A New Front: Myanmar’s Role in the Geopolitics of Empire

myanmarMyanmar has been gripped by abhorrent ethnic violence in recent weeks – violence which has begun to cast doubt on the democratic future of the country. The sectarian and religious bloodletting between the Buddhist Rakhine people and the Muslim minority known as the Rohingya, has led to an international outcry and a swift military response from the government. This sort of violence, something which is not entirely new in the region, threatens to tarnish the reforms made by the nation in the last twelve months.

However, with the eyes of the world focused on the Southeast Asian country, a much more significant and covert war is taking shape: a proxy war in which the United States and its allies use a variety of violent and non-violent means in their quest to block Chinese economic investment and development in Myanmar. It is against this backdrop that the recent changes, ranging from the ascension of Aung San Suu Kyi to the current ethnic strife in Sittwe, must be understood.

Violent Conflict and Chinese Interests

The armed conflicts in Myanmar correspond directly to large-scale Chinese development projects throughout the country. Essentially, long-standing ethnic and sectarian conflicts are being fomented by international forces which seek to destabilize the country, thereby loosening the grip of Chinese economic investment on the country. This is not to say that the conflicts are entirely fabricated but, as in Syria, Libya, and countless other examples around the world, the issue is spun by corporate-controlled media to obscure the reality that the issue is being manipulated from behind the scenes by the forces of Western imperialism.

The violence that has erupted among the Rakhine and Rohingya groups has shocked the world. However, seen from a more objective, less emotional perspective, the recent violence serves a vital geopolitical function for the United States. The center of the recent violence has been the city of Sittwe, capital of the Rakhine State on the northwestern coast of the country. This city is at the center of one of China’s most crucial international investments, the Sittwe port and pipeline project. This project, a twin oil and gas pipeline which would traverse Myanmar to link China’s southwestern Yunnan province with the Indian Ocean would, consequently, provide the Chinese land-based access to energy imports from Africa and the Middle East. Because of US naval dominance, not being completely reliant on commercial shipping is an integral aspect of the overall Chinese strategy. [Read more...]

9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?

The Roots of Lee Hamilton’s Six Figure Earnings

chickeggWe all know the relevance and importance of a solid and sound background check when it comes to our elected and appointed officials and commissioners. Of course we all want to know about that big ‘conflict of interest’ factor. Okay, not all of us, especially not our MSM stenographers, but a few independent researchers and journalists here and there, and the rest of us among the ‘active and inquiring’ crowd. So let’s call this ‘chasing the chicken’ for now.’ Are you with me so far? Just hang in there and you’ll find out what I’m talking about, or at least I hope you will 😉

Equally or even more significant is the need to follow up into post facto profiteering and connections of those assigned or elected for particular official posts. As in business, there is more than one method of payment and reimbursement for public figures serving interests other than the public, and in some cases interests totally in conflict with those of the public. Think of Former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and his post official position as a registered foreign agent for Turkey and his $35,000 a month payment. Or think about Former Defense Secretary, William Cohen, who went from heavily in debt and with negative net worth to multi millionaire in less than two years after leaving his public post. Unfortunately even fewer people, reporters and researchers, bother to cover and report on these important cases. Now, let’s call this ‘chasing the egg’ for the sake of what’s coming next.

HamiltonFortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner. Here are a few excerpts:

Back in May, I was unaware that WWC President Lee Hamilton is a board member of one of the Center's top corporate donors, BAE Systems Inc. That's the American division of the largest weapons and defense firm in the world, BAE Systems plc, based in the U.K., with annual sales exceeding $36 billion.

Lee Hamilton's 34 years as Congressman (D-IN) and his service on the CIA External Advisory Board, FBI Director's Advisory Board, 9/11 Commission, and elsewhere are cited in his biography on the WWC website.

Nowhere, however, does the WWC mention his simultaneous service to corporate America. Hamilton -- whose WWC salary exceeds $410,000 and who qualifies for a hefty Congressional pension -- is a member of the boards of not only BAE Systems Inc. (since 2004), but also Carbon Motors (since 2008), and the Albright Stonebridge Group (since 2006).

Hold on, it’s getting much worse, and I’m adding my own emphasis to the excerpts:

The latter is a DC-based “global strategy firm” headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (co-chaired the so-called “ Genocide Prevention Task Force" with former Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose firm represents Turkish businesses; they both refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide) and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (pled guilty to stealing classified documents needed by the 9/11 Commission).

Even aside from Hamilton's corporate connections, can the WWC serve as a “neutral forum” for, and objectively analyze, the issues facing the American people when companies with mercenary agendas – overseas business interests, deals with sordid foreign governments, genocide denial, Federal contracts, and more – are helping to foot WWC's budget?

BAE, for example, has lobbied against an Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress and, like several WWC donors, is a member of the American Turkish Council. The ATC is a business group that has shamelessly labored to defeat the Armenian resolution and that FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds has accused of serious wrongdoing.

Here is more on BAE as a major criminal entity: [Read more...]