Clowns and spokesmen

8 04 2016

The longer it stays in power, the more repressive the military dictatorship becomes. At the same time, as it faces quite mild opposition it becomes angry and more ridiculous. Red dipper bowls and garlic-inspired incantations are recent examples.

Of course, these two bizarre events are related by the junta’s view that everything they don’t like in the world is because of Thaksin Shinawatra, and they just wish they could be rid of him, because everything, including the drought, is his fault. They dream of a wonderful time when, without Thaksin, they think, Thailand would be harmonious, monarchy-loving and hierarchical as of yore. They think the people would love them and everyone would know their appropriate slot in their hierarchy.

This is a long way to getting to a Bangkok Post report that has the junta responding to US criticism. The report states that it “has hit back at the US State Department over criticism of the regime’s order giving soldiers police-like powers to arrest and detain criminal suspects.” Well, that reporting is a bit off. It actually gives powers beyond police powers, such as searches without warrants.

Nasty clownThe US State Department was mild in its criticism.

In response, “Government spokesman [Major General] Sansern Kaewkamnerd yesterday said the order is intended to allow soldiers to support police efforts to crack down on ‘mafia’ and ‘influential criminal figures’ more efficiently.” Everyone, even the junta members, know this is horse manure. But Sansern donned a clown’s outfit – metaphorically – to go further with some commentary that was so far-fetched that he must have been clowning around.

Sansern juggled two balls in one hand and frightened small children by advising the US State Department “to study the order carefully before making any comments. Ill-judged remarks could cast the US in a bad light…”. What a joker!

Sansern represents a murderous military that illegally assumed power after planning and supporting the overthrow of an elected government, a government that hands out 60 years sentences for lese majeste, imprisons people for speaking ill of dead kings, royal pets and for truthful criticism. He represents a regime that aggregates power to itself, installs puppet legislatures, uses military courts, threatens students and bans eating sandwiches, three finger salutes and reading books as national security threats. Sansern represents viscous thugs planning to control Thailand for years to come. Who is in a “bad light”? Thailand is in a place where the light doesn’t shine.

The Major General also “warned the US not to receive distorted information from ‘public relations companies’ he alleged were hired by some groups with ill-intentions toward Thailand.” He means Thaksin.

This is a claim with a long pedigree among Thailand’s anti-democrats. They seem to believe that people in other countries cannot read newspapers, blogs, academic articles and gain an understanding of Thailand’s murderous regime. The regime is murderous but supremely ignorant. So ignorant are they that we can conclude that Thailand is run by some very nasty clowns.



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