Category Archives: Propaganda/PsyOps

What’s Really Behind Anti-China Protests in Vietnam?

26.06.2018 Author: Joseph Thomas

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US and European media outlets reported anti-Chinese protests across Vietnam. Claims regarding numbers varied greatly from several hundred to others claiming several thousand. The Western media was particularly careful not to mention the names of any of the individuals or organisations leading the protests.

The South China Morning Post in its article titled, “Anti-China protests: dozens arrested as Vietnam patriotism spirals into unrest,” would claim:

People were angry at a draft law that would allow 99-year concessions in planned special economic zones, which some view as sweetheart deals for foreign and specifically Chinese firms.

Though the Post and others across the Western mainstream media claimed the protests were “peaceful,” they eventually spiralled out of control resulting in assaults on police and vandalism of public buildings.

The systematic omission of essential facts and intentional misrepresentation regarding the protests follows the same pattern observed regarding other US-European sponsored unrest around the globe.

Anti-Chinese Fervour is Pro-American, Not “Nationalist” 

The Post itself would claim the protests took on a “nationalist” tone, yet in the Post’s own article and without an explanation from the Post as to why, American flags could be clearly spotted among the mobs.

The few names that were mentioned by the US-European media included well-known so-called “pro-democracy” activists drawn from networks openly supported by Washington, London and Brussels.

This included Duong Dai Trieu Lam, mentioned by the Financial Times in its article, “Anti-Chinese protesters take to Vietnam’s streets.” He’s a member of the so-called Vietnamese Bloggers Network which routinely coordinates its anti-government activities with the support of Western embassies.

The network was founded by now-jailed opposition figure Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as “Mother Mushroom.” A Newsweek article titled, “Who is Vietnam’s Mother Mushroom? Blogger Honored by Melania Trump Jailed for Ten Years,” would admit:

Quynh, a single mother of two, had given interviews to Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, her lawyer Vo An Don said. She founded a network of bloggers in her homeland and has written about deaths in police custody, environmental disasters and human rights. 

She received the Woman of Courage award at the U.S. State Department in March this year, presented by Melania Trump. Vietnam said the award “was not appropriate and of no benefit to the development of the relations between the two countries”, the Guardian reported.

Other US-European sponsored opposition figures include Nguyen Van Dai who heads the so-called “Brotherhood for Democracy,” another transparently US-funded and directed front aimed at pressuring, destabilising, co-opting and/or overthrowing Vietnam’s political order.

Nguyen Van Dai was recently released from prison and exiled from Vietnam.

His exile was not the first. There was also blogger Nguyen Hoang Hai, also known as Dieu Cay, who when exiled to the United States, was greeted by supporters waving the yellow and red-striped flag of the now defunct Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the proxy state created by French colonialists and American invaders during the Vietnam War.

His return was covered by US State Department-funded and directed Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese-language version.

Other pro-US/anti-Chinese opposition figures include Le Quoc Quan, who was in fact a US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) fellow. US Congress members and the NED itself wrote passionate pleas for Le Quoc Quan’s release from prison. The NED, in a post on their website titled, “NED Reagan-Fascell Fellow Le Quoc Quan Arrested after Return to Vietnam,” would claim (our emphasis):

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is greatly troubled by the arrest in Vietnam of Le Quoc Quan. Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer, has recently been in residence at NED on a congressionally-funded Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship, pursuing independent research on the role of civil society in emerging democracies. He was arrested on March 8 in his hometown in Nghe An province, only 4 days after his return from Washington to Vietnam. At this time, Le Quoc Quan’s whereabouts are unknown, and there are no public charges against him. 

“It is a deep insult to the United States that the Vietnamese regime would harass someone in this way who has just participated in a citizen exchange program supported by the US Congress and Department of State,” said NED President Carl Gershman. “Le Quoc Quan is someone who is optimistic about the future of his country, who is most concerned about improving the lives of his fellow citizens, and who is nothing if not a Vietnamese patriot.”

Frontline Defenders, a front funded by Western governments and corporate foundations like George Soros’ Open Society, would mention Le Quoc Quan’s anti-Chinese activities, stating that:

As well as providing legal representation to those who are persecuted for claiming their rights, Le Quoc Quan runs a blog. In this blog he writes about various issues including civil rights, political pluralism and religious freedom. He has also participated in a number of protests against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

It is clear that Vietnam’s so-called opposition is in no way “nationalist,” and merely opposes Chinese interests in Vietnam because Washington opposes them. By taking US and European funding and carrying out Western directives, they are actively undermining Vietnam’s sovereignty, not upholding it.

