On TV, upon the magazine rack, in schools, and on
billboards around the country, the coming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
is being heralded everywhere across Southeast Asia.
The AEC is an unquestionable inevitability - and more alarmingly - an inevitability absolutely none of the many hundreds of millions of Southeast Asian citizens have asked for, voted for, or have any direct say in regards to.
So inevitable is AEC's
unfurling in 2015, that few have even bothered to ask "why?" "for
what?" and "by whom?"
It is not
only driven by the same immense global spanning corporate-financier
special interests that consolidated Europe's economies, currencies,
and institutions, but for the very same goal of collectively looting
the region if and when it is successfully consolidated.
While it was always difficult for citizens of respective European
nations to have their voice truly represented within the halls of
their own respective national governments, it is more difficult
still for the EU's ruling elite assembled in Brussels to be held
accountable and made to actually work for the European people.
The European people were not allowed to vote on entering into the EU, and those that did repeatedly voted against it until threats, economic extortion, and propaganda finally succeeded in overcoming resistance. In Southeast Asia, nothing of the sort has even been proposed, and most Southeast Asians are oblivious to what ASEAN and the AEC even represent.
the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) incursion into Asia during
the late 1990's, it won't be until catastrophic failure has already
swallowed the whole of Southeast Asia that people begin to realize
what has been foisted upon them.
Already, many across Southeast Asia are being effected by bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs) that allow local markets to be flooded by cheap foreign goods.
Socioeconomic disparity, even across Southeast Asia and greater Asia itself can devastate communities and industries already just barely making do. Special interests driven to ink FTAs generally make no provisions to prepare local markets about to be devastated, and no provisions after FTAs take demonstrable tolls.
FTAs inked by ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with
China, for example, devastated Thai farmers when cheaper Chinese
produce flooded Thai markets. Some farmers including those who grew
garlic, were driven almost entirely out of business.
Industries just emerging in each respective ASEAN member state will be utterly crushed, bought out, or overrun by foreign corporate-financier monopolies.
tycoons laboring under the delusions that somehow there is a place
around the "global elite's" table for them, the current state of the
EU should serve as a cautionary reminder that indeed, no there is
special interests may have even used the rise of China as a means to
extort cooperation from respective ASEAN member states in the
creation of the AEC.
Among many important quotes, is one that outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time, stating:
While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere.
The use of Southeast Asia as a consolidated front against China would continue on up to and including until today.
This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report "String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China's Rising Power across the Asian Littoral" where it outlines China's efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in Wall Street and London's "international system" as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation. The use of nations in Southeast Asia to check China's regional power plays chief among this posture.
Other US policymakers have articulated the use of Southeast Asia as a proxy against China in more direct terms.
Neo-Conservative, pro-war policymaker Robert Kagan in his 1997 piece titled "What China Knows That We Don't - The Case for a New Strategy of Containment," noted:
Kagan would later serve as an adviser to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who would herself declare a campaign to do just that - supply Southeast Asia with "rope and stakes."
Called the "pivot to Asia," Clinton would make a hegemonic declaration in Foreign Policy magazine titled, "America's Pacific Century," stating that:
Clinton's reference to America playing "an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions," referring to ASEAN and APEC, and the rest of her very lengthy editorial reflect a nearly verbatim update of Kagan's 1997 piece - if only stated a bit more diplomatically than Kagan's very straight forward "containment of China" proposal.
One must wonder how anyone could learn of America's
desire to set the agenda of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations, and not immediately identify overt aspirations of
While the United States and the many overly optimistic proponents of
the AEC ceaselessly harp upon the tenants of "democracy" and "human
rights," these most basic concepts have been utterly absent in the
creation of this new supranational bloc.
of what both represent are in fact openly opposed by many grassroots
movements across the region - not to mention by many around the
world. There is a reason the AEC is not up for debate and an endless
torrent of full spectrum propaganda is undulating the media in
efforts to market the AEC to the general public - no one would buy
These representatives are to take the needs and desires of the people and turn them into local, national, and international policy. Instead, the AEC represents a conspiracy cobbled together by special interests and then dishonestly marketed toward the general public to accept. In other words, it represents democracy in reverse - it is the supposed representatives telling the people what they "want" rather than the people telling their representatives what to do.
Democracy in reverse could also
be defined as "dictatorship" - and in that regard, ASEAN and its AEC
would not be a national dictatorship, but rather a supranational one
magnifying the abuses and ramifications of such abuses accordingly.
But this futility itself only further exposes the
unwarranted influence and power that truly drives the AEC's
undemocratic and intolerable implementation.
While such a campaign will be difficult, the only other choice is to do nothing and suffer the same indignation, socioeconomic decay, and perpetual war the EU now suffers.
The people of Southeast Asia have many advantages including the advantage of time on their side to mitigate a repeat of the EU's slow-motion collapse - but it is only an advantage if people begin acting now.