An Intro To The Rohingya Crisis

By Brandon Turbeville

As the Syrian military gains more and more ground by the day, the United States seems ready to at least partially direct its focus in other areas of the world like North Korea. Indeed, the “Pivot to Asia” is now in full swing and all the horrific consequences that may result from it are on display. While not engendering the media hysterics that North Korea has warranted, Myanmar is clearly on the list of countries that is set to be bullied, destabilized, and possibly destroyed if it does not give in to the agenda of the Western Communo-Fascist establishment.

Unlike in countries such as Libya and Syria, however, where the U.S. funded proxy fighters to destroy the sitting governments, Myanmar is a bit more complicated. Here both the government and the so-called “rebels” are being supported in some manner by the United States and its “allies” such as Saudi Arabia.

The “Official” Story

The Western mainstream press, all at once, were alight with stories surrounding the “Rohingya Crisis” or the “Rohingya Genocide.” To read the reports coming from outlets like the Washington Post, CNN, or the Daily Beast, one would be led to believe that the Myanmar (Burma) government has been launching a campaign of extermination and ethnic cleansing against an innocent minority. These MSM outlets are presenting the crisis as a religious one; i.e. the Burmese government made up of Buddhists is attempting to expel or exterminate the Muslim Rohingya minority.

In an example of typical reporting the ever non-trustworthy CNN writes,

They have come in their thousands, crossing hills and rivers, marshes and rice paddies for the chance to cross into Bangladesh and escape the mass killings they say are being perpetrated against their people.

The UN estimates that, in just over one week, more than 70,000 Rohingya — a stateless, ethnic Muslim minority who largely inhabit Myanmar’s western Rakhine state — have fled escalating violence.

Refugees tell CNN the Myanmar army attacked them. The government blames “terrorists” for initiating the violence.

An estimated 73,000 refugees have crossed into Bangladesh since last Friday, UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan told CNN.

On Thursday, the bodies of 20 Rohingya were pulled out of the Naf River along the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Twelve of the dead were children.

The testimonies of Rohingya sheltering in overcrowded Bangladeshi refugee camps are harrowing.

“They are beating us, shooting at us and hacking our people to death,” Hamida Begum, one refugee who has left everything behind in a desperate attempt to flee with at least their lives, told CNN.

“Many people were killed. Many women were raped and killed. We are very poor. My husband is a day laborer,” she said.

“Begum” is an honorific given to some Muslim women, while others use it to replace their last name upon marriage.

“We used to have two square meals a day. But we lost everything after the war started,” she said, referring to the outbreak of violence last Friday when Rohingya militants staged co-ordinated attacks on border posts, killing 12 security officers.

In response, the military intensified “clearance operations,” driving thousands of people from their homes.

Government officials said Thursday that at least 399 people had been killed in fighting since last Friday. Of those, 370 were “terrorists,” they said. However, activists say the military has killed women, children and innocent men.

Both sides also blame each other for torching houses. The government says Rohingya militants have burned down more than 2,300 homes. The Rohingya says it’s the military that has attacking their houses.

Begum alleges that her family was tortured by the military and their accomplices, and that others were killed after failing to pay the soldiers a ransom

“We had to flee to save our lives. They don’t allow us to move freely. We were deprived of everything… They are picking up people from home and asking them for ransom. Many of (those people) were shot dead.”

CNN stated that it could not independently verify the stories of the fleeing refugees. The report continued, however, by stating,

There are many ethnic groups in Myanmar “but only the Rohingya are hated by the government,” said Mohammad Harun, who was among those fleeing.

The Rohingya are a minority Muslim population in Myanmar, however they’re denied the right to citizenship despite having lived there for generations.

Another refugee interviewed by CNN said the military ordered them to stay inside their homes.

“If we stay inside then they set our houses on fire, shooting at us or slaughtering us,” Nobin Shuna says. “Muslims have no rights.”

She says the military came to her village last Friday and killed five people, including her son.

“They were tortured to death. Our houses were set on fire. We lost everything there,” she said.

“How could we survive? I have no money. After seeing the massacre, I traveled all the way to the Bangladesh border. I left my home four days ago. Now where would I go? My son was killed.”

And so now these thousands trek westwards, towards the relative safety of neighboring Bangladesh.