It is also clear why the US and European media omit mention of opposition leaders even when covering significant events like the recent anti-China street protests. Had the truth been told to international audiences, the opposition’s hypocrisy would be exposed and their legitimacy undermined.

American Meddling Endangers Vietnam and the Region 

At a time when the US and its European allies make accusations about supposed “Russian interference,” US and European-backed mobs take to the streets in nations like Vietnam, attempting to influence national policy and decision-making, while literally flying US flags.

For Hanoi, it must continue its balancing act between Beijing and Washington. But the sort of opposition Washington is cultivating in the streets of Vietnam appears to not only be overtly coercive, but clearly connected to unfinished business dating back to the US invasion and occupation of Vietnam. Hanoi and Beijing have faced off militarily as well, but the threat the US posed and still poses is not a matter of disputed borders between two nations, but Washington’s enduring desire to control all within Vietnam’s borders.

Vietnam is not the only nation facing growing US coercion in the form of US-funded and directed opposition movements. Cambodia and Thailand likewise face opposition parties entirely backed by the US and its European allies. US-backed opposition also just assumed power in Malaysia and a US-funded and directed opposition party has already seized power and ruled in Myanmar since 2016.

US efforts to undermine and overwrite national sovereignty across Southeast Asia includes regional synergies between opposition fronts in each respective nation. It would likely benefit targeted nations to likewise coordinate their activities in countering, diminishing or entirely uprooting foreign-funded and directed networks interfering in the region’s internal political affairs.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2018/06/26/whats-really-behind-anti-china-protests-in-vietnam/

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Washington Post Denies US Meddling in Cambodia, Cites US Meddlers

29.05.2018 Author: Tony Cartalucci

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Washington is attempting to seize on momentum produced by a sweeping victory for US-backed opposition in Malaysia by ratcheting up pressure across the rest of Southeast Asia through US-funded opposition groups, US-funded media, and US-funded and directed fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

This includes in Cambodia where the opposition headed by the now jailed Kem Sokha has been barred from elections. Kem Sokha is in prison after being convicted of sedition. Kem Sokha had trekked to Washington annually for years to lobby US senators like Richard Durbin and John McCain for support. He had repeatedly bragged about conspiring with the US government to seize power.

The Phnom Penh Post in its article, “Kem Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” would quote Kem Sokha who claimed (emphasis added):

And, the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can changed the dictator Slobodan Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes.

“You know Milosevic had a huge numbers of tanks. But they changed things by using this strategy, and they take this experience for me to implement in Cambodia. But no one knew about this.”

Of course, even the New York Times admitted that the US government had likewise overthrown the government of Serbia through networks like the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries Freedom House, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). It should be noted that Senator McCain chairs the IRI.

Yet despite the open conspiracy to overthrow Cambodia’s government and install a US client regime headed by Kem Sokha and his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), there have been attempts across the Western media to deny Washington’s role, particularly in the wake of now years of accusing and condemning what the US calls “Russian meddling” in US politics and elections.

Washington Post Denies US Meddling by Citing an Army of US Meddlers 

The Washington Post in an article written by Anna Fifield titled, “The former Khmer Rouge commander who still leads Cambodia is again stoking anti-American sentiment,” begins not as a work of journalism, but as an overt smear against anyone who suspects US meddling in Cambodia:

The United States has been busy in Cambodia these past few months, if Hun Sen’s government is to be believed. Between trying to overthrow the government and secretly backing the now-dissolved opposition party, it has been supporting journalists who report “fake news” and spy for Washington. 

Oh, and the CIA has assassinated a prominent political analyst. (Never mind that the analyst was actually a critic of the government and should therefore have been on the CIA’s side, if the conspiracy theories are to be consistent.)

One would believe that the Washington Post’s initially unprofessional introduction would be balanced by a factual, point-by-point rebuttal of accusations concerning US meddling in Cambodia.

Instead, the first source cited by the Washington Post is Naly Pilorge, head of the Phnom Penh-based “human rights organization” Licadho, who claims the US is being unfairly treated as a “boogeyman.”

The Washington Post never provides any background regarding Licadho. Those who take Washington Post’s narratives at face value likely assumed the organization is independent. Those who actually visit Licadho’s website will find a long list of US and European sponsors providing it tens of thousands of dollars in funding – including USAID.

Next, the Washington Post cites Kem Monovithya, the daughter of Kem Sokha who lives in Washington D.C. and is a regular attendee of US government events organized to provide support for Kem Sokha and his CNRP.

