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New Thai Government’s Vows Obedience to US Foreign Policy: Myanmar is First Victim

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June 7, 2023 (Brian Berletic – New Eastern Outlook) - Following recent general elections in Thailand, influenced heavily by years of US interference, a pro-US proxy regime is poised to take power.


Even before officially taking office, the leadership of the victorious Move Forward Party has vowed to help pursue US foreign policy objectives both in regards to “rebalancing” Thailand away from China and back toward the West, as well as regarding US interference elsewhere in Southeast Asia, and more specifically, Myanmar.

New Thai Government and US to Aid Militants in Nextdoor Myanmar 

The Irrawaddy, a media outlet funded by the US government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, is recognized as an undesirable organization in Russia), in a recent article titled, “Thailand Will No Longer Be Quiet on Myanmar: Incoming Coalition,” would boldly announce this stark pivot for Thai foreign policy.

The article would claim:

Fuadi Pitsuwan, foreign affairs chief for MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat, said the incoming government will revive Thai foreign policy to improve its image in ASEAN and alleviate Myanmar’s political crisis.

The article would note Fuadi Pitsuwan’s US education via Harvard and Georgetown University where he studied foreign service, which may explain why both he and the rest of his US-backed party have now so eagerly embraced not Thailand’s best interests, or even Southeast Asia’s or Eurasia’s best interests, but instead seek to implement US foreign policy objectives.

The article even points out Fuadi Pitsuwan and Move Forward’s desire to pivot back West despite the obvious lack of rational incentive to do so.

The article says:

He added that under the new government, Thailand will rebalance its foreign policy to restore its reputation in the international arena. Under the Prayut government, Bangkok foreign policy leaned away from western countries and more towards China.

The article continues, making it clear that Thailand’s foreign policy isn’t merely similar to Washington’s, it is Washington’s foreign policy that Thailand seeks to aid in implementing.

The article discusses Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s “Myanmar policy,” noting:

Pita highlighted the importance of the Burma Act, which he said Thailand would use to “start working with the international community to make sure that we have the right amount of pressure and incentives for people to resolve their conflict”. 

Passed by US Congress last December, the Burma Act authorizes US funding of non-lethal support for resistance forces in Myanmar.

Any involvement in Myanmar’s internal political affairs is a violation international law and more specifically, the UN Charter through its protection of national sovereignty and its prohibition against foreign interference. Such involvement also violates the fundamental principles of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which include, “non-interference in the internal affairs of one another,” and the “settlement of differences or disputes by [a] peaceful manner.” Both Thailand and Myanmar are ASEAN member states.

Not only is Washington’s “Burma Act” and Move Forward Party’s vow to assist in implementing it a violation of international law under the UN Charter and ASEAN’s fundamental principles, by providing “non-lethal aid” to what The Irrawaddy calls “resistance forces,” the US and its proxies within Move Forward will be fuelling an armed conflict.

The armed militants in Myanmar fighting the central government have repeatedly carried out attacks not only on police and military forces, but also on political opponents, civil servants and ordinary civilians perceived as not supportive of their armed campaign.

Another US government-funded media outlet, Myanmar Now, has published many articles since the fighting began in 2021 about the nature of the armed opposition. Despite being supportive of the opposition, Myanmar Now has been unable or unwilling to cover up the terroristic nature of the opposition.

In one 2021 article titled, “After a bold attack, PDF fighters consider their next move,” regarding attacks carried out against civilian train traffic across Myanmar, the article would cite one of the armed militants fighting the central government who described in detail who he believed represented potential targets of their violence.

The article says:

According to La Pyae Wun, that means that anyone in uniform who continues to work for the junta, including traffic police, firefighters, and even Red Cross workers, is fair game.

In addition to blatant terrorism, the US-backed opposition the incoming Thai government would be aiding through the US “Burma Act” is also openly anti-China. The militants have repeatedly attacked Chinese factories, other investments, and jointly-built infrastructure projects including pipelines making up Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

US-Thai Aid to Militancy in Myanmar is Part of Wider Proxy War Against China 

Associated Press in 2021 in their article, “Attacks on Chinese-run factories in Myanmar vex Beijing,” would report on the opposition attacking and destroying Chinese factories in Myanmar.

The Irrawaddy had covered a February 2022 opposition attack on a pipeline facility making up part of China’s BRI infrastructure in Myanmar in its article, “China-Backed Pipeline Facility Damaged in Myanmar Resistance Attack.” More recently, The Irrawaddy covered another attack in early May 2023 in its article, “Myanmar Resistance Group Claims Attack on Chinese Pipeline Facility.”

The US, through its support for this armed militancy attacking Chinese infrastructure, investments, and industry in Myanmar as well as the China-friendly central government, is essentially waging a proxy war on China itself. The incoming Thai government led by Move Forward Party is openly declaring its intention of recruiting Thailand to participate in this proxy war against China, aiding militants who are attacking Chinese property and investments, and endangering the lives of Chinese nationals and their allies.