Last year, as many as 85,000 Rohingya crossed the border following a similar spate of violence. The persecution of this people has been going on for decades, said Sally Smith, Executive Director of the Nexus Fund, an NGO committed to “preventing mass atrocities.”

“In the last few days, this is very similar to what happened in October, when you had a small-scale attack by a small number of Rohingya insurgents,” Smith told CNN.

“That led to a really disproportionate response by the Myanmar military against civilians, killing them, raping them, even firing machine guns at innocent men, women and children as they’re running toward the border to flee into Bangladesh.

“They’re burning down villages — it’s just not OK to attack civilians.”

The Council on Foreign Relations, always eager to support imperialism and wars overseas actually stands as one of the more tepid reporters of the official Rohingya story. It writes,

Violence broke out in 2012, when Rohingya men were accused of raping and killing a Buddhist woman. Buddhist nationalists responded by burning Rohingya homes, killing more than 280 people and displacing tens of thousands. Human Rights Watch characterized the anti-Rohingya violence as “crimes against humanity.”

Most displaced Rohingya have been forced to take shelter in squalid refugee camps. Others have turned to smugglers, paying for transport out of Myanmar. “The fact that thousands of Rohingya prefer a dangerous boat journey they may not survive to staying in Myanmar speaks volumes about the conditions they face there,” said Amnesty International’s Kate Schuetze in 2015.

A series of attacks on security posts along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in October 2016 triggered another outbreak of ethnic violence in Rakhine. Local authorities blamed Rohingya militants for the attacks, prompting an inflow of military and police forces to hunt for those responsible and tighten security. Amid the security lockdown, tens of thousands of Rohingya were forced from their homes, many fleeing to Bangladesh. Reports in November indicated that the security presence was also preventing the entry of much-needed international aid, including food and medical care.

Clashes in Rakhine broke out again in August 2017 after a militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks on police and army posts in which more than one hundred people died. While the government declared ARSA a terrorist organization following the attacks, the ARSA leader said in an interview that the attacks were carried out to “defend our civilian population.” He said the militants’ longer term goal is the peaceful coexistence of Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine. Fighting between the military and insurgents sent thousands of Rohingya to the country’s border with Bangladesh as government troops opened fire on civilians. Myanmar’s security forces have also allegedly planted land mines near border crossings used by Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. More than 370,000 Rohingya have left Myanmar, approximately a third of the estimated Rohingya population in the country.

Much of what the CFR writes regarding this conflict is accurate enough. The Myanmar government is indeed oppressing its citizens, specifically the Rohingya population. Rohingya “insurgents” are committing attacks. However, the CFR and the rest of the mainstream corporate press leaves out the deeper connections between the Western power networks, GCC influence and cooperation, and the tragic events that are unfolding right now in Myanmar.

Who And What Is Behind The Myanmar Government?

Unlike countries such as Libya, Iraq, and Syria, where the national governments were completely or mostly free of Western control and represented a resistance to the Anglo-Western financier establishment, Myanmar has been supported by the United States and its NGO network for quite some time. Indeed, Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer Report has been documenting the extensive and open connections between the Myanmar government and American NGO networks.

As Cartalucci writes in his article, “Analysis By Analogy: Myanmar Is Not Syria,

An extensive 2006 report by Burma Campaign UK titled, “Failing the People of Burma?” (PDF), would reveal how virtually every facet of Myanmar’s current government is a creation of Western political and financial support. (Note: The US and UK still often refer to Myanmar by its British colonial name, “Burma”).

The report would lay this out in great detail, stating:

The restoration of democracy in Burma is a priority U.S. policy objective in Southeast Asia. To achieve this objective, the United States has consistently supported democracy activists and their efforts both inside and outside Burma…Addressing these needs requires flexibility and creativity. Despite the challenges that have arisen, United States Embassies Rangoon and Bangkok as well as Consulate General Chiang Mai are fully engaged in pro-democracy efforts. The United States also supports organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute (nb no support given since 2004) and Internews, working inside and outside the region on a broad range of democracy promotion activities. U.S.-based broadcasters supply news and information to the Burmese people, who lack a free press. U.S. programs also fund scholarships for Burmese who represent the future of Burma. The United States is committed to working for a democratic Burma and will continue to employ a variety of tools to assist democracy activists.