The article also mentions that the Cambodian government shuttered “independent media,” but then cites US government-funded and run Radio Free Asia and Voice of America – both of which fall under the US government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors chaired by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself, and Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert among others.

The Washington Post also cites Nop Vy, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM). Again, like Licadho, a quick visit to the CCIM’s website reveals that it is funded by multiple US NED subsidiaries including Freedom House and IRI as well as the British Embassy and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

Next is the Cambodia Daily, which the Washington Post claims is an “independent” and “influential English-language newspaper.” However, the Cambodia Daily was founded and is owned by an American, Bernard Krisher.

From Cambodia’s opposition political party itself, to media organizations supporting it, to supposed “rights advocates” opposed to the current Cambodian government, the Washington Post failed to name one that was not either directly funded and run out of Washington, or literally living in Washington.

All About China 

The Washington Post’s article concludes by noting China’s increased role in supporting Cambodia, including military cooperation and even alleged help in establishing media outlets such as Fresh News to reflect the government’s side of the story.

The Washington Post depicts this as somehow the tides turning against “freedom” and “democracy,” apparently unable to appreciate the rich irony demonstrated throughout the entire article. If Beijing helped create favorable media for Cambodia’s current government – Washington helped the opposition create a tidal wave of unfavorable media against it.

The article also makes mention of neighboring Thailand – another nation US regime change is hard at work against – with a similar network of US-funded fronts aimed at the current government in Bangkok, the nation’s powerful military, and its popular constitutional monarchy.

It is clear that Cambodia’s political conflict is not one between democracy and dictatorship – but of US-backed proxies representing interests in Washington and on Wall Street from the other side of the planet, versus an incumbent government who has chosen to build ties with a nation residing in the same region – Asia – with whom Cambodia shares many historical, cultural, economic, and political ties.

US “Democracy Promotion” is by Definition Undemocratic 

The fig leaf of “democracy’ blows away in the wind for US meddling and propaganda like Anna Fifield’s article in the Washington Post when realizing democracy’s first and foremost purpose is self-determination – not a fate and future determined by Washington.

The opposition, media, and “rights advocates” the US finds itself funding around the globe require such funding because they represent agendas local populations see straight through and do not support themselves. It would seem a group unable to find any support among the people it claims to represent – and thus resorts to taking foreign cash and support – couldn’t be any more undemocratic.

For the Washington Post whose slogan is, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” an article that cites sources whose relevant backgrounds and conflicts of interests are intentionally concealed from readers is a cloak of darkness itself.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2018/05/29/washington-post-denies-us-meddling-in-cambodia-cites-us-meddlers/

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Extensive US Meddling in Malaysia’s General Election Revealed

17.05.2018 Author: Tony Cartalucci

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After now 2 years of accusations and constant headlines regarding allegations of still unproven “Russian influence” in the 2016 US presidential election, it is difficult to imagine that real political meddling or election interference anywhere around the globe could go unnoticed.

This is especially true regarding the Western corporate media who has portrayed itself as deeply aware of the unethical and undemocratic nature of one nation interfering in the elections of another.

Yet during Malaysia’s recent general election – hailed by the Western media as a “historic win” for an opposition the Western media clearly favored – not a single story was written by media organizations like Reuters, AFP, CNN, the BBC and many others covering foreign interference during the elections.

Despite the lack of Western attention regarding foreign election meddling, it is revealed that Malaysia’s opposition is almost entirely comprised of US government-funded fronts – ranging from opposition leaders themselves, to political street fronts and organizers, to media organizations posing as “independent” Malaysian journalists, and “rights advocates” leveraging human rights advocacy to support the opposition and compromise Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional (BN) party.

Malaysia – a former British colony – faces the incremental expansion of US and European “soft power” within its borders – transforming it from a sovereign nation into a subordinate, modern Western client state.  As the US is attempting to do all throughout Southeast Asia from Cambodia to Thailand and the Philippines to Myanmar – the final goal is surrounding China with nations hostile to it politically, economically, and even militarily.

US-Funding and Support Propped up Malaysia’s Opposition 

Malaysia’s victorious opposition party – Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) – is openly headed by “de facto leader” Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant for the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Conservative dominated and Wall Street-funded National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony

His service to Western institutions and the corporate-financier interests that created them – including NED – explains the unanimous support he has received for years throughout the entirety of the Western corporate media.

Before his imprisonment in 2015, he led the Bersih street front, a movement Western media sources like the Guardian cited as being pivotal to unseating the ruling BN party.

