the current king's lifetime of work toward promoting socioeconomic self-sufficiency to combat encroaching globalization and the immense debt and disparity it sows.

US Hypocrisy: Preaching Human Rights, Inviting Mass Murderers as Guests

October 12, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - On October 6, Los Angeles' Loyola Marymount University invited ex-Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra to give a talk on the subject of “The Secret of Reducing Poverty and the Rich-Poor Gap: The Power of Political Will." The Los Angeles Loyolan newspaper in an article titled, "Los Angeles LoyolanVisit from former Thai PM causes controversy," reported that:
There is, however, some controversy regarding his visit. Shinawatra governed Thailand from 2001 to 2006 until a military coup pushed him out on accounts of corruption, abuse of office for personal gain and several other convictions. 

According to LMU’s Asia Media website, Shinawatra was exiled from Thailand in 2006 and is considered a fugitive by many. He is widely criticized by Thai students, families and citizens across the country. Because of this, Shinawatra’s presence on campus this Thursday sparked controversy among Thai students at LMU. 

The students interviewed asked to be kept anonymous due to fears about personal safety when stating their opinions on the former prime minister.
Thai students in California were right to fear for their safety. While in power, Shinawatra mass murdered upward to 3,000 people, including thousands during a 90-day "drug war" in 2003, over 80 protesters in a single day in 2004 and a wide range of political opponents and activists.

After being ousted from power in 2006, Shinawatra would deploy heavily armed militants in Bangkok in 2010 and again in 2013 and 2014 in a violent bid to seize back and hold political power. Over 100 would die during the violence.

Lying About Lying - AP Attempts to Cover Up Blatant "FACT CHECK" Lies

October 11, 2016 (LD) - Journalism 101 - if one makes a mistake in an article, they must make the appropriate changes and note them in an "editor's note" or equivalent. Just like a security guard standing watch and keeping a logbook at a U-Store-It, journalists are writing the world's daily record. Changes must be noted clearly and concisely, otherwise anyone at any time can go back and change the daily record with the world being none the wiser.

For a security guard, this means covering up theft and other forms of impropriety, and likewise, journalists who covertly backtrack make it possible to tell any lie and leave little trace of it in hindsight.

That is why ethical journalism can and will admit mistakes, and note them when they make corrections. The daily record is that important.

If that is what genuine, ethical journalists do, then one can assume those not following this long-established, commonsense standard is not a genuine, ethical journalist.