The 36-page report would enumerate US and European programs in detail – ranging from the creation and funding of media, to organizing political parties and devising campaign strategies for elections, to even scholarships abroad to indoctrinate an entire class of political proxies to be used well into the future upon transforming the nation into a client state. Virtually every aspect of life in Myanmar was targeted and overturned by Western-backed networks over the course of several decades and an untold amount of foreign-funding.

Similar evidence reveals that many of the so-called “Buddhist” nationalist groups also enjoy a close relationship with US and European interests and that they played a pivotal role in bringing Suu Kyi to power.

Additionally, many in Suu Kyi’s current government are the recipients of US-funded training. Narratives concerning the current Rohingya crisis are being crafted by Suu Kyi’s “Minister of Information,” Pe Myint.

Pe Myint was revealed in a 2016 article in the Myanmar Times titled, “Who’s who: Myanmar’s new cabinet,” to have participated in training funded by the US State Department. The article would report (emphasis added):

Formerly a doctor with a degree from the Institute of Medicine, U Pe Myint changed careers after 11 years and received training as a journalist at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok. He then embarked on a career as a writer, penning dozens of novels. He participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1998, and was also editor-in-chief of The People’s Age Journal. He was born in Rakhine State in 1949.

The Indochina Media Memorial Foundation is revealed in a US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks as fully funded by the US State Department through various and familiar intermediaries. The cable titled, “An Overview of Northern Thailand-Based Burmese Media Orgranizations.” would explicitly state (emphasis added):

Other organizations, some with a scope beyond Burma, also add to the educational opportunities for Burmese journalists. The Chiang Mai-based Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, for instance, last year completed training courses for Southeast Asian reporters that included Burmese participants. Major funders for journalism training programs in the region include the NED, Open Society Institute (OSI), and several European governments and charities.

Many of those among Myanmar-based US-funded “NGOs” apparently opposing Suu Kyi’s government are in fact alumni of the same US-funded programs as many members of the current government.

In essence, the primary difference between Myanmar and Syria is that while in Syria the US is fueling militancy to topple a government beyond its reach and influence, in Myanmar, the US is manipulating the entire nation via two vectors its controls entirely – a militancy it is growing on one side, and a political establishment it has created from whole-cloth on the other.

Cartalucci has written at length about the connections between Suu Kyi’s government and the U.S. government and U.S. NGO industrial complex that essentially aided her ascension to her current position and aids in keeping her there. Throughout the years, Cartalucci has put together pages and pages of information regarding to Kyi’s links to Western agents of influence. As far back as 2012, Cartalucci wrote an article entitled “Wall Street Proxy Aung San Suu Kyi’s Ascension To Power,” where he revealed,

Leading the charge is a network of poseur NGOs funded and directed by the US State Department through its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries, in particular Freedom House. It should be noted that despite the “progressive” and “humanitarian” veneer used by these organizations, their boards of directors are veritably filled with overt warmongers, certified Neo-Conservatives, corporate-financier directors, corporate-lobbyists, and both current and former members of the US State Department itself.

It is important to keep the true nature of this false “humanitarian-front” in mind when reading articles out of Freedom House, like the recent, “Burma Election Is Test of Progress,” which is already wringing its hands over its NGO front being ejected from Myanmar ahead of elections. Freedom House director David Kramer who has more recently openly plotted to support the destabilization of Russia in the wake of Putin’s uncontested reelection, admits that poll monitors are not in place to observe the elections – casting further doubts on corporate-media headlines declaring Suu Kyi a winner of a parliamentary seat prematurely.

The Freedom House piece clearly backs what it calls “the primary opposition party led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD).” It is clear that Suu Kyi’s failure to secure a seat will be used as impetus to put further pressure on the Myanmar government and possibly justify Western-backed regime change efforts in the form of another staged “popular uprising” similar to the failed 2007 “Saffron Revolution.”

To explain why US State Department fronts like Freedom House are so supportive of Suu Kyi, it helps to understand that her entire image and indeed her opposition movement is a creation of Wall Street and London with an incredible amount of resources systematically poured into both her political campaigns as well as a subversive network of NGOs across Myanmar dedicated to undermining the national government, foiling infrastructure projects including the recent halting of a dam project that would have provided significant benefits for Myanmar’s tragically underdeveloped countryside, and of course armed separatist movements both inside and beyond Myanmar’s borders. All of this aims not only at installing a pro-Wall Street-London regime in Myanmar, but ousting advances by China to co-develop the nation’s natural resources – resources the West prefers instead to be exclusively pilfered by the Fortune 500.

