From Volume 38, Issue 27 of EIR Online, Published July 15, 2011
Asia News Digest

Obama's Afghan War: Is It To Break Up Pakistan?

July 6 (EIRNS)—Islamabad is reporting increased attacks by the Afghan Pushtun insurgents inside Pakistan's territory, causing casualties to security personnel and civilians. Pakistan has complained that militants coming from Afghan bases have killed at least 55 members of the security forces and tribal police over the last month. Hundreds of insurgents have moved inside Pakistan's border, and the fighting is continuing. Many in Pakistan believe that these insurgents have moved in at the United States' behest.

What concerns Islamabad the most, are fears that Washington has adopted the London-directed policy articulated by Robert Blackwill, a Bush-era neo-con, under which Afghanistan would undergo a virtual partition. Foreign troops would move north, and hand over the Pushtun-dominated part of Afghanistan to the Washington- and London-chosen Pushtuns protected by the Afghan National Army.

This view is based upon the fact that a virtual peace treaty has been established between the foreign troops and the most militant Pushtuns in southern Afghanistan. On July 4, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and of U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), who will be soon taking over as CIA Director, said the focus of the war will shift in upcoming months from Taliban strongholds in the South, to the porous eastern border with Pakistan, where al-Qaeda factions and others hold sway.

The Pakistan news daily The Nation, in its editorial, "Snake in the Grass," pointed out that these forays have been going on for quite some time, and from the manner in which they are launched, with militants having sophisticated weapons and plenty of ammunition, it is clear that they are being done at the behest of the U.S.

The editorial said: "It is time to part ways with the U.S., bring down all the intruding drones and refuse to take any aid largesse. And currently reports appearing in a section of press indicating that the government is launching an operation in Kurram Agency are quite worrisome. It seems that the government has again succumbed to the pressure of the US to go into tribal areas. Why are we not realizing that the US only wants to pit brother against brother in the country and create a civil-war-like situation? The days ahead are going to be crucial for us as a nation and we need to stay focused and avoid the pitfall the US is busy setting up."

What The Nation is referring to, is the concern that a situation is being created by the United States to combine the Pushtuns of Afghanistan with the Pushtuns of Pakistan. That would create the condition on the ground for breaking away the western part of Pakistan.

ASEAN Declares Victory in Thailand

July 6 (EIRNS)—The smashing election victory by Yingluck Shinawatra's Pheu Thai party in the July 3 national elections in Thailand is being correctly read across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and much of the world as a victory against the British effort to destroy the nations of ASEAN and their peaceful and productive relations with China and (to a lesser extent) India. Although this is not publicly reported as a victory against the British, it is well known that the royalist/military forces that controlled the now-defeated Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjijiva are assets of the British Crown and its fellow European monarchical families. Abhisit was born, bred, and educated in London, and carries a British passport.

The puppet government's efforts to start a war with Thailand's poor, weak neighbor Cambodia—a classic case of British imperial "divide and conquer" techniques—is now a dead letter. Indonesia, currently the chair of ASEAN, had been prepared to send peacekeepers into the disputed border region to stop further provocations from the Thai military, but the Thai military vetoed it. Now, this peacekeeping mission will certainly proceed, as Yingluck said that rebuilding relations with Thailand's neighbors was at the top of her agenda. Michael Tene, the spokesman for Indonesia's Foreign Ministry, congratulated Thailand on the election, and said that the new government could "make valuable contributions to the stability and prosperity of the region."

The capacity of the royalist/military forces to launch a coup or use the courts to depose the government—as they have done three times before, beginning with the military coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006—is greatly reduced by at least three factors: the overwhelming election victory, despite vote-shaving in Bangkok; the overwhelming support of ASEAN for the new government; and public support from the U.S. for the new government. U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney held a meeting with Yingluck on July 4, and is reported to have assured the Thai Prime Minister-elect that the U.S. would not back a coup, and would end military support if one were carried out.

Already there are plans to jump-start China's offer to build a high-speed rail line running from the Laotian border in the northeast to the southern border with Malaysia, as part of the "Asian Railroad" from Kunming, China, to Singapore, as well as other power and infrastructure plans which were part of the Pheu Thai platform. The Kra Canal project, long championed by Lyndon LaRouche and his friends in Thailand (featured in two conferences co-sponsored by LaRouche in Bangkok in the early 1980s), is expected to be back on the table.

The top economic advisor to PM-elect Yingluck, Suchart Thadathamrongvej, said after the election victory, that Thailand may abandon the "free float" of its currency, the baht (the mechanism used by George Soros in 1997 to destroy Thailand and much of Asia) in favor of a "managed exchange system"—the first discussion of such a policy since Malaysia's then-Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad imposed such currency controls in 1998 to stop Soros's assault. Suchart also challenged the sacrosanct "independence of the central bank," saying that "monetary policy should not be left to the Bank of Thailand."

Reopening of Japan's Nuclear Capacity Stymied by Prime Minister

July 8 (EIRNS)—Motion had been building in Japan to open the 31 undamaged nuclear plants that remain shut for maintenance or for other reasons. Industry Minister Banri Kaieda had obtained public approval from the mayor of the town of Genkai, which has two reactors, and was close to getting approval from Sago Prefecture's governor, when Prime Minister Naoto Kan threw a spanner into the works.

The Asahi Shimbun daily reports that it was on Kan's direct order that Kaieda announced on July 6 that the government would conduct additional safety evaluations, although the industry minister has repeatedly stressed that current safety measures are adequate.

Hideo Kishimoto, the mayor of Genkai, immediately withdrew his approval for the restart of the two Kyushu Electric Power reactors in his city. "Prime Minister Kan is saying the stress tests are a precondition for restarting reactors, so it's as though my decision was meaningless. I'm extremely angry," Kishimoto said. The prefecture's governor, Yasushi Furukawa, who had been about to approve the restarts, told reporters that the biggest problem is that there's no way of knowing the government's real intentions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the government is rushing to finalize a policy on resuming operations at the power plants. In other words, the idea for "stress tests" was just an expedient to slow down, delay, and sabotage Japan's return to nuclear power. If the "no restart" policy is continued, there will not be a nuclear industry in Japan in less than a year, as reactors are shut for maintenance in normal rotation.

Kan earlier saved his job as Prime Minister by pre-announcing his resignation in the face of a no-confidence vote last month, but without a set date and with expanding conditions. Kaieda is said to be furious with Kan for the untenable position his boss put him in; he, too, will also resign "when the time comes."

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