Thailand’s Undercover Military Operation

The past six months in Thailand have been chaotic to say the least. At first, the judicial branch of government overthrew its political leaders and democratically elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. During this transition the opposition group led by Suthep Thaugsuban created the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to temporarily control the country until new elections could be held. Unsurprisingly enough, this coalition did not last for long, as the country’s military ordered a coup d’état. Today Thailand is under strict rule and martial laws are being enforced daily. This is where it gets interesting.

Under the order of General Prayuth Chan-ocha, commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, any opposition to the coup d’état is punishable by law. With orders to break up any gathering of more than five people, the military has had its hands full with the task of detaining all opposition groups. Realizing that the military is on a mission to silence anyone who challenges them, the people have assembled in small groups and quietly expressed their political beliefs. Small acts of defiance like putting up three fingers or passing out sandwiches to supporters has even been prohibited by the military.

In the video above, you will see anti-military activists simply walking through a mall to assemble a resistance and then undercover military forces detaining them. In the past month, hundreds of anti-military activists have disappeared, as undercover military forces take them to undisclosed locations. Posing as security guards to disguise their military status, the militants grab any opposition activists they see and detain them immediately, never to be seen or heard from again. Meanwhile the military government has placed curfews, limited social media usage, taken full control of the judiciary, taken full control of the media and imposed martial law.

It is unclear whether or not the military intends on simply restoring order and then establishing elections, or if they plan on remaining in power. Hundreds of former politicians await their fate in prison as the military has accused and sentenced most of the former leaders to jail. The video that I posted above is one of five installments from Vice News. For more episodes you could visit their YouTube page and check out the other dispatches. I would love to hear from anyone who is from Thailand about the situation that is going on. Are you pro or anti military and why? If you know anything about the conflict that we should know please leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Thailand and its neighbors

Thailand and its neighbors

Thailand on a World Map

Thailand on a World Map

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Is Greece Experiencing a Nazi Revolution?

Physical location map of Greece.

 

Have you ever heard of a group by the name of Golden Dawn? If you’re not from Greece it’s likely that you haven’t. I was shocked when I learned about this group and there ideals. This political group has mastered the Nazi-styled propaganda, riot tactics and racial discrimination that once flourished in Germany. Today Golden Dawn has gathered 8% of the political vote for government and their popularity is increasing. Since the economic downfall in 2008, Greece has suffered staggering unemployment and rapid inflation. The combination of slowed economic success and a mostly unemployed youth has crippled the country’s ability to provide for its people. That’s where Golden Dawn comes in.

On a daily basis, Golden Dawn seeks out the poorest sectors of the population and distributes food and other goods to them. This political party will gladly give out provisions to any Greek citizens. However despite how wonderful this sounds, there is a catch. If you are not a natural born Greek citizen, then you are not allowed to receive any assistance from Golden Dawn. According to their political platform, Golden Dawn believes that the biggest issue facing Greece today is foreign inhabitants. They believe that a pure Greek society could sustain itself much more efficiently than a society with mixed culture and race. These were the same ideals once held by Adolf Hitler when Germany’s crippled economy failed to provide for its people.

With no other assistance in sight, many people flock to Golden Dawn to seek food, shelter and employment. Despite what their political beliefs once were, these Greek citizens have embraced the Nazi-styled party for its proactive assistance. Meanwhile, as Golden Dawn wins the people hearts and minds with their racial propaganda, non-Greek citizens live in fear. Golden Dawn is known to aggressively assault no-Greek citizens who defy their racial rhetoric. Tensions between Golden Dawn and the Greek police escalate on a daily basis as many of its members actively sabotage their efforts. However despite the Greek polices presence and resistance, Golden Dawn’s influence grows stronger by the day as more citizens join their cause.

As an outside spectator it is hard to imagine what life is like in Greece these days. If you live in Greece or have family that lives in Greece please respond to this post. Have you heard of Golden Dawn? Do you think that they are helping Greece or do you think that they are hurting it with the promotion of racial purification? Please reply to this post if you could provide me and my viewers with some more insight on this topic.

Source: youtube.com

 

Golden Dawn Party Leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos delivering a speech in Athens - 2013

Golden Dawn Party Leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos Delivering a speech in Athens – 2013

The fight for Ukraine

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

 

 

 

 

 

If you have been watching the news lately then you’ve likely heard about the dispute between Ukraine and Russia. The Crimean peninsula is at the epicenter of the dispute. Russia proclaimed that the people of Crimea were free to defect from Ukraine and rejoin Russia as a new territory. Ukraine, along with several other nations, was once part of the Soviet Union. With Russia as its governing power, the Soviet Union united parts of Eastern Europe. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, countries like Ukraine reclaimed their independence. The problem is that during the fall of the Soviet Union, many Russian citizens who migrated to Ukraine were now stuck living in a non-Russian country.

After years of living under Ukrainian governance, the most pro-Russian region of Ukraine (the Crimean peninsula) decided that it no longer wanted to be part of Ukraine. However it was not until Ukrainian citizens began to protest against their corrupt government that the pro-Russian Crimean citizens decided to remove themselves entirely from Ukraine. With Russian support, the Crimean peninsula was quickly overrun by its citizens and Russian troops in disguise. Now Ukraine faces two issues at the same time. First, its citizens took to the streets in violent protests, fighting for new leadership. Second, the people of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula sided with Russia and aligned themselves with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Ukraine is facing a serious economic crisis now that its resources have been spread out and its government is in a state of uncertainty, unable to do business.