A 2006 36-page document out of the “Burma Campaign UK” explicitly details the enormous amount of money and resources both the US government and its corporate-funded foundations have poured into Suu Kyi’s image and her “movement.” It also details the complicity of then Thai Prime Minster and verified Wall Street-proxy Thaksin Shinwatra’s government in aiding the West in their Myanmar agenda.

Specifically mentioned is both the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros’ Open Society Institute, illustrating once again the reality that both “liberal” and “Neo-Conservative” interests serve a singular concerted agenda in instituting a global neo-liberal corporate-financier hegemonic empire.

Throughout the “Burma Campaign UK” report, NED is cited as behind the creation of the New Era Journal, the Irrawaddy, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) radio, all posing, just as the recently exposed Thai-US propaganda front, Prachatai, as “independent” media sources despite the fact they are in reality fully-funded by the US government.

The role of US State Department-run Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) is also discussed in detail, including the revelation that US foreign policy specifically supports and actively promotes Aung San Suu Kyi and “her” agenda.

As by-elections approached, the corporate-media increasingly lent exposure to building up Suu Kyi’s “pro-democracy” image with public relation stunts engineered to lend her otherwise non-existent credibility. This includes the farcical awarding of the corporate-financier funded “Chatham House Prize” presented by British Foreign Secretary William Hague who most recently presided over the destruction and handing over to terrorists of the entire nation of Libya.

A number of Cartalucci’s article related to Kyi and Myanmar are recommended, listed, and linked below.

Who Is Behind Rohingya Terror?

While it undeniable that the Rohingya minority has been oppressed and targeted by the Myanmar government, there is also an element of truth to the terroristic nature of the Rohingya. There are, indeed, Rohingya terrorist organizations operating against the Buddhist population and the Myanmar government.

“Rohingya has its own ‘free army’ now, something which can only made a bad situation worse,” writes Syrian analyst Afraa Dagher. “Specially this ‘free army’ used to be known as Al-Yaqeen and is related to branches of the banned Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement which continues to receiving funding from George Soros controlled bodies as well as Turkey and the Qatari regime. Recently, the Lebanese television station Al-Mayadeen interviewed a militant in the Rohingya army who admitted he was a fighter, but claimed his only weapons were knives.”

As Chris Kanthan writes for Activist Post in his article “Rohingya Genocide – Links To Corporatism, Geopolitics, And Wahhabism,

Rohingya separatist/militant/terrorist groups demand an Islamic state and have killed Myanmar soldiers, burned down Buddhist temples, murdered Buddhists, etc. The leader of a powerful Rohingya terrorist group is a guy named Ata Ullah, and he is based out of Saudi Arabia. Other Rohingya leaders and insurgents are being trained by prominent terrorist groups in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

It’s also possible that poor and illiterate people are being used as weapons of mass immigration. 30-40 million people in Bangladesh earn less than $2/day. Are some of them being deliberately sent into the areas in Myanmar where Chinese infrastructure projects are happening?

Kanthan is quite correct. Even the mainstream Reuters news agency reported in December, 2016 that the Rohingya terrorists have links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. It reported,

A group of Rohingya Muslims that attacked Myanmar border guards in October is headed by people with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday, citing members of the group.

The coordinated attacks on Oct. 9 killed nine policemen and sparked a crackdown by security forces in the Muslim-majority northern sector of Rakhine State in the country’s northwest.

. . . . .

A group calling itself Harakah al-Yakin claimed responsibility for the attacks in video statements and the Brussels-based ICG said it had interviewed four members of the group in Rakhine State and two outside Myanmar, as well as individuals in contact with members via messaging apps.

The Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement, was formed after communal violence in 2012 in which more than 100 people were killed and about 140,000 displaced in Rakhine State, most of them Rohingya, the group said.

Rohingya who have fought in other conflicts, as well as Pakistanis or Afghans, gave clandestine training to villagers in northern Rakhine over two years ahead of the attacks, it said.

