During the 1990s, the United States planned to break up Yugoslavia and build America’s largest military base in Kosovo (Camp Bondsteel) a strategic location giving the US access to the oil-rich Caspian Sea, which would also threaten Russia’s defence capabilities. In order to achieve their goals, the CIA imported fighters from Afghanistan who went on a rampage of killing and destruction. A mass media disinformation campaign blamed a proportion of the crimes of the CIA-backed fighters on their victims – mostly Serbs.
Between 1992 and 1995, CIA terrorists murdered 2383 Serbs in Srebrenica. When the Bosnian Serb army finally arrived in the town, they fought the terrorists. Between five hundred and one thousand Muslim locals were executed. No one knows how many of them were terrorists.
The Western media used images of detained Muslim men to say that a massacre of innocent young men had taken place. The heinous ethnic cleansing of 150 Serbian villages was ignored. The CIA’s ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ is accused of having slaughtered all before them but the ‘international community’ cried ‘genocide’ when many of them were rounded up and shot. Serbian Christians were the Empire’s scapegoats. Srebrenica is still invoked today to justify ‘humanitarian intervention’ and Rohingya activists in the Empire’s capital cities are now calling for a humanitarian carpet bombing of Burmese citizens.
Muslims who refuse to face up to such historical realities ought to realise that they have no monopoly on suffering and victimisation. When the Empire needs scapegoats, it finds them no matter what their religion or ethnicity.
Burmese patriots would be well advised to study the destruction of Yugoslavia as multi-ethnic states with religious divisions are easily broken apart when imperialism decides impotent fiefdoms are more easily manipulated than patriotic nation states.
In November 2011, President Obama declared that the Asia-Pacific region was a ‘top priority’ of US security policy.
US policy in Asia consists of containing Chinese influence in the region through control of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the encirclement of China. The US already has military bases along the South East Asian coast but needs to have extensive military projection capacity in inland Asia. The breaking up or balkanisation of strategic states whose stability is vital to Chinese security would serve US geopolitical interests in Asia.
Since Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra lobbied on behalf of the Myanmar government, resulting in their inclusion in ASEAN, US sanctions against the country proved futile. Forcing the Burmese junta to accept US intelligence asset Aung San Suu Kyi as de facto president has not ‘opened up’ the country to US interests at a pace and scale acceptable to Washington. In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi has thus far proved that she has a mind of her own and has taken an increasingly nationalist line, to the chagrin of her Western liberal sycophants. The human rights icon appears to have rediscovered her Asian roots and thus her portrait has fallen from the halls of Western imperial academia.
Terrorist groups financed by the Saudis and backed by the United States, seek to carve out a separate state encompassing parts of Bangladesh and North Rakhine – what they call Arakanistan or the Islamic Republic of Rahmanland, which would adhere to a strict State-Wahhabi ideology. A document appeared in 2012 signed by London-based Amir Ilham Kamil and Farid L. Shyaid proclaiming the creation of such a state.
Although the authenticity of the document cited above cannot be verified, the concept of a state called Arakanistan has been openly discussed for some time in the Bangladeshi media and some books.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has criticized the British government for not doing enough to prosecute known Islamist terrorists in its territory. Critics of the war on terrorism have pointed out the deep and constant collusion of the British security services with Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Hasina’s government is facing a potential nightmare. There are credible reports that Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) is training and protecting ARSA terrorists.
The training is reportedly being conducted in conjunction with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
A Wahhabi enclave in Myanmar would give the US another base of operations for geopolitical war games in Asia and upset China’s expanding One Belt-One Road and New Silk Road policy. Such a Kosovo-like state would be in US strategic interests as it would allow Washington to control the Bay of Bengal and prevent a land route for Chinese importation of Middle Eastern oil. The US would then be able to block Chinese oil supplies in the Straits of Malacca. China’s exploitation of the Shwe gas field discovered in 2004 is another major concern for Washington.
Myanmar has moved closer to China in recent years with the construction of pipelines set to pump oil from KyaukPhyu deep-sea port in the Bay of Bengal to Kunming in China’s Yunnan province. The deep sea port in KyaukPhyu is due to have an annual capacity of 7.8 million tonnes of bulk cargo.
The Teellong China-Oil and Gas line project, running from the Bay of Bengal to China’s Yunnan province, was built at the cost of 2.46 billion dollars. It jointly owned by the China National Petroleum Corporation and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. It is estimated that the pipelines will eventually be able to pump up to 12 billion tonnes of oil per year.
The KyaukPhyu Special Economic Zone, spanning more than 1700 hectares, is another China-Burmese joint venture which aims to industrialise the country’s underdeveloped Western region, in particular Rakhine State. As noted in her State Councillor’s Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent speech in Naypyidaw, economic underdevelopment is a key factor driving ethnic and religious violence in Rakhine State.
