Editor’s Note: The picture to the left features a UDD militant carrying numerous seized weapons including an M-16 and several Tavors. While wounds consistent with 5.56mm rounds have been squarely blamed on the Thai Army, it is quite clear that at some point during the clash, UDD militants verifiably had 5.56mm chambered weapons in their possession. Here is an article with a photograph of the same man on the UDD/Red Shirt stage after the deadly April 10 clashes.Cui Bono?
by Tony Cartalucci
Bangkok, Thailand April 24, 2011 – Imagine you are an embattled regime fighting against a rising tide of foreign-funded protesters. The entire world is watching, one nation is already under creeping foreign invasion for “waging war against his own people,” your nation has been warned that it is next and has been on a 20 year waiting list for regime change, and your opposition is gathering to bury dead protesters from a recent clash with security forces. What do you do?
Stage concealed snipers in multiple buildings and randomly shoot at mourners ensuring a very public, internationally sensationalized bloodbath that will unequivocally escalate both the protests and international pressure? Bashar al-Assad’s regime hasn’t ruled Syria for so long because they were careless or foolish. And while regimes could stay in power decades ago through unyielding brutality, often sanctioned by tacitly complicit western partners, regimes today realize the value of finesse and accountability in a new age of humanitarian-justified imperialism.
AlJazeera’s article, “‘Nine killed’ at Syria funeral processions,” once again relies solely on eyewitness accounts, many of which are claimed to be “anonymous,” to tell the story of a brutal Syrian government crackdown. After AlJazeera’s blatant lies and exaggerations during the Egyptian protests, rivaled only by BBC’s intellectual dishonesty, these reports must be taken with a grain of salt. However, as with the recent massacres in Yemen and previous funeral processions in Syria, protesters cited mysterious snipers, assumed to be government forces, on rooftops randomly shooting at mourners gathered around the country. The government maintains that “an unknown “armed group” on rooftops shot at protesters and security forces.”
AlJazeera also included in the article a report from one of their correspondents on the ground who stated, “[People marching on an overpass] were met with a hail of gunfire, many people certainly wounded directly in front of us, cars turned around, and I can tell you it was an incredibly chaotic scene, and it seems as though pretty much everyone down here in the southern part of the country is now carrying weapons. It is unclear who was firing at whom, that’s part of the confusion … but clearly a very violent incident now being carried out here in the south of the country.” Though cryptic, it seems to corroborate the government’s assertion that they are not the only ones with guns.
A Reuters report recently quoted a “rights activist” in Syria saying of the violence, “today we will have the funerals, we are worried that during the funerals more blood will be spilt which will provoke more protests and more death. This is becoming like a snowball and getting bigger and bigger every week. Anger is rising, the street is boiling.” During the next demonstrations more are likely to be killed, funerals will be held, mystery gunmen will show up shooting mourners and the cycle continues repeating itself, some might hope, until enough anger and momentum creates conditions within the Assad regime to force it to step down or invites armed insurrection and foreign intervention as seen in Libya and in the Ivory Coast.
Perhaps this is an overly cynical analysis, as it may just be a coincidence that two regimes, Syria and Yemen, were forced into tenuous positions and just so happened to both grievously miscalculate and deploy snipers to randomly shoot at protesters, further agitating them, and inviting further scorn and pressure from the West, eager to oust them. But even mainstream media stories seem to pick up on the fact that these “massacres” do more harm than good and do not serve Assad’s best interests.
The Sydney Morning Herald article title, “Bloodbath New Threat to Assad” is clear enough. It states that the recent crackdowns have left the regime “staggering.” Additionally, it invited “stern” criticism from Obama stating, “‘instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies.” Ironically, Assad’s assessment that protests are foreign-funded is spot on and Iran’s crackdown was also against foreign-funded subversion.
