Thailand: Thaksin's Ploy

The Lost Boy describes how the ruling Council for National Security (CNS) in Thailand is “playing into Thaksin’s hands“. The authorities closed three radio stations last week after they featured Thaksin calling in from his current home in England. “What has happened now is that all community radio stations are being closely monitored, and so we can expect any that steps out of line, in the eyes of the CNS, to be closed down immediately. Can’t the CNS see that this will only lead to resentment?”


  • […] he starting to experience the sort of blowback that Carlos Lacerda experienced in the 1960s? Global Voices Online cites anti-Thaksin bloggers who seem to be complaining of such blowback. The Lost Boy describes how […]

  • CB

    The notion that a military coup will stem (alleged) human rights violations, curb (alleged) violations of press freedoms, and cure the scourge of (alleged) corrruption, is not unprecedented in history — and has a poor track record of actually turning out that way in modern times.

    The case makes me think of Brazilian newspapers that openly clamored for the 1964 coup, then found themselves subject to extreme censorship as their reward. Even the Globo network, which received many benefits from its support for the military regime, when it placed a very large bet on a business deal with Time-Life, found that the men from the barrels of whose guns political power flowed (Mao) were less than completely committed to the principle of fair play in political horse-trading.

    Carlos Lacerda of the UDN (media mogul and politician) also thought the military men would make him president within a few years in exchange for his support. Instead, they suspended his political rights and arrested and tortured his son.

    The term “blowback” was invented for just such cases — cases in which one makes the mistake of coming to believe in the rhetoric of one’s own moral crusade.

    Grotesquely inadequate to the facts on the ground, this spectacle of Limthongkul, owner of the Manager Group, touring U.S. college campuses to promote an autohagiography according to which his conflict with Thaksin was a some kind of soap opera plot about “the crusading journalist versus the corrupt media mogul.”

    Grotesque, also, is Limthongkul’s frequent contention that he had nothing to do with the coup d’etat.

    The Nation reported recently, regarding Thaksin’s yellow T-shirt rallies, for example:

    “On February 4 of last year, Thaksin said he would resign if His Majesty whispered in his ear. That evening, Sondhi thundered from his rally stage, “Where is the army? This talk is enough to bring [Thaksin] to the execution post.”

    In other words, the man had nothing to do with the coup, except for the fact that he screamed very loudly and insistently into the million-megawatt megaphone of the mass media for the Army to take the elected prime minister out and shoot him.

    Your democracy-promotion tax dollars at work? I sure hope not.

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