In a 2012 Guardian’s article titled, “Anwar Ibrahim’s moment of truth looms,” it reported that:

Elections are expected to be called any time in the next nine months, and even those who do not openly back Anwar often support what he stands for: relief from an autocratic and out-of-touch government they say has ruled Malaysia for too long. In April many tens of thousands of Malaysians took to the nation’s streets to demand electoral reform at rallies organised by Bersih, an opposition-backed coalition of civil-society groups whose name means “clean” in Malay. 

In another 2012 Guardian article titled, “Malaysian police fire teargas at electoral reform protesters,” it admitted Anwar Ibrahim’s role in leading Bersih:

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who many hope will win the upcoming election, rallied the enthusiastic crowds as one of Bersih’s leaders, Ambiga Sreenevasan, said: “We all want change today.” 

The above mentioned Ambiga Sreenevasan – who has played a key role in this year’s general elections in Malaysia – has received extensive US government funding for her activities, including US State Department money from NED subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), provided for training and support for Bersih specifically.

The NDI on its own website would describe its funding:

In July 2005, NDI organized a national-level workshop for party leaders on election reform. NDI has since conducted workshops across Malaysia to promote electoral reform in collaboration with Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), the secretariat for BERSIH. In 2006, NDI conducted a workshop for BERSIH that focused on pimproving the action plancs of each participating organization or political party. In 2007, NDI and BERSIH conducted a series of workshops in the politically neglected provinces of Sabah and Sarawak to educate previously disenfranchised political aspirants. 

In other words, the US State Department worked with Malaysia’s opposition to build up its support base in an obvious effort to influence elections in their favor. 

US-funded NGOs and Media 

NED’s official website often erases, deletes, and replaces financial disclosures regarding its political and election meddling around the globe. During the recent Malaysian elections, its disclosure for activities in Malaysia was coincidentally offline and instead, an ambiguous “search” page was offered.

However, NED’s activities in Malaysia are extensive – ranging from direct support for opposition parties as illustrated through its support of Bersih, to the funding of pro-opposition media fronts, legal firms dedicated to protecting opposition members and targeting BN politicians, and fronts posing as “human rights” advocates.

On NED’s website, it lists the following under “Malaysia 2017“:

Combating Corruption and Promoting Accountability

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4)
$60,000
To promote good governance and accountability and to combat corruption. This multifaceted project will encourage public participation in efforts to combat corruption, including research on various forms on corruption in Malaysia; education around the Auditor General’s reports on the national budget; advocacy focused on strengthening the independence of public institutions; training workshops for youth on various aspects of corruption; and the promotion of online tools to build public participation in promoting transparency.

Promoting Governmental Accountability and Strengthening Anti-Corruption Efforts

Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs
$40,000
To promote transparency and accountability within the Malaysian government and strengthen institutions working on issues of corruption. The organization will publish a series of articles, opinion pieces, and a book focused on efforts to combat corruption, produce infographics, and conduct roundtables and on proposed reforms designed to strengthen institutions and promote civic education on anti-corruption and good governance.

Promoting Human Rights and Access to Justice

Lawyers for Liberty
$45,000
To support a community of lawyers dedicated to the advancement of human rights through strategic litigation. The primary focus of the project will be the litigation of a variety of cases with important human rights implications and the conducting of public information campaigns and empowerment trainings.

Promoting Pluralism

Projek Dialog
$25,000
To promote open, reflective, and meaningful conversations among youth on diversity and inclusion in Malaysia. The organization will seek to promote an appreciation for pluralism through interactions between Malaysian young people and marginalized communities, including representatives of indigenous populations, refugees, and members of the Shia community.

Public Opinion Research

Merdeka Center for Opinion Research
$65,000
To carry out independent, objective public opinion research that will enable policy makers and civil society representatives to formulate policies and programs. The grantee will conduct public opinion surveys across peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak to gauge the Malaysian public’s opinion on a variety of public policy issues.

Strategic Litigation and Human Rights Advocacy

Liberal Banter Sdn Bhd
$40,000
To provide the Malaysian public, especially young Malaysians, with a forum to discuss critical political issues in the country and to support the advancement of human rights through strategic litigation. Project activities will include a series of initiatives designed to improve young people’s human rights advocacy skills and encourage their involvement in political processes, support for a variety of legal cases with important human rights implications, and maintenance of a resource center for Malaysian youth.