Naypyidaw and Moscow signed an important defense agreement in June last last year. Myanmar’s Defence Minister Myint New said his country hoped to strengthen military ties with Russia in the near future.
The cooperation with Russia is a concern for US interests.
Russian diplomacy has corroborated the Burmese military’s version of events, following the August 25th terrorist attacks. At the recent UN Security Council meeting to discuss Myanmar Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said:
“In recent days we’ve received an illustration of the fact that ARSA were responsible for the massacre of civilians. What was also found were cashes of improvised explosive devices. There is information that the extremists forced members of the Hindu community in border villages to leave their homes and to migrate to neighboring Bangladesh with the Muslims. Furthermore, there is information that terrorists burned entire villages and that evidence confiscated from the fighters.
Photographs were confiscated from the terrorists which were in all likelihood meant to be used as reports to the leadership of ARSA or its foreign sponsors. This information is confirmed by the earlier statement of Naypyidaw when they said that the initiators of the outbreak in Rakhine State had the objective of maximally increasing the scale of the humanitarian disaster and transferring the responsibility for it to the government.”
US President Donald Trump has called for “strong and swift action” from the UN Security Council. French president Emmanuel Macron has also accused the Burmese government of genocide. Russia has warned the West not to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. Given the pro-Rohingya position of the United States, one can assume some level of CIA backing for the Rohingya terrorists. However, it is unclear how the Trump administration will respond if the Islamic State, who are now active in Rakhine, manage to occupy territory. The US may simply ‘assist’ Naypyidaw in managing the CIA’s terrorists, while continuing to covertly feed the insurgency.
Fake news and the ‘iceberg of misinformation’
Many examples of fake news published by the Rohingya organizations have been cited. The most notorious examples have been photos of the 2010 Chinese earthquake disaster where Buddhist monks helped bury the victims. The tragic scenes were photo-shopped by pro-Rohingya websites to claim that Buddhists had massacred Rohingya. All the cases of fake news are too numerous to mention here but the BBC have done a good job, for once, in highlighting the most notorious examples.
However, in spite of admitting that preposterous lies have been spread to support the theory that the Burmese government is committing genocide against the Bengali minority in Rakhine State, the BBC continues to claim that such a genocide is in fact taking place; but it has produced no evidence whatsoever to back up those claims.
Shortly after the August 25th terrorist attacks, the Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek published more fake news about Burmese massacres of Rohingya, calling for the international community to intervene. After the fake news was proven by Burmese authorities, Simsek was forced to admit he had published disinformation.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks in August, Agence France Press (AFP) published video footage of Burmese Buddhist villagers fleeing the violence claiming they were Rohingya. The news agency was later forced to admit it had lied.
It was not the only report of people fleeing the violence mislabeled as ‘Rohingya’.
Many Hindu villagers told reporters they had been called Rohingya too.
It should be mentioned here that ‘Rohingya’ is a term used by activists linked to agencies and NGOS outside the country. It is not a term used by Bengali Muslims to describe themselves. Bengali Muslims recently told reports that they never use that term.
Many eye witnesses accounts, including those whose family members were massacred by terrorist groups, have not been investigated by the Western mass media.
One Hindu woman told Burmese reporters:
“In there, they [ARSA terrorists] came, dressed in black, only their eyes could be seen.
Then they caught us; they had bombs, axes, choppers, knives, bullets.
They held us on one side of the area.
They slaughtered my family members one by one.
Then some Muslims ordered – ‘slaughter them too’.
My husband, father-in-law, mother- in-law and one of my sister-in-laws were slaughtered in front of my eyes.
One of the sons of my sister-in-law was hijacked by Muslims [ARSA terrorists].”
Again the horrific report was ignored by the Western media in spite of their claims to be concerned for the victims of violence. Was it because the killers here did not match the editorial spin?
Another video posted online tells the story of a Rakhine Buddhist and his family who were attacked by a mob of Bengali terrorists. He says he used to have Muslim friends but now no longer trusts the Muslim community in Rakhine. It is easy to call such people pejorative terms but communal hatred is growing with every call by Muslim communities across the world to ‘stop the genocide of the Rohingya’. The video shows the horrible reality of ethnic conflict, where fear and hatred eat up the souls of men.
The Burmese government has accused Western NGOs of collaborating with terrorists. The UN’s World Food Programme has confirmed that their food is going to terrorists. And photos have emerged of NGOs meeting the terrorists. Western NGOs really do ‘care’ about innocent civilians. Burmese State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi has called Western propaganda against her country an “iceberg of misinformation – perhaps, the truest words the Noble Peace Laureate has ever uttered.
Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English , Al Etijah TV , Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.
Rohingya girl in Sittwe, Myanmar. Image credit: Carsten S./ flickr