Coups and their justification

11 07 2013

The Bangkok Post has an editorial that is about coups. This follows a recent op-ed that appeared to be a paean for a military coup. The editorial states: “Few nations have watched the Egyptian developments closer than Thailand.”

It adds that “… the overriding fact is that military force hovers over Thai politics and a coup always is possible within the next 24 hours.”

Noting the similarities between the recent Egyptian coup and that in Thailand in 2006, and observes:

One wishes Egypt well, but the truth is that the Thais who rooted on the coup forces of 2006 were as wrong as the military clique they lionised.

But then the Post seems to couch “wrong” in terms of the failure of the military junta in Thailand to manage the country rather than to condemn the military’s intervention. It says:

2006 coup

2006 royalist coup

The overthrow of the “Thaksin regime” was the easy part…. Within months, Gen Sonthi and accomplices proved they had no idea how to run and administer a country. While the government foundered at home and in foreign affairs, the junta hardened public opinion nationwide. Five years after the coup, and after dozens of Thais were killed in political violence, voters rejected the military and voted Thaksin allies back into power.

It is remarkable to PPT that the Post makes the following claim about Democrat Party leader and former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva who:

was quick off the mark to link the Egyptian army’s actions to Thailand. He came up with an impressive list of justifications for a military coup in this country _ government abuse of power, for example, or challenges to the judiciary.

It is, of course, expected that the military pawn should be outlining scenarios for yet another military coup, hoping that the military might again allow him to be prime minister. It is clear that this is not a democrat speaking.

The Post then declares: “A military coup never is legitimate.” Yet, again, this is couched in a kind of technocratic reasoning:

It [a coup] inevitably sinks the country economically, causes chaos to governance, and _ in the case of another coup in Thailand _ will bring both opprobrium and major economic and political sanctions from around the world.

We suggest that the Post should simply declare: A military coup never is legitimate and add a full stop and forget the justifications.


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