Strengthening Political Parties and Citizen-Responsive Democratic Governance

International Republican Institute (IRI)
$395,000
To strengthen political parties’ ability to campaign and govern responsively and democratically. The institute will bolster the skills of political parties in the areas of coalition operations, citizen-responsive and data-driven platform and policy formulation, messaging, and leveraging new media. It will also help to bridge the gap between parties and citizens by providing youth with the platforms and skills necessary to voice concerns and engage in discourse on issues related to Malaysia’s democratic development.

And while the US State Department NED website lists an extensive amount of meddling in Malaysia’s internal politics, legal system, elections, and media – there are actually many more organizations it has failed to disclose.

This includes the prominent pro-opposition “independent” media organization, Malaysiakini.

Under its donors page, it lists Asia Foundation, Canadian International Development Agency, Free Voice, Dutch Embassy in Malaysia, Freidrich Naumann Foundation, International Centre for Journalists, Media Development Loan Fund (MDIF), NED, and George Soros’ Open Society as financial sponsors.

It claims that it accepts no more than 10% from any of the 9 foreign government and corporate foundation sponsors that fund it. However, it is clear that all 9 of the listed foreign organizations funding Malaysiakini are themselves a combine of Western corporate-financier interests.

Asia Foundation is funded by banks, weapons manufacturers, and big-oil. It also funded by the US State Department itself. MDIF is funded by Soros’ Open Society. The International Centre for Journalists runs programs funded by Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and chemical giant BASF.

Thus, regardless of Malaysiakini’s attempts to divide up its sponsors to claim it is “independent,” at least 90% of its funding comes from US-European corporate-financier interests.

Malaysiakini – like all NED fund recipients – undermines their own credibility by claiming corporations like Boeing, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, and BASF are interested in “promoting democracy” and “free speech” and not simply spreading their corporate monopolies into developing nations under the guise of both.

Double Standards, Not Democracy 

While the Western media has depicted a small number of Facebook ads from a nebulous Russian-based organization operating on a budget literally a thousand times smaller than 2016 US presidential election campaign budgets, as “Russian influence” – the US State Department is spending millions of dollars on efforts in Malaysia alone to build up the opposition’s support base and swing elections in their favor.

While the Western media clearly understands the unethical and undemocratic nature of such meddling as exemplified by their nonstop coverage of “Russian influence” since 2016 – they have failed categorically to even mention overt and extensive US meddling in Malaysia’s elections, let alone condemn it on equal terms with their accusations against Russia.

The Implications for Malaysia and Asia 

US-funded agitators in neighboring nations across Southeast Asia enthusiastically celebrated the victory of the US-backed opposition in Malaysia. These groups, while claiming to fight for “democracy” in their respective nations – represent a pan-regional effort to impose US interests upon Asia. They often coordinate their campaigns, defend each other during their setbacks, and create synergies as they move their singular, foreign-sponsored agenda forward.

This represents a risk to nations like Cambodia and Thailand where US meddling is also present and equally extensive. Protests in Thailand are funded by the US government and supported by US-funded media fronts and “rights” groups. The opposition party in Cambodia had gone as far as openly brag about conspiring with the US government to seize power.

For Malaysia itself – it remains to be seen which direction the opposition will go. Policies that aim to confront China, provide the US with a foothold in a region it is being systematically evicted from, or assistance provided to militants operating in Thailand’s deep south will indicate a regime dominated by US-funded proxies, executing policy on behalf of Washington, not the Malaysian people.

There is a possibility that the new government will include coalition members that keep its worst impulses in check. It is also possible that Malaysia’s ruling government will allow the opposition to absorb public anger for a certain period of time – as few of the opposition’s actual campaign promises are likely to improve the lives of average Malaysians – before taking power back in the near future.

Either way, the notion of democracy is first and foremost defined as self-determination. If a political party or opposition movement is funded and directed by foreign interests, the nation they seek to control is no longer determining its own destiny, but having it determined for them by their foreign sponsors. This is why it is universally recognized as illegal, unethical, and undemocratic for one nation to meddle in the politics of another.

For the US who has committed serial acts of international crime – including the invasion of Iraq in 2003, its current nearly two decade occupation of Afghanistan, its destruction of Libya and its ongoing proxy war in Syria – violating international norms and laws to meddle in another nation’s elections while accusing others of doing so to the US seems to indicate a partner genuine pro-democracy and pro-human rights advocates would avoid at all costs. Those embracing the US and its deep pockets cannot be trusted to honestly represent their true agenda and should be expected to camouflage it.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2018/05/17/extensive-us-meddling-in-malaysias-general-election-revealed/

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