|Image: Aftermath of the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.|
May 21, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – ATN) In 1944 a daring assassination attempt was made on Germany’s Adolf Hitler. The plan was hatched not by Allied commanders, but amongst the ranks of the Germany army itself. In the immediate wake of the planned assassination, the Germany army was to take over cities across the country, arrest the Nazi leadership and disarm the various militant wings it assembled to protect its political machine.
The order to be distributed upon Hitler’s assassination concluded by stating:
Any opposition against the military power of enforcement is to be broken ruthlessly.In this hour of highest danger for the Fatherland, unity of the Wehrmacht and the maintenance of full discipline is the uppermost requirement.
That is why I make it the duty of all commanders of the army, the navy, and the air force to support the holders of executive power to carry out their difficult task with all means at their disposal and to guarantee the compliance of their directives by the subordinate sections. The German soldier stands before a historical task. It will depend on his energy and attitude whether Germany will be saved.
Ultimately the operation was foiled and its conspirators executed for treason. In hindsight it is clear that such an operation would have stood a better chance of success if implemented before the Nazi Party gained such sweeping and deeply rooted power – a lesson to be learned by all students of history and all who oppose the accumulation and abuse of unwarranted influence.
Today, with history’s lessons in clear hindsight, and with the sacrifices of those like the brave German officers who attempted to end the Nazi scourge in 1944 in mind, we cannot afford nor tolerate delaying measures to stem the rise of the next totalitarian regime, be they Neo-Nazis, crypto-Maoists, sectarian extremists, or Khmer Rouge doppelgangers. In Thailand, it is the Royal Thai Army’s turn to uproot a foreign-backed regime that has steadily eroded the checks and balances of Thai society and has persistently attempted to construct militant wings to grant its increasingly autocratic and abusive political machine sweeping impunity from the rule-of-law.
The regime, led by billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, has worked in concert with special interests on Wall Street for well over a decade, groomed specifically to upturn Thailand’s political order and usher in client status that will allow the nation to be integrated into a united front Wall Street plans to use to encircle, contain, and eventually absorb China with. The regime of Thaksin Shinawatra is playing a role in hegemonic ambitions that eclipse even those of Adolf Hitler – and could potentially exact a toll in both human and economic costs that exceed those of World War 2 if war is triggered across Asia.
Thaksin Shinawatra – Rise of a Tyrant
The Royal Thai Army’s recent move to enact martial law and usurp what Human Rights Watch disingenuously calls “civilian rule,” appears initially to be “anti-democratic” and “authoritarian.” One wonders if HRW would have equally condemned the conspirators behind Germany’s Operation Valkyrie on similar grounds had they been successful.
But to fully understand just why the Thai military sees the need to move so decisively against Thaksin Shianwatra and his political machine entrenched in Thailand’s political landscape for over a decade, one must consider the extensive list of sovereignty-usurping capitulations the regime has made to its Western sponsors, as well as its systematic, serial abuses in both terms of human rights and of its legal mandate:
- In the late 1990’s, Thaksin was an adviser to notorious private equity firm, the Carlyle Group. He pledged to his foreign contacts that upon taking office, he would still serve as a “matchmaker” between the US equity fund and Thai businesses. It would represent the first of many compromising conflicts of interest that would undermine Thailand’s sovereign under his rule.
- Thaksin was Thailand’s prime minister from 2001-2006. Has since dominated the various reincarnations of his political party – and still to this day runs the country by proxy, via his nepotist appointed sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
- In 2001 he privatized Thailand’s resources and infrastructure including the nation’s oil conglomerate PTT – much to Wall Street’s delight.
- In 2003, he would commit Thai troops to the US invasion of Iraq, despite widespread protests from both the Thai military and the public. Thaksin would also allow the CIA to use Thailand for its abhorrent rendition program.
- Also in 2003, he initiated what he called a “war on drugs.” Nearly 3,000 were extrajudicially murdered in the streets over the course of just 90 days. It would later turn out that more than half of those killed had nothing to even do with the drug trade. In this act alone, Thaksin earned himself the title as worst human rights offender in Thai history, and still he was far from finished.