Of course this is not the first time mystery gunmen have showed up at foreign-funded color revolutions to provoke further unrest or attempt to extort a resignation from a government. There is one instructive example where not only is evidence available, but confessions as well. That this example is also a foreign-funded color revolution lends credence to the possibility that these mystery gunmen in Syria and Yemen are provocateurs following a similar playbook, seeking to escalate violence and unrest until regime change is achieved or foreign intervention is justified. By studying this example, we can better discern the cryptic, unverified reports coming from the increasingly violent “Arab Spring,” and possibly take this grisly tool out of the hands of the corporate-financier oligarchs.
Mystery Gunmen Revealed
After days of trying to goad Thai security forces into a violent crackdown on US-backed Thaksin Shinawatra’s red shirts, protest leaders literally called on their own rank and file to donate blood to be spilled on key government buildings throughout Thailand’s capital of Bangkok. This grisly display would foreshadow protest leaders’ plans, unbeknown to even their own followers. On April 10, 2010, after the Thai military shut down Thaksin’s propaganda network, protest leaders brought 200 men to the gates of Bangkok’s 1st Army Region base and tried to storm the facility. The leaders must have realized that storming a military facility has a universally high probability of provoking the use of deadly force. The Thai military however, dispersed the protesters with water cannons and rubber bullets.
The bizarre “blood” drawing protest preceding the April 10, 2010 gunfight.
The decision was made to disperse the protesters at Bangkok’s “Democracy Monument” that night. After nightfall, riot troops and protesters faced off in close quarters before troops began to advance while firing blanks into the air. A similar operation a year earlier led by the same commanding officer, Colonel Romklao, dispersed protesters without fatalities (the only fatalities were two civilians gunned down by protesters). This time around, intent on a bloodbath, a group of mysterious gunmen intervened with a combination of grenade attacks and sniper fire that killed Colonel Romklao and 6 other soldiers. Troops immediately fell back in disarray while protesters were divided in confusion and adulation. The mystery gunmen weaved through the protesters firing sporadically at Thai troops who returned fire. In total, 23 would die.
The initial grenade and sniper attack, explained accurately by France24. Indeed soldiers were firing back as they withdrew. For a more detailed look from the protesters’ side, please watch the Thaifaq 5 part video series covering the April 10 incident.
CNN’s coverage: Despite other admissions in foreign press from protest leaders themselves, CNN leaves viewers with an intentionally ambiguous message. CNN’s biased reporting should come as no surprise, but when called on it by an outpouring of anger from the Thai public they concededthat indeed therewere armed elements amongst the protesters.
Aljazeera footage featuring the “mystery gunmen” with M-16s & AK-47s.
The protesters were entirely unaware of the gambit, while security guards amongst the protesters appear to have been given compartmentalized orders to keep the protesters kettled in before the attack came. It is unlikely that even the security guards knew the attack was coming, as many immediately rushed in to protect fallen soldiers from aggressive protesters, while gun battles continued elsewhere. There were also most likely members of the militant group amongst the protesters directing fire toward Colonel Romklao and his command unit, as laser markers were seen fixated on the soldiers right before the incoming sniper fire hit.
Image: A freeze frame of the above footage, featured in the Bangkok Post, showing clearly the front sight posts of an M16A2. M-16s were used by opposition militants for the explicit purpose of blaming resulting injuries and deaths on the Thai Army, who used the weapon and the rounds it fired as its primary infantry weapon.
Image: An AK-47. Notice the
front sight post is located all the way at the end of the weapon’s
barrel, as well as its more compact, and thicker construction.
Image: An M16A2. Notice the
front sight post’s location next to the hand-guards and the long
section of barrel between it and the weapon’s compensator.
It was quite clear a highly trained, well prepared third party was involved, and unlike in Syria and Yemen where few foreigners venture and fewer cameras seem to be sending back footage, both foreign and domestic, amateur and professional footage caught the melee on tape. Initial blanket denials by protest leaders quickly became piecemeal confessions as footage of these “men in black” filtered out.
