The idiot pictured above is the direct cause of
Sure, the Thai economy would have to collapse, but looking at, say…
Many countries have turned their back on
Foreign companies, who once called
Some tour agencies have closed their doors since it costs them more money to open shop every day and use electricity, than any overhead they are making. Here in the south if you wander around the central district where thousands of Thai’s and foreign tourists alike shop at Lee Garden Mall and surrounding shops and restaurants, it’s like a ghost town compared to busier times. Walk a couple blocks away from Lee Garden, in any direction, and you’ll see tour agencies, bus tours, and local tour touts either closed or in the process of closing. Many hotels have signs on their doors and windows advertising they are selling out.
Although there isn’t any Red Shirt violence here to speak of, the South has seen enough unrest, with southern insurgent bombings adding to the bleed-over effect of violence in the streets of
Years ago the King was in charge. He’s the oldest living monarch in the world at present, and his people have always remained dedicated to him. I used to live in the desert southwest of the
Now that’s dedication.
But, monarchies are old hat.
Huh? Taking control? Yeah, they’re taking control alright…control of the streets, not the country. People are dying. Is this a democracy?
I did a quick web search and came up with this definition for democracy…
“The political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives.”
Well, what if the “government,” is severely corrupt? What if a terrible lack of transparency exists? What if the election process is so tainted that votes are widely bought and sold on a huge scale? Where is the democracy in all that mess?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the, “Corruption Perception Index,” put out by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. Many people have, but some Westerner’s have never heard of it. It’s a scale that measures the degree of corruption in a country, in particular – their government. The scale is based on a 1 to 10 score, one being the most corrupt, and 10 being an absence of corruption.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) table located at:
http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2009/cpi_2009_table, shows a country's ranking and score, the number of surveys used to determine the score, and the confidence range of the scoring. The rank shows how one country compares to others included in the index.
- The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public-sector corruption in a country/territory.
- The CPI is based on 13 independent surveys. However, not all surveys include all countries. The surveys used column indicates how many surveys were relied upon to determine the score for that country.
The confidence range indicates the reliability of the CPI scores and tells us that allowing for a margin of error; we can be 90% confident that the true score for a country lies within this range.
All was rolling along pretty good years ago, when along came the man in the picture. Thaksin Shinawatra is his name. A relative nobody. A cop who entered politics like many rather wealthy, corrupt Thai middle class Thai men. He knew corruption well.
Any Thai cop knows corruption well, it’s their base.
A Thai cop is not allowed to take public transportation. In order to be a cop, you have to have your own form of transportation, a motorcycle at the very least, but a truck or car even better. If your vehicle stops running…you walk. You don’t take the bus, or Songtheaw, or tuk tuk, or any form of public transportation. It’s all about losing face.
So, Thaksin Shinawatra entered politics and slowly, but every so steadily, climbed the ladder to fame and fortune. Only problem with that is he used his political positions to gain fame and fortune. You’re not supposed to do that. The Thai constitution says you’re not supposed to do that. Most every member of parliament, government official, and hi-so middle class Thai citizen, knew of his corrupt game. But, did anyone speak out? Uh-uh. Why? Well, it’s all about losing face.
And about hanging out with the man who’s in the money.
Some say Thaksin was after the whole kit and caboodle. They say he was planning to overthrow the monarchy. Other sources say the King hated him and some whisper that the royal institution was behind the coup d'état that overthrew Thaksin.
Thaksin didn't like the media. He was known to put the cabash on journalists and t.v. media hounds. He even had lawsuits pending against certain journalists who had spoken out against him. This caused the King to repremand him in public, telling him something to the effect, "You should learn to accept criticism. Embrace other people's opinions of you, even if they are negative, as you might learn something." Shortly after that humiliating loss of face in clear view of the public, Thaksin withdrew his lawsuits.
Thaksin Shinawatra was a relatively smart man. Elected to the Prime Minister post not once, but twice, he knew his base. The poor, rural farmers of the North and Northeast were the majority voters in
You throw them a bone.
And Thaksin did just that.
He threw the rural, uneducated poor, a bone. Several bones as a matter of fact. Then he proceeded to proclaim a crack down on the drug trade. His big plan backfired a bit though, when the police and military who were given the power to enforce his plan, began feeling powerful and began taking the law into their own hands.
Extra-judicial killings, massacres, the killing of innocent people.
Thousands died at the hands of Thaksin Shinawatra, and nothing was ever done. Why? Well, it’s all about losing face.
Some of the people who died were relatives or friends of the rural poor in the North and Northeast provinces. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, nephews, whole damn families. People in the provinces were beginning to smarten up. They were getting pissed off that this shiny new Prime Minister who talked fancy on TV, but could speak Northern dialects when visiting the grassroots, was directly responsible for the deaths of their relatives, their friends.
So, you wanna know what he did? He threw more money at them. Lots and lots of money.
And all was well.
You live in the North and Northeast, and from day-to-day you exist on say, forty, sixty baht a day, or for you Westerners, one dollar twenty-four cents to one dollar eighty-six cents, or .80 to 1.21 British pounds a day...and when somebody throws the bone at you, you’re happy.
Thaksin Shinawatra had the rural poor of the North and Northeast in his pocket. All the while, he was managing his satellite company, screwing other businessmen left and right, involved in international law suits, hiring the best lawyers, making astronomical profits and dodging taxes, until one day the Thai middle class, the Thai elite, got tired of it.
He began feeling like some sort of god. He decided he’d solve everything in the south, as the southern insurgency was an ongoing problem and it was beginning to glean International attention, something Thaksin didn’t want. So, he got the bright idea to head a campaign to fold up little origami peace swans.