- In 2004, he oversaw the killing of 85 protesters in a single day during his mishandled, heavy-handed policy in the country’s troubled deep south. The atrocity is now referred to as the “Tak Bai incident.”
- Also in 2004, Thaksin attempted to ramrod through a US-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) without parliamentary approval, backed by the US-ASEAN Business Council who just before the 2011 elections that saw Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra brought into power, hosted the leaders of Thaksin’s “red shirt” “United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship” (UDD) in Washington DC.
- Throughout his administration he was notorious for intimidating the press, and crushing dissent. According to Amnesty International, 18 human rights defenders were either assassinated or disappeared during his first term in office. Among them was human rights activist and lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit. He was last seen in 2004 being arrested by police and never seen again.
- Also throughout Thaksin’s administration, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) claimed in its report, “Attacks on the Press 2004: Thailand” that the regime was guilty of financial interference, legal intimidation, and coercion of the press.
- Since the 2006 coup that toppled his regime, Thaksin has been represented by US corporate-financier elites via their lobbying firms including, Kenneth Adelman of the Edelman PR firm (Freedom House, International Crisis Group,PNAC), James Baker of Baker Botts (CFR, Carlyle Group), Robert Blackwill (CFR) of Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR), Kobre & Kim, Bell Pottinger (and here) and currently Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners (Chatham House).
- In April of 2009 gunmen would fire over 100 rounds into the vehicle of anti-Thaksin activist, protest leader, and media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul in a broad daylight assassination attempt. He was injured but survived.
- On April 10, 2010, heavily armed professional militants deployed by Thaksin Shianwatra and his “red shirt” front targeted and assassinated Colonel Romklao Thuwatham who was at the time commanding crowd control operations near Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. Thaksin’s “red shirts” would go on to clash with the military for weeks before ending their riot with mass city-wide looting and arson.
- In August of 2013, businessman and outspoken Thaksin opponent Ekkayuth Anchanbutr was abducted and murdered.
And just as Adolf Hitler constructed militant wings to protect his unwarranted power and influence, so too has Thaksin Shinawatra. His “United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship” or UDD, also known as “red shirts,” are Thailand’s equivalent to Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts and Schutzstaffel (SS). Just as Hitler’s militant wings carried out campaigns of mass murder, assassinations, and other forms of political intimidation, so too have Shinawatra’s “red shirts.”
|Image: While the regime and its Western backers claim violence in 2010 was the result of a brutal, unprovoked military crackdown on “unarmed” protesters, in reality Thaksin Shinawatra deployed some 300 armed mercenaries onto the streets to augment his “red shirt” supporters. Weeks of gun battles involving the above pictured “men in black,” would result in 92 deaths.|
- In 2008, red shirts shot/hacked to death by machetes an opposition community radio host’s father, after pro-Thaksin radio hosts mobilized supporters to surround his house and the father attempted to flee. Regime demagogue, Kanyapak Maneejak (DJ Aom), when asked about the incident during a “City Life Chiang Mai” interview, claimed, “the reds there all came following their hearts.”
- In 2009, in addition to large-scale street violence visited upon Bangkok which saw two shop keepers shot while trying to stop red shirts from looting their businesses, red shirts would violently disrupt an HIV/AIDS awareness march organized by homosexual & public health activists. “Out in Perth” reported in their article, “Chiang Mai Pride Shut Down by Protests as Police Watch On,” that organizers were locked inside a building while red shirts began throwing rocks and yelling abuse through megaphones. Police looked on until organizers decided to call off the event.
- Also in 2009, Bangkok’s English paper, “Bangkok Post” would publish a report titled, “Rak Chiang Mai 51: A pride or a disgrace for Chiang Mai?” which would describe in detail the red shirts’ methods of violence and intimidation.
- In 2010, Thaksin Shinawatra deployed some 300 heavily armed mercenaries to augment “red shirt” mobs in Bangkok. Armed with M16s, AK47s, M79s, hand grenades and other small arms, they assassinated an army colonel, killed soldiers, bystanders and even protesters among their own ranks in reckless firefights that spanned several weeks and climaxed in a campaign of mass arson across the capital. In all, over 90 would die.