“It included weapons use, guerrilla tactics and, HaY members and trainees report, a particular focus on explosives and IEDs,” the group said, referring to improvised explosive devices.

It identified Harakah al-Yakin’s leader, who has appeared prominently in a series of nine videos posted online, as Ata Ullah, born in Karachi, Pakistan, to a Rohingya migrant father before moving as a child to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

“Though not confirmed, there are indications he went to Pakistan and possibly elsewhere, and that he received practical training in modern guerrilla warfare,” the group said. It noted that Ata Ullah was one of 20 Rohingya from Saudi Arabia leading the group’s operations in Rakhine State.

Separately, a committee of 20 senior Rohingya emigres oversees the group, which has headquarters in Mecca, the ICG said.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a news briefing on Thursday that the United States was aware of the report and reviewing it, but declined to comment further.

Groups like Islamic State and al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent have referred to the plight of the Rohingya in their material, and the battlefield experience of at least some of the Rohingya fighters implied links to international militants, the ICG said.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, other Rohingya leaders and fighters are being trained as well. Many of these fighters are being trained by al-Qaeda/ISIS members and are in contact with ISIS fighters in Iraq.

Whose Side Is The West On?

While notably supporting the Myanmar government in terms of finance, strategy, and force, the Western powers are also giving credence and legitimacy to the Rohingya “insurgency” in much the same way they did to the Syrian “rebels” early on in the crisis in Syria in 2011. Indeed, mainstream corporate media is filled with reports denigrating the Myanmar government and presentations of the Rohingya genocide as if the Rohingya are nothing but mere innocent victims. Meanwhile, money, training, and logistics are flowing into the Rohingya insurgency via Saudi Arabia and its myriad assortment of terrorist groups.

Since the West (United States, Western Europe, Australia) and the GCC are essentially tied together along with Israel in the alliance of the Anglo-Western financier establishment, we can thus categorize Saudi support for international terror under the purview of the West since the goal of KSA and the rest of the “West” lines up perfectly.

The answer to the original question of why the West would support both sides of this conflict, however, is simple geopolitics.

Geopolitics And The Silk Road

There are at least two reasons why the West is particularly interested in Myanmar at this moment. The first is relatively simple – the importation of natural gas from Mynamar. The second aspect, however, has more to do with breaking up China’s One Belt – One Road policy where Myanmar has become an important strategic location.

In Myanmar, China wants a shorter route for cargo ships and oil tankers coming from the Middle East and other areas rather than spending an extra 2000 miles and weeks of traveling going through the Strait of Malacca. Furthermore, in the event of conflict, such a narrow strait could easily be closed off, particularly if that conflict was taking place with the United States. One Belt-One Road would allow the shipments to go directly through Mynamar over land to China.

China’s One Belt – One Road project would thus not only facilitate the increased pace of trade but also seal a more secure route of trade in the event the Strait of Malacca is ever shut.

As Chris Kanthan writes,

Wherever China’s Silk Road goes, the U.S. is going to follow it, and Myanmar is no exception. For example, WikiLeaks emails exposed how the CIA funded “grassroots” organization in Myanmar to disrupt a Chinese plan for a dam! Naughty as usual. Edward Snowden also revealed how the NSA uses the US embassy in Myanmar as a spy central to snoop on all the countries in that region.

The fundamental goal of the U.S. is to pull Myanmar away from China’s sphere of influence. And if that can’t be accomplished, then chaos will be manufactured.

What else is in the CIA’s tool bag to destabilize a country? Islamic extremism and various avatars of the Mujahideen project. We have seen that in Syria and also recently in the Philippines. Which brings us to the puppet master, Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion

What is happening in Myanmar, although the news has quieted down for now, is that the West and China are attempting to gain control of a vital trade point in Asia. The difference is that, currently, the West wields more control over the country and that China is using an economic carrot while the West is using a military and political stick. Indeed, the United States, NATO, and the GCC are using both the NGO community and the Islamic extremist proxy army to keep the government of Mynamar under control and out of the clutch of the Chinese. It is thus using a two-pronged approach to ensure control over the government as well as to ensure that Myanmar does not stray from Western dictates. In addition, by creating mass destabilization in areas that China would want to invest in, construct, and otherwise build trade routes, Chinese involvement can be prevented.

Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post – article archive here – He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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