Editorial propaganda

1 07 2009

As we reported recently, the Bangkok Post seems to be taking paid advertising from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) regarding the south and sufficiency economy. In addition to the full-page pronouncements PPT reported, this past weekend there were two more similar pages of ISOC propaganda in the print edition.

The Nation, however, has taken a different approach. It has a full editorial that takes up the same issues as in the Bangkok Post advertisements. The Nation’s editorialist (29 June 2009: “The EM General Who is Making a Difference”) lauds Lt-General Pichet Visaijorn as taking an “unconventional” approach by preferring political to military options. It followed-up a day later with an opinion piece (The Nation, 30 June 2009: “The Battle to Win Hearts and Minds in the Deep South”) also lauding Pichet.

Perhaps this reflects the debate over strategy between General Anupong Paochinda, who prefers military means, and the Democrat Party-led government which claims to prefer a political solution.

By the way, “EM” seems to refer to organic fertiliser. We resist the temptation to make a joke out of the fertiliser.

For the Nation, the big issue seems to be that Pichet is said to be following the wisdom of the king. As with most things associated with the monarchy, there is no evidence provided to suggest that this strategy works. In fact, there seems only ISOC’s own propaganda. In any case, to claim that this strategy is the king’s strategy is yet another example of rewriting history. This time, a strategy used by General Prem Tinsulanonda to break the communists, is now credited to the king.

Of course, PPT’s assumptions about being paid for reproducing propaganda could be wrong, and both newspapers could be doing this for free. Whether paid or otherwise, PPT condemns both newspapers for their willingness to be tools of ISOC propaganda.

As a note, PPT notes that all of this ISOC propaganda comes as the families of the victims of the Tak Bai official murders have been again rebuffed by the courts. They seek justice in a case that seems so clear to all except the establishment that closes ranks around its own, even when their actions result in 78 deaths.



3 responses

13 07 2009
New: ISOC propaganda effort continues « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] ISOC propaganda effort continues PPT has mentioned (here, here and here) the apparently paid advertising by ISOC that is appearing in the Bangkok Post, as well as […]

1 09 2009
Updated: Damning Darunee or damning The Nation? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Updated: Damning Darunee or damning The Nation? In the 1 September 2009 issue of The Nation, columnist Avudh Panananda has an article entitled “Da Torpedo’s downfall a warning to the like-minded.” Regular readers will know that we have previously questioned this newspaper’s odd “journalism” that has also degenerated into propaganda. […]

1 09 2009
The south and propaganda « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] south and propaganda PPT has posted on ISOC propaganda in the south previously (here, here and here, for example). A couple of weeks ago, the now somewhat subdued Foreign Minister Kasit […]

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