The behavior of Thailand’s ruling party the People Power Party (PPP) is now being seen on an international stage. The international concern over the Preah Vihear temple and the immature handling of the situation by the PPP is putting a very bad face on Thailand.
Giving Thailand the benefit of the doubt, and allowing that to fuel nationalism, Thai pride, and everything else that is patriotic, the PPP has handled things in a childish, immature, and provocative way. This has the effect of putting a bad face on everyone in Thailand by making people from other countries think poorly about Thais and Thailand as a whole. This is particularly true for people who have never been to Thailand. In short the same self serving disrespect the PPP shows to the people, is also being shown internationally.
Many Thais may not understand why Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej is so crude and raw because of their lack of general understanding about mental health. However people from other countries who are more in tuned to mental health can clearly see that Samak has some mental health and maturity issues. In fact they are so obvious it does not take a doctor to see that. Considering that countries try to put their best and brightest in the big chair, Samak has become an embarrassment to Thailand. However not to feel bad, the United States did the same with George Bush, so simply mistakes do happen. It is the repeated mistakes that don’t look so good.
The mental instability Samak projects is a very big concern internationally. The more he is pressed the more unstable he acts. It is very clear that he substitutes this immature behavior for mature dialog when he feels cornered and or out debated. Seemingly that happens more often than not. It would be a fair estimate to say a 16 year old highschool student who consistently gets top marks could beat Samak in a debate. That does leave a worrying concern that Samak would get Thailand involved in international conflicts to and including war that could be avoided.
Samak seems to have forgotten that the Prime Minister of Thailand is the face of Thailand. How the Prime Minister acts is reflected on all Thais. When a person thinks of The United States the image of President George Bush often comes to mind as it is his face that is seen most. Even the Secretary of State takes a back seat to that.
The fact that all the problems the PPP is experiencing in Thailand are self induced, adds to the international concern. There is absolutely no doubt that other countries that have to deal with Samak have requested their psychiatric doctors to do a mental psychological profile of Samak. After all it is the common sense thing to do when Samak acts the way he does.
It clearly seems anything that requires true finesse and diplomacy is beyond Samak. Even if the Foreign Minister has the ability to apply diplomacy, the Prime Minister can override it and that is not a comforting thought. The more Samak’s behavior is observed, the more people begin to think that this is not a show but simply the real Samak. If that is the case he clearly does not come close to the minimum requirements needed for international respect. Once again this puts a bad face on all of Thailand.
Many people are angry at America for various things, but when it comes right down to it, they are mostly angry at the policies set by the leaders. Thailand is no different. If the Prime Minister insists on barking like a dog, he can expect other countries to throw him a bone.