It should be pointed out that China is currently Thailand’s largest trade partner, foreign investor, source of tourism (more Chinese tourists come to Thailand than from all Western nations combined), infrastructure partner including through the building of Thailand’s first high-speed rail line, and defense partner by helping Thailand replace its aging US military hardware with cheaper, more modern and effective Chinese alternatives including everything from main battle tanks to warships and submarines.

By joining the US in a proxy war ultimately aimed at China itself, Thailand risks shattering its ties with China – ties that the US and Europe are economically and politically incapable of providing alternatives to.

As in Europe, So to in Southeast Asia? 

It is safe to say that Thailand risks sabotaging its ties with Asia’s chief engine of development and prosperity. By joining the US in its efforts to destabilize and destroy neighboring nations, it risks destabilizing and destroying the entire region – not unlike what US foreign policy is demonstrably doing to Europe right now through its proxy war with Russia via Ukraine.

In Europe too, the US convinced national governments to side with Washington against Russia over Ukraine, urging them to impose sanctions on Russia economically while fueling the conflict in Ukraine militarily. The predictable result was the collapse not of Russia’s economy, but of nations within the European Union whose economy and industry until recently benefited immensely from the import of cheap Russian energy.

A similar catastrophe is now taking shape across Asia where the United States has convinced nations like the Philippines and the incoming government in Thailand to forego constructive ties with China in pursuit of equally self-destructive policies across the region aimed against China.

It is not too late. Thailand’s Move Forward Party still faces several hurdles before taking power. A selected senate has significant power to prevent Move Forward from forming a government.

Even if it does come into power, Move Forward’s ability to implement certain policies could be severely hindered by various checks and balances, including the selected senate, the previous government put into place specifically to protect against the foreign-driven abuses Move Forward now seeks to carry out.

The leadership of Move Forward face several possible legal cases which could bar them from politics and even possibly disband their entire party.

The US government as well as the Western media have attempted to gloss over these issues and claim that any obstruction to Move Forward’s takeover of the Thai government would be “undemocratic.” Thailand would then likewise face the same sort of Western pressure and intervention the US has organized against other nations attempting to protect themselves from similar political capture.

In the worst case scenario, Move Forward will take power, implement its support for the US “Burma Act,” helping fuel an armed conflict across its own borders with Myanmar, destabilize the region, and jeopardize development and prosperity, before moving on to support other aspects of US foreign policy in the region, including driving growing conflict in the South China Sea, and siding with the US against China regarding its island province of Taiwan, and much more.

What Can Thailand Do to Restore Sovereignty? 

For Thailand to reclaim its sovereignty and protect itself from this sort of foreign policy hard-pivot, a myriad of actions would be required.

This includes Thailand adopting strict national security laws to cut off US money used to interfere in Thailand’s internal political affairs. It would also include the creation of Thai-based social media platforms to reduce the nation’s dependence on US-based platforms clearly working with the US State Department to control Thailand’s (and many other nations’) information space.

Thailand would also benefit greatly from the creation of a Thai-based English language media platform to tell Thailand’s side of the story (similar to Russia’s RT or China’s CGTN).

In order to find the human resources needed to achieve all of this, Thailand would need to heavily restrict US and British government educational programs (Fulbright, Chevening, YSEALI) aimed at grooming collaborators and proxies within Thailand, and creating in its place an educational pipeline in cooperation with like-minded nations like Russia and China committed to the primacy of national sovereignty and a multipolar future.

Thai universities would also need to reexamine their criteria for hiring professors to prevent those indoctrinated by the West from spreading narratives across Thailand’s youth that are not only divorced from reality, but serve US interests at the cost of Thailand’s interests.

Today, even if Thailand barred Move Forward from power and cut off US government-funding within Thailand’s political landscape, the vast majority of “qualified” personnel for jobs everywhere from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the government’s existing English-language media platform, Thai PBS, have been educated in and thus heavily indoctrinated by the West.

Until Thailand is able to redirect a large number of students to study in nations invested in multipolarism or create its own pipeline within Thailand with truly qualified professors dedicated to Thai sovereignty, this equation will remain tilted heavily in Washington, London, and Brussels’ favor.

It is an extensive process, but considering the damage the recently-elected US proxy regime poised to take power is already vowing to do to Thailand and the region, it is an extensive process that is necessary to avoid similar chaos to what is unfolding in Eastern Europe now, and before that, across North Africa and the Middle East.

International blocs like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have recently begun speaking openly about cooperating together to combat US meddling around the globe. Nations like Thailand can either seek to benefit from this growing trend toward protecting and upholding national sovereignty, or work together with other nations in ASEAN to create similar, region-wide efforts to combat US interference and to create institutions that speak up for and work in ASEAN’s collective interests.

 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


Source: https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2023/06/new-thai-governments-vows-obedience-to.html


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