Yeah, you heard me right. Little peace swans folded out of paper. Asian origami.
His idea spanned several months and covered a huge part of
These peace swans were then collected in huge quantities, gathered into large plastic bags, placed on Royal Air Force cargo planes and ceremoniously dumped on the three provinces in the south, Patani, Yala, and Narathiwat, the Muslim strongholds demanding a free Patani state. The provinces of the
I myself couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There was Thaksin on TV, smiling for the camera and writing a message on a paper peace swan, offering a free job and instant money to whomever should find it.
Gobs of these things, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of paper birds were scattered from these huge cargo planes onto the unsuspecting Muslims in the south.
Did that solve the southern insurgency?
Did anyone criticize Thaksin Shinawatra for this stupid, misguided plan?
Of course not.
Why? Well, it’s all about losing face.
You now, as a sort of afterthought, I never heard how that money was spent. You know, the money they collected for the paper peace swans. Not a word. Maybe it paid for the aviation fuel to fly those planes above the deep south...who knows. And you know, Thailand is polluted enough, without dumping millions of bits of paper on it from above, only adding to the trash.
You see, in
Western educated Thai’s.
Thai’s who didn’t care about whether Thaksin lost face or not.
So Thaksin boarded his private jet (another questionable expense that nobody said anything about), and zoomed off to show his smiling face to the Western world, to speak at the UN, to press flesh with the very people who could pump money into the governmental pockets of
Shortly thereafter he went into self-appointed exile.
His holdings were frozen in various banks in
The reason? Abuse of power while in office.
His family skipped the country long before the coup d'état took place, stark evidence that this was no surprise to any of them.
The coup, luckily for Thailand, was a bloodless one. Nobody contested it, except for some rumblings in the North. Remember them? The Thai people in the North? The rural poor...
First Thaksin popped up in
Then Hong Kong, where he ended up buying an expensive house in an even more expensive district, and well…so as not to bore you to death, to date I’ve lost count how many chalets, town houses, mansions, apartments, and houses this guy owns across the globe.
He began spouting his propaganda from afar. Talking to his rural base in the North of
This began ticking off the countries where he was pulling this crap off. He was still waltzing around with a diplomatic passport, one of those red thingies that allows you to go pretty much anywhere without worry of having to secure a visa. And he was flaunting his wealth by buying up the
He lost all that.
He reached a point where he didn’t have enough money to manage the football club. So, he ended up selling it to some rich oil sheik from Saudi Arabia or some damn country in the middle east.
Thaksin began skipping around the globe, hiding out in ritzy hotels or staying in his ritzy chalets, apartments and mansions, hiring people to hook him up with the highest tech equipment available so he could communicate with his base…the rural poor in
He told them, “Hey! Look at me! Look what they’ve done to me! Pity me! I just want to return home!”
But, there was a major obstacle to his returning home. He felt someone would try to kill him.
Something that for the life of me I can’t understand…why it hadn’t happened earlier.
He was eventually guaranteed a safe passage back to
He lost that case, and was sentenced to two years in prison. But before he was turned over to the authorities, he asked the court if they would please grant him leniency and allow him and his family to attend the Olympic Games…that he’d be right back after that to serve his time.
Well, the idiots of the court granted him his little vacation, and as everyone suspected, after the Olympics were over, Thaksin Shinawatra and his family, were nowhere to be found, at least for the time being.
While he had been protected from losing face so many times, the rest of the country was losing face because of him.
He didn’t disappear. No, quite the opposite. He began popping up all over the world.
“Here I am! Nah, Nyah! You can’t get me!”
Then he began live broadcasts from several different countries, week after week, trying to fire up the rural poor, to tell them he’d been cheated. To prod them along and whip them into a frenzy to fight the one damn government in
Somewhere in all this mess came the shocking (really?) news that Thaksin’s rather hot wife, Potjaman, divorced him. Some say it was only a strategic financial move. I say she got damn sick of his shit.
And so the rural poor donned red shirts, bandanas, head scarfs, and plastic clappers, and took to the streets to fight a battle for the man that threw the bones at them. They waved his picture around, hoisted banners proclaiming victory for him, and they even wore Thaksin Shinawatra masks.
Stupid, uneducated people.
Most are paid to show up in
Another time and another color, it wasn’t long ago that the yellow people took over the International airport and brought
Have you ever heard of it? It’s a psychological thing. People…stupid, uneducated people, get so caught up in the adrenaline rush of a mob. They begin doing things they’d never think of doing when at home. But, caught up in all the excitement of a red-shirted mob, they begin throwing things, donning shields, picking up weapons and fighting for a cause…trouble is, if you take ten of them and put them in ten separate rooms, then ask them the question, “Why are you doing this?” You’re going to get ten different answers.
But, if you have all ten of them together, ask one of them that question and allow him/her to answer so all can hear, then take the remaining nine into separate rooms, you’re going to get the same damn answer.
You see, very few of the red-shirt protesters know what they are doing or why they are doing it. Even some of the red-shirt leaders don’t have a clue. Tell them they are effectively managing to destroy the very country they love, and most will tell you they are there for a good cause and they are in hopes their good cause (which most of them cannot identify) will change the country for the better.
It’s been printed in
"Even if the prime minister bends to the red-shirt’s demands and dissolves parliament, it will not solve the problem. The country will remain polarized, and another protest will take the place of the last, even in the event a new election is called.”
What to do?
Anyone’s guess I suppose…