Understanding what is happening to Thailand helps observers understand how the US undermined and destabilized Libya, Syria, and beyond.
July 14, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The US recently granted Thai national and fugitive Jom Petchpradab asylum, paving the way for a possible green card for the political agitator and supporter of ousted Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
|Image: Petchpradab, (right) interviews Thaksin Shinawatra (left), a mass murderer and sponsor of terrorism deposed from power in Thailand amid a 2006 military coup. Petchpradab is a consistent and eager supporter of Shinawatra and his US-backed political proxies in Thailand.|
This comes as the US tightens immigration laws to deal with influxes of victims fleeing the pan-regional wars it is conducting from North Africa and the Middle East, to Central Asia and beyond – including the now 6 year war in Syria and approaching 17 year occupation of Afghanistan.
Asylum for Violent Agitators
Petchpradab is an eager follower and supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party (PTP) and its ultra-violent street front, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or “red shirts”). While the Western media attempts to portray him and the movement he belongs to as “pro-democracy,” in truth, he supports a political movement that has carried out physical intimidation, assassinations, riots, mass murder, and terrorism, with a member of the movement most recently carrying out a string of bombings including one targeting a hospital.
|Image: Protests against then Prime Minister Shinawatra’s “war on drugs” waged in 2003 that left 3,000 innocent people dead in just 90 days.|
Thaksin Shinawatra himself, while in power between 2001-2006, would conduct a so-called “war on drugs” in which nearly 3,000 would be extrajudicially executed in the streets. It would later be revealed that the vast majority of those murdered had no involvement in the drug trade at all. Besides being wildly popular among Shinawatra’s supporters, the “war on drugs” had no discernible impact on the drug trade itself.
He would also preside over the disappearance or assassination of multiple rights advocates who protested his government and its policies.
Once ousted from power amid a military coup in 2006, he would create the UDD and mobilize them to physically intimidate his opponents, including journalists. In one notorious instance, UDD members would surround the house of a local radio personality and butcher his father with machetes and pistols as he tried to escape the blockade.
|Image: Thailand’s “red shirt” opposition to which Petchpradab belongs, is not “pro-democracy.” It uses murder and mayhem to advance its self-serving US-backed political agenda.|
In 2009 and again in 2010, Shinawatra and his UDD organized street riots in Bangkok featuring armed violence, mass arson, and bombings. The latter riot featured up to 300 armed militants wielding AK47s, M16s, M79 40mm grenade launchers, and hand grenades, carrying out violence that would leave nearly 100 dead over the course of several weeks.
The violence culminated in city-wide arson that left multiple landmarks razed to the ground including a shopping mall, a theater, and the stock market center. Over the course of the 2010 riot, UDD members would also storm a large downtown hospital, prompting its evacuation and the death of several patients amid the subsequent mayhem.
|Image: Thailand’s “pro-democracy” red shirts carried out city-wide arson at the end of riots they organized in 2010. They also raided a downtown hospital, prompting its evacuation. Petchpradab, granted asylum in the US, has been an ardent supporter of the red shirts and their activities.|
Since 2010, Shinawatra’s followers have repeatedly carried out bombings and attacks on opponents, including during the 2013-2014 protests against Shinawatra’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who took power as Shinawatra’s openly-acknowledged proxy. During these protests, Shinawatra’s militants would take the lives of nearly 30 people until the military intervened and ousted his sister from power.
Throughout Shinawatra’s reign of abuse and violence, he has enjoyed the backing of some of the largest lobbying firms in Washington DC. His movement also enjoys direct support and funding through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various subsidiaries. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who once exposed Shinawatra’s abuses while he was in power, now cover for his movement’s violence – either downplaying it or omitting it from their reports altogether.
|Image: The US openly supports the Thai opposition “red shirts,” including visiting their “red shirt villages,” essentially villages they exclude all other political alternatives from through fear and intimidation. The US also supports and directly funds a myriad of fronts posing as NGOs which use human rights advocacy as cover for subversion and even terrorism.|
Instead, Shinawatra’s proxies are portrayed as “pro-democracy activists,” their politically-motivated agenda and allegiance to a mass murderer and sponsor of terrorism never mentioned. Attempts by the Thai government to impede their criminal activities and hold them accountable for both armed terrorism and political subversion, are condemned by the US as infringing on “free speech” and “human rights.”
No Room For Victims, Only for Agents of Further Chaos
As the US has done in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and beyond, portraying subversive and violent movements aimed at dividing and destroying nations as “pro-democracy” movements until each nation is overthrown, the US seeks to do in Thailand and other nations targeted for regime change.
The same processes that quietly worked their way through Libyan and Syrian society before erupting into headline-grabbing conflict are now quietly at work in Thailand.
Jom Petchpradab is just one of many agitators backed openly by the US, attempting to sow chaos and instability.
Shinawatra himself has been allowed to enter and conduct business within the US since his conviction in Thai courts – meaning the US has openly aided and abetted a fugitive.
While the US labels Syrian President Bashar al Assad a “mass murderer” for fighting back against US-armed militants set on overthrowing Damascus and transforming the nation into a failed state like Libya, it opened its doors to Shinawatra who killed nearly 3,000 innocent people in 90 days purely to win political points from among his supporters.
It is ironic that as the US – through its tightening immigration controls – turns away victims of its own, multiple, and expanding wars stretching from North Africa to Central Asia, it is only providing asylum to those who serve as agents of subversion and destabilization in the few corners of the globe free so far of US-backed chaos.
Destabilizing Thailand to Encircle, Contain China
Thailand is just one of many nations targeted by US foreign policy because it lies along China’s peripheries. By either destabilizing Thailand or installing an obedient client regime, the US can create along China’s peripheries either chaos or organized opposition much in the same way the US has used NATO to encircle and attempt to contain Russia.
Thailand is not alone. Similar events are unfolding in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar with varying degrees of success or frustration for US policymakers.
Watching the nascent stages of US-backed regime change attempt to take hold in Thailand offers observers the opportunity to understand how nations like Syria – now consumed by US-engineered conflict – fell victim. Observing this process in its early stages may also help devise ways of preventing it from likewise transforming into another US-engineered catastrophe.