- During the most recent political crisis, red shirts have frequently surrounded the homes of opponents, threatening and intimidating them from speaking out against the regime. This includes the home of Chiang Mai’s Cultural Council president, teachers and parents of Regina Coeli College, and violently attacking a peaceful protest held at Chiang Mai University’s art museum and again during a march held several weeks later.
- They have threatened to kidnap and/or kill Thai Royal Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s twin daughters.
- On the eve of February 2014 general elections, the “red shirts” carried out a brazen broad-daylight assassination of NGO worker, activist, and protest leader Sutin Taratin.
- Regime militants carried out a grisly attack in the eastern province of Trat that left scores maimed and a five-year old girl dead and a similar attack carried out in Bangkok that left many maimed along with a woman and two children killed.
- Multiple M79 grenade attacks were carried out on the office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in northern Bangkok in conjunction with a blockade carried out by the regime’s “red shirts.” The blockade was aimed at obstructing criminal proceeding against then prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. Regime supporters would be arrested for possession of AK47s, M79 grenade launchers, and RGD-5 hand grenades, the latter two with lot numbers matching those used in previous attacks across the city.
- Recently, an accidental discovery was made by police of a white Mazda parked outside the resort of regime MP Sitthichai Kittithanesuan, containing AK47s in the backseat. The car was owned by an “adviser” to a regime minister.
- Regime militants carried out an M79 grenade attack and drive-by shooting on Bangkok’s Democracy Monument on May 15 that killed 3 and left dozens more injured.
Thailand’s Operation Valkyrie
|Image: Bangkok residents welcome the presence of troops.|
In light of the extensive, enumerated documentation of Thaksin Shinawatra’s agenda and the means through which he has sought to achieve it, a clear and present danger can clearly be seen rising in the midst of Thailand’s political landscape. That his “red shirts” intentionally utilize rhetoric and organizational strategies employed by Maoists and the Khmer Rouge (“Red” Khmer), is particularly alarming. The trajectory of Shinawatra’s abusive authoritarianism has already made him the worst human rights abuser in Thailand’s long history. With history’s lessons in hindsight, do catastrophic losses in human life, civil war, and genocide really need to begin unfolding before Thailand’s independent institutions take action?
The answer, clearly, is no. The presence of Thai troops in Bangkok’s streets today aims to disarm and deconstruct the dangerous political machine Thaksin Shinawatra has constructed and turned against the Thai people. Already, troops have begun searching and seizing weapon caches admittedly staged by Shinawatra’s militant wings, as reported by TIME Magazine in January of this year. The Bangkok Post would report in a recent article titled, “Ex-ranger arrested with bomb cache,” that:
Soldiers and police searched a house Nong Muang district on Tuesday night and detained Chawawat Thongpuak, 54, a former ranger from Lop Buri, Pol Maj Gen Montri Yimyeam, Lop Buri police commander, said.
They found an AK gun, along with 1,150 bullets of various calibres and 21 home-made explosive devices, including 11 TNT bombs, one metal pipe bomb and five plastic pipe bombs. The weapons were hidden under his bed and in a cluster of trees behind the house.
Mr Chaowawat admitted he was hired by two women in Bangkok to provide weapons and make the bombs, which were to be sent to Bangkok, Pol Maj Gen Montri [said].
The seizure of weapon caches and related arrests are expected to continue as solider carry out duties the current “civilian rule” has intentionally failed to carry out – or worse yet, have been facilitating all along. The military will also most likely oversee and enforce a series of court cases aimed at the Shinawatra regime, as well as its safe removal from power and the installation of a caretaker government to administer the country until reforms can be carried out and elections held.
Thailand’s “Operation Valkyrie” is in the opening stages of implementation. It is not a “success” yet, but has made it further than the 1944 German model upon which it is based.
