Wednesday, August 27, 2008

THAILAND: Samak, Anupong, the CIA

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In Thailand, as in Bolivia and most other parts of the world, the wealthy elite sometimes use terror to keep themselves in power.

The CIA tends to support the wealthy elites.

There have been more protests in Thailand.

This "ominously points to splits inside the military, with camps divided between those who support and oppose Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who serves concurrently as defense minister.

"Samak has reached an accommodation with top-ranking military leaders, including army commander General Anupong Paochinda and First Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha, but a hardline camp has reportedly refused to fall in step." - Thai protests turn nasty

At the BBC website, a British expat comments:

"It's an incredibly dangerous situation which has pitted the entrenched political old guard against a democratically elected government. The real problem in Thailand is the way society is completely polarised. The government is part of a system that has tried somewhat to change that..." - Your comments: Bangkok protests

A Thai comments:

"We have a democratic government elected by a majority of the people around the country. The gangs should respect the majority of the people and not try to create the social disorder." - Your comments: Bangkok protests

In September 2006, the popular Thai prime minister, Mr Thaksin, was toppled in a military coup that was probably organised by the CIA.

According to Axis of Logic: "The behavior and tactics of the Thai opposition would appear to have been copied from a CIA manual." Bangkok and Caracas: A comparative Analysis

Thaksin may have annoyed the CIA by (1) removing Thai troops from Iraq (2) following a policy of helping the poor.

According to The Economist, "rural voters were quite rational in handing him (Thaksin) landslide victories in 2001 and 2005."

Thaksin helped the poor.

He provided them with very cheap medical care and he provided the rural poor with loans to help them increase their prosperity. - BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific Thai farmer: 'Thaksin helped us'

Thaksin is probably no different from most American, European or Asian politicians when it comes to allegations of impropriety.

According to the Economist, "the allegations of corruption, conflicts of interest and vote-buying that surround him Thaksin) are serious but hardly unusual: such practices are endemic in Thai politics." Thailand's election South-East Asia's Pakistan?

The generals who carried out the 2006 coup have provided bad government.

According to The Economist, "the generals, courtiers and bureaucrats who have been in charge for the past 15 months have ruled dismally. Thailand's economy is now one of the slowest-growing in booming Asia." - Thailand's election South-East Asia's Pakistan?

In December 2007, there were fresh elections in Thailand.

Thaksin's party, the PPP, has won the most seats.

The CIA has a history of getting involved in Thai and Asian politics.

In 1946 Ananda was found shot in his bedroom in the Grand Palace.

This ensured that teenage Bhumibol became king. And it ensured that pro-American Field Marshal Pibul became the power behind the throne.

Bhumibol had once said of his brother's murder, "It was not an was political."

King Bhumibol has a difficult job, surrounded as he is by certain 'corrupt fascist' generals who allegedly have links to the CIA.

In 1973, when pro-democracy students were being shot at by the army outside the Chitralada palace, Bhumibol ordered the gates of the palace to be opened, to help save some lives.

In 1980 one third of the rural population lived in absolute poverty (this could mean one meal a day and no money to buy shoes or typhoid medicine). In 1980, a child working 11 hours a day, in a workshop in Bangkok, would earn £36 per year! Yes, per year! Great for the Americans getting their cheap shoes and clothes made by child labour.

When the generals were again getting violent in 1992, and hundreds of people were killed, it was Bhumibol who summoned General Suchinda to the palace and had the meeting televised live. The entire Thai nation could see General Suchinda crawling across the carpet to the feet of the monarch.

In the Oriental Hotel I got talking to a retired Thai gentleman called Yong. I asked him how things were going in Bangkok.

"There is a power struggle going on within the army," said Yong. "On one side we have the reformers who want to end the army's links to drugs and karaoke bars. They want to purge the army of mafia colonels. And on the other side we have the conservatives who want to continue to do deals with the Burmese junta and the drugs barons."

Yong read to me the calypso written by Allen Ginsberg in 1972:

In nineteen hundred forty nine
China was won by Mao Tse-Tung.
Chiang Kai Shek's army ran away.
They were waiting there in Thailand yesterday

Supported by the CIA
Pushing junk down Thailand way.

First they stole from the Meo Tribes
Up in the hills they started taking bribes
Then they sent their soldiers up to Shan
Collecting opium to send to The Man
Pushing junk in Bangkok yesterday
Supported by the CIA...."

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