Power And Dollar

What Does America Care About Thailand’s Mess?

Anti government demonstrators have been protesting for months in Thailand, paralyzing the government.  The government has declared it illegal and failed to enforce the laws, thanks to the military staying away from this mess, when Thai military has a history of intervention.  If one can take CNN’s view as the American view and represents American interest in foreign affairs, then what does CNN’s story say?

 

Former Prime Minister Thaksin (is the surname not the given name) is accused of corruption.  Leave the details of the case aside.  He left the country.  If the cause of the demonstrators is about the prosecution of Thaksin, then this is a legal issue.  Even for that matter, they should not be blocking the airport when Thaksin is trying to return to the country.  

 

The key in all of this is the different constituencies of People Power Party (PPP) and People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).  PAD is, not a political party, a coalition of groups against Thaksin.  Thaksin’s power base is from the country.  PAD represents Bangkok’s interests.  The economic growth in the past decades have been centered around Bangkok, American military, tourism, foreign investment since ASEAN and ASEAN + 3 (China, Korea and Japan).  However, the rural areas have been left out.  Thaksin’s victory is the result of this neglect – Thaksin represents the rural area constituency.  

 

Thaksin considers the corruption charges are political maneuvers (all politicians do).  He left the country and vowed to stay clean of politics in exchange for the drop of charges to no avail.  Since London does not review his visa, he decided to return to Thailand and enter politics.  This is the indication he believes these legal charges will have to be resolved politically rather than legally.  Since he has a strong support base in the country, Thailand is determined to see more turbulence. 

 

What is the American angle in all this? 

 

Bangkok’s interests are the American interests.  If Thaksin truly represents the anti-Bangkok interests, then this concerns America.

 

Why does it deserve American attention now, especially if it has been going on for half year already?  

 

Thaksin’s support base is strong.  If the Bangkok elite (PAD), with media support and money support and the military is unwilling to intervene and yet, fails to topple PPP without Thaksin being in Thailand, then it is unlikely PAD can topple PPP with Thaksin is in Thailand and actively engage in politics.  Therefore, this story now surfacing (only now) is an indication that America wants to persuade the American public opinion (even acquiescence) for more American intervention (behind the scene or not).  Thaksin now has to play with against a much stronger player, not just PAD.

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November 25, 2008 - Posted by | Current Events

1 Comment »

  1. Informative article. I really enjoyed it. All the best, Zackery

    Comment by tips to lose weight | February 4, 2009 | Reply


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