The Regime’s Foreign Backers Howl in Protest
The howling protests from Thaksin Shinwatra’s foreign backers, particularly those from the West’s extensive human rights racket including Human Rights Watch, is an indictment to just how tightly Shinawatra’s ties and agenda entwine with foreign interests to this day. Human Rights Watch echoed – as well as cited – a recent US State Department statement in its report, “Thailand: Revoke Martial Law Undermining Rights.” It states:
The Thai military’s imposition of nationwide martial law is effectively a coup that threatens the human rights of all Thais, Human Rights Watch said today. The United States and other influential governments should call for the immediate restoration of civilian rule and an end to censorship.
It also claims that:
The broad and unchecked powers granted to the military under the century-old Martial Law Act undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms, due process of law, and democratic governance in Thailand.
The HRW statement would conclude with:
Civilian rule needs to be restored and elections scheduled so that the Thai people can decide who governs the country.”
HRW’s disingenuous hand wringing over “human rights” smacks of particular hypocrisy, as no mention is made of the campaign of systematic violence carried out by those among Thailand’s “civilian rule” preceding – and in fact prompting – the military’s decision to step in. HRW’s concern over “democratic governance” and its insistence on holding elections echoes rhetoric of the regime itself and was suspiciously absent in the face of the flagrant undermining of both the rule of law and democratic principles during 2011’s general elections. It was then that Thaksin Shinawatra – a convicted criminal and fugitive hiding abroad – openly contested general elections, admitting his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was merely his stand-in.
The election campaign slogan for the general election in 2011 was literally, “Thaksin Thinks, Puea Thai Does,” Puea Thai being his political party. Forbes would report in their article, “Thaksin in Exile: Advising Sister, Digging for Gold,” that:
Regarding his behind-the-scenes role in the party and policy, he is not shy: “I am the one who thinks. Like our slogan during the campaign, Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts.”
The New York Times admitted in an early 2013 article titled, “In Thailand, Power Comes With Help From Skype,” that:
For the past year and a half, by the party’s own admission, the most important political decisions in this country of 65 million people have been made from abroad, by a former prime minister who has been in self-imposed exile since 2008 to escape corruption charges.
The country’s most famous fugitive,Thaksin Shinawatra, circles the globe in his private jet, chatting with ministers over his dozen cellphones, texting over various social media platforms and reading government documents e-mailed to him from civil servants, party officials say.
The NYT piece would also report:
“He’s the one who formulates the Pheu Thai policies,” said Noppadon Pattama, a senior official in Mr. Thaksin’s party who also serves as his personal lawyer. “Almost all the policies put forward during the last election came from him.”
|Image: The New York Times openly admits that Thailand is currently run by unelected convicted criminal/fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra. Clearly any proxy government or elections in which it participates in are illegitimate by both Thai and international standards. Thaksin’s foreign ties are what have afforded him impunity regarding an otherwise cartoonish, 3rd world dictatorship.|
There is no question that an accused mass murderer and convicted criminal hiding abroad from a 2 year jail sentence, multiple arrest warrants, and a long list of pending court cases, is illegally running Thailand by proxy. Being unelected, Thaksin Shinawatra is by all accounts a dictator, and his “government” an illegal, illegitimate, proxy regime, however cleverly they try to dress it up. Human Rights Watch’s failure to condemn this, and insist that elections be held with Thaksin Shinawatra’s participation undermines democracy in ways no military coup ever could.
The Thai military has moved when special interests, criminality, and cowardice has prevented all others from stepping in and restoring order in Thailand. The West’s adamant opposition to the move, and any attempt to appoint a caretaker government that will further undermine and distance the Shinawatra regime from the levers of power is indicative of the partial stance it takes in the pursuit of its self-serving interests, and at the expense of its own legitimacy and the alleged principles of “democracy” and “human rights” it poses as the premier universal champion of.
The Thai military’s ability to succeed where the German army failed in 1944 will in part depend on the “energy and attitude” of the Thai people and their friends and allies across the globe, in support of the truth, and the implementation of necessary measures to fully and permanently excise the Shinawatra regime from Thailand’s political landscape.