Thai conflict why dialog wont work

Thailand’s political crisis is just that, a crisis. But when looking at the Thai crisis it is very important to remember that the real reasons are not of face value, and that is why dialog will not work.

The standard response from any civilized government or body is have dialog to sort out your differences. Weather it be the USA, the United Nations or whoever. That standard response is based on honesty on both sides of the feud. But when one sides stated reasons and goals are not the real reasons and goals, even the most enthusiastic supporter of dialog must take pause to avoid being duped.

Over the past 2 weeks, opinions about the Red Shirts true goals have been replaced with hard undisputable events that simply change opinions into supported facts. The Red Shirts are not about installing a democracy, they are about installing a dictator. That now is a proven fact that can not be argued.

The rejection of their most sacred demand being getting Parliament dissolved simply said it all. Together with Thaksin’s political party the Pheu Thai Party suddenly rejecting their goals to rewrite the 2007 Constitution and now seek to bring back the 1997 Constitution that allowed Thaksin to rape Thailand clearly are 2 dots that when connected point to a dictatorship. More points are not needed even that there are several that point in the same direction.

So seeing that the USA and United Nations find it a full time job trying to root out dictators in places like Burma, North Korea and most recently Iran, why in their right minds would they support talks that ultimately will lead to inroads to install a dictator in Thailand.

When you look at the history of the USA, they had no problem assisting Kuwait push out Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein. In fact as time progressed it became a Bush family project to bring Saddam Hussein to an end for good. So if you swap out the name President George Bush with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and swap out Saddam Hussein with Thaksin Shinawatra, and swap out Kuwait with Thailand, you will see exactly the same picture.

Thaksin is all about lies and consistently says opposite the truth. If the real reasons were put out and the Red Shirt overseeing body named “United front for Democracy against Dictatorship” was correctly named “United front for Dictatorship against Democracy”, the number of Red Shirt protesters would be about zero.

So because the honesty prerequisite is not being met by the Red Shirts, talking with them is totally useless as it would be a waist of time talking about issues that are not relevant to the goals. In fact it is not too hard of a stretch of the imagination that The USA would provide some troops to assist the Thai Government in keeping a dictator out. In that case dialog would not even be suggested. The USA is assisting Mexico fighting off the drug lords, in Afghanistan in dealing with the Taliban, and just winding up operations in Iraq. In each case that was people of that country fighting people of that country. The Taliban are Afghanistan citizens just as the drug lords are Mexican citizens. So helping Thais fight Thais is no different.

With that said, a military response from The Thai government is not only appropriate, it follows the present day response of the master model country of democracy being the USA. No government in their right minds likes to shoot their own people, but in this case the Red Shirt leaders have not been mincing their words on stage and have said on more than one occasion ‘come shoot us’. That is not an interpretation, that is actually what they said along with acting in a way to provoke a violent response.

3 Responses to Thai conflict why dialog wont work

    I think the obvious answer why the U.S. and other countries would want to support talks with both sides is because they do not view Thaksin as a dictator. I’ll go one step further. They may view Abhisit as the dictator.

    In 6 years as a PM, Thaksin never met the definition of a dictator. In Abhisits case, he was essentially appointed dictator and has exhibited more characteristics of a dictator than Thaksin has ever shown.

    Characteristics of a dictator include someone who assumes power (sometimes but not always with military control) – Affirmative for Abhisit, Negative for Thaksin
    Suspension of elections – Affirmative for Abhisit, Negative for Thaksin
    Suspension of Civil liberties (censorship) – Affirmative for Abhisit, Negative for Thaksin
    Suppression of a group or groups of people – Affirmative for Abhisit, Negative for Thaksin

    You may accuse Thaksin of being corrupt, power hungry, and an ego driven maniac, but thus far, he can not be characterized as a dictator. Now, with that said, if he ever were to get into power again, god help those that crossed him, He may in fact become a dictator, but thus far there is no evidence to say he ever was.
    In fact, just the opposite is true. For centuries, a full third of Thailand’s population was under the poverty line. In just 6 years, Thaksin reduced that from nearly a third to 11.6%. What he did was start to shift the voice of the people to a greater percentage outside of the Bangkok core. He never suppressed the elite, but the elite certainly felt threatened with the changes that were taking place.

    So let’s take a quick look at the 2007 constitution vs. the 1997 constitution. Most scholars around the world that have an opinion on the two constitutions, would, if given a choice among those 2 constitutions take the 1997 constitution hands down. The only ones supporting the 2007 constitution are those supporting the current government. Why you might ask? The 1997 constitution was widely hailed as the most democratically advanced constitution in all of SE Asia and is still heralded as a model to strive for.
    The 2007 constitution by contrast was ushered in by the military who threatened the country that if this was not approved, they would assume control of the country. This new constitution which is not looked favorably on by any scholar outside of Thailand, combined with the pressure from the military is what allowed Abhisit to ascend into the position of PM via emergency decree.

    This obvious abuse of democratic values (while perfectly legal) is exactly why the U.S., the U.N, and other countries are offering their assistance to help broker a peaceful solution.

    My personal belief is this military response is completely over the top and will further erode the confidence in Abhisit as an effective PM as well as push Thailand closer and closer to civil war.

    Seh Daeng was taken out Thursday night. That alone caused a shift in the red camp that allows Abhisit to have an advantage. But that advantage is quickly eroding with the tactics, video, and press coverage that is taking place.

    Journalists are reporting that those injured appear to be unarmed, so he is essentially massacring unarmed civilians. The weapons that are being cited are homemade rockets, bottle rockets, and slingshots. Doesn’t sound like a reason to open fire on someone to me. Before anyone tries to quote the bible and the story of David and Goliath to support that slingshots are deadly, let me remind those people that Goliath wasn’t dressed in full riot gear including a protective shield, a helmet, and bulletproof vest.

    Further, like many young boys in America, much to the angst of our Mothers, we had fights with B.B. Guns and bottle rockets for fun without any protection except our goggles from science class because Mom always said, “your going to lose an eye”. The point I’m trying to make is that with the equipment and protective gear the army has, shooting live rounds is not an appropriate response.

    Further, the military and government has fully acknowledged that their tactic of sealing off the red shirt area is working. Numbers of demonstrators are dwindling; food and water supplies are running low. Why not let that play it’s course without shooting unarmed civilians?

  2. Oh, one more point that I would like to make. I’m not naive enough to think that the red shirt encampment doesn’t have weapons. I’m sure they do and eventually will use them.

    What I am simply pointing out is even with all of the reporters, news camera’s, and photographers around, there has been no concrete evidence that the red group has used weapons other than rocks and firecrakers during the past 4 days.

  3. Joe,

    I saw some photos of red shirts carrying pistols. And you forget about the black shirts who add another element to the mix. They are armed and are part of the red shirt mob.

    The curfew tonight in Bangkok is a good idea, a great way to separate the troublemakers from the civilians.