Now, after a few months of conflict, Vladimir Putin has claimed that he is pulling his troops back to the Russian border. While he never formally claimed that he sent troops into Ukraine to take Crimea, everyone watching knew that his forces were present. Now it’s estimated that about 40,000 Russian troops are to retreat to their border bases, a move that was likely caused by economic sanctions placed on Vladimir Putin’s wealthiest supporters. However despite Putin’s statements, NATO forces have yet to see any retreat from the Russian forces. As Ukraine’s future hangs in the balance, the world is watching the conflict closely. Should Vladimir Putin choose to intervene any further into the conflict, it is likely that other nations will respond with economic sanctions and as a last resort, military intervention.

As the conflict continues, I wonder what the people of Ukraine think about what has been happening in their country. If you are from Ukraine or you have family that lives there, please leave a comment on this post. I would love to know what it is like to live through this conflict and to know what you think should be done. Do you feel safe or is the conflict reaching your neighborhood and threatening your way of life? Please let me know what you think.

 

World map of Ukraine

World map of Ukraine

Ukraine, Russian speaking population map

Ukraine, Russian speaking population map

Cannibal Warlord, General “Butt Naked”

Do you remember the last time that you ate a child’s heart so that you could be invincible in battle? Can’t recall ever doing so? Well take a look at this documentary that I found on youtube.com. The documentary was produced by Vice News, a news agency that does in depth reporting across the globe. In this documentary Shane Smith, Vice News co-founder and field correspondent, travels to the west African nation of Liberia to investigate the so called Cannibal Warlords that live there. Let me warn you that the documentary has some strong content.

After exploring several parts of Liberia, Shane Smith lands a shady interview with former General “Butt Naked.” The general, who gave himself the name “Butt Naked”, explains the origin of his name to Shane. He tells the reporter that he chose this name because of his combat strategy during Liberia’s civil war. A strategy in which he would instruct his rebel soldiers to strip down completely before battle. Once fully nude, he would have his soldiers bring an innocent child to him for ritualistic purposes. He would then cut the child’s heart out of his/her chest, while still alive, and have each of his soldiers consume a piece of it. General “Butt Naked” explained to his soldiers that this sacrifice would bring them magical powers in combat and make them invincible. Only then would the General and his soldiers go into battle, while still completely nude I should add. This ritual of sacrifice was repeated before every single battle, thus causing the needless slaughter of hundreds of innocent children during the war.

Today General “Butt Naked” spends his days preaching to his community. He converted to Christianity after the war and now preaches at churches around Liberia about his struggle with his violent past. Former victims of his cannibal rituals say that he converted to Christianity only to avoid punishment for his war crimes. So the former general’s life is now in constant danger of attack from people affected by his military past. According to him these are false accusations. He says that the reason he converted to Christianity was so that he could be a better person and more importantly a better father to his young daughter. Though he takes the full blame for his actions, he recognizes that if his parents would have raised him instead of abandon him, then he might be a different man today. That thought is what motivates him to be a better father and a better person with the help of Christianity.

I tried to put myself in his shoes and imagine what life must have been like for him in Liberia. I wonder what kind of trauma he experienced before deciding that killing children and eating their hearts was the right thing to do. Maybe he’s just a psychopath with no remorse, incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. However it seems odd to me that a person who is incapable of knowing right from wrong would choose to devote the rest of his life to Christianity seeking forgiveness for his sins. The question of whether or not this man should be executed for his crimes remains a mixed issue. Does punishing a person’s ignorance with death solve the issue of ignorance? Does not punishing this man solve the issue of ignorance? I’m not sure what the solution is, if there even is a solution, but what I do know is that this country and its people are completely foreign to me. I will pray for them and hope that change comes sooner than later…

I would love to hear from someone living in Liberia. If you are from there or have family that lives there, please reply to this blog post. I want to hear your story and know what it is like for you as a citizen of Liberia. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Post Sources

cia.gov

youtube.com

Liberia in Africa Liberia with neighbors

Source (Picture 1)                                                                              Source (Picture 2)

 

 

15 Quick Facts about Liberia

Official Language: English (Though only 20% of the population exclusively speaks English)

President: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, since 2006 (She was reelected in 2011 with 90.7% of the total vote in her favor)

Religion: 85.6% Christian, 12.2% Muslim

Total Population: 4,092,310

Capital: Monrovia

Median Age of Population: 18 years old (U.S. median age: 37 years old)

Sanitation Facility Access: 18.2% of the total population (81.8% with no access to restrooms or sewage infrastructure)

Health Expenditures: 19.5% of GDP

Physician Density: 0.01 Physicians/1000 people (Whatever you do don’t get sick in Liberia)

Education Expenditures: 2.8% of GDP

Total GDP: $2.89 Billion U.S. Dollars (Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth: $26.6 Billion U.S. Dollars)

Average Annual Income (Per Person): $700.00 U.S. Dollars (Qatar’s average is the highest at: $102,100 U.S. Dollars)

Privately Owned T.V. Stations: 3

Total Internet Users: 20,000 people (That’s less than 1% of the entire population)

Transnational Issues: Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Civil Unrest, Refugee Disputes with Neighboring Countries