International spokesman for the protesters, Sean Boonpracong, told Reuters elements of the army were with their movement, including the black-clad mystery gunmen that took part in the April 10 bloodbath. He stated, “They are a secret unit within the army that disagrees with what’s going on. Without them, the black clad men, there would have been a whole lot more deaths and injuries.” The suspected leader of these gunmen, renegade general Khattiya Sawasdipol, known as “Seh Daeng,” further damned earlier denials by admitting to commanding 300 armed men trained for ”close encounters” and carrying M79 grenade launchers, before withdrawing his comment in later interviews.
From April 10, until the widespread arson that marked the end of the protests on May 19, daily and nightly gun battles, grenade attacks, and sniper fire would claim the lives of 91 people. This included 9 soldiers and police, a woman killed by an M79 grenade attack, and at least one protester who died of smoke inhalation while looting a building fellow protesters lit ablaze. The remaining 80 deaths included journalists, bystanders, medical workers, and protesters caught in crossfire. While protester to this day attempt to portray these events as a massacre of “91 protesters,” it is quite clear that the military was up against an armed wing working amongst the protesters, admitted by members of the protest leadership themselves.
To explain why such a bloodbath was necessary, Sean Boonpracong after admitting the mystery gunmen were working on his movement’s behalf, gave another breathtaking confession in an April 24th interview. When asked why protest leaders had turned down a government offer to hold fresh elections in 9 months, he responded by saying that after the April 10 incident they felt Prime Minister Abhisit’s hands were “tainted with blood” and that it would be best if the Thai Parliament was dissolved. He continued by stating the protest’s demands had changed to immediate dissolution as well as PM Abhisit’s leaving the country.
After admitting an armed wing participated in the April 10 bloodbath protest spokesman Sean Boonpracong gives us insight into the rationale behind the highly orchestrated carnage that took place that night.
If these demands sound familiar, that is because they are the same exact demands made by every single Western-funded, fueled, and directed color revolution, starting with Eastern Europe’s Orange and Rose revolutions, the current “Arab Spring,” and now of course the red shirt revolution in Thailand. The Thai government ultimately refused these ochlocratic demands and restored order to the country.
Quite clearly, through this vivid example complete with brazen admissions, we can see how “mystery gunmen” fit into the overall mechanics of a color revolution. Their violence serves two purposes; to create enough chaos and bloodshed to force a government to step down, or to justify escalating anger and violence amongst the unsuspecting regular rank and file protesters. In Syria, we see these mystery gunmen fulfilling just this role. In Thailand, red shirt leaders have warned often that should the government fail to yield to their demands, a guerrilla war might begin. As we have seen in Libya and the Ivory Coast that is the next logical step, with foreign intervention not far behind.
Color revolutions are like micro-nations unto themselves. They have their own leadership, support base, ideology, and finances. Just as a nation’s leadership exploits its soldiers as pawns toward personal gain, so too do color revolutions. Just as the soldier is unwittingly sent into harms way, so too are these protesters. Would they suspect their leadership of drawing them into a trap for personal gain? Could these “rights activists” who are on record being funded and directed by foreign interests in Syria be leading their followers into trap after trap to increase the cycle of violence to a crescendo capable of ousting Assad from power? It certainly appears that way. As Bangkok’s mystery gunmen have proven, it is certainly not without precedent.
Understanding the components of Western-backed color revolution makes it more difficult for them to foist it upon local populations as well as pass it off throughout international media. At the very least, by understanding how they work, we ensure we never fall prey to this deadly, nefarious gambit. Real solutions don’t spring forth from a ballot box, the destruction of our cities, or a protest placard. They are derived through education, self-sufficiency, and pragmatic, technical solutions. People should resist the urge to be politicized and divided and instead focus on building up their local communities on a foundation of economic and political independence. Ultimately by doing this, we can prevent entirely the grotesque spectcles now unfolding from Tunisia to Thailand.