A regime run by a convicted criminal hiding abroad would be unacceptable in any other country in the word and it is unacceptable in Thailand too.
|What’s unacceptable worldwide, is also unacceptable here.|
December 26, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) – Thailand is currently run by Thaksin Shianwatra. Thaksin was not on the ballot during the last general election, nor was he even in the country, but as the New York Times reported in their article, “In Thailand, Power Comes With Help From Skype,” he is still very much in charge:
For the past year and a half, by the party’s own admission, the most important political decisions in this country of 65 million people have been made from abroad, by a former prime minister who has been in self-imposed exile since 2008 to escape corruption charges.
The country’s most famous fugitive,Thaksin Shinawatra, circles the globe in his private jet, chatting with ministers over his dozen cellphones, texting over various social media platforms and reading government documents e-mailed to him from civil servants, party officials say.
It might be described as rule by Skype. Or governance by instant messenger, a way for Mr. Thaksin to help run the country without having to face the warrant for his arrest in a case that many believe is politically motivated.
So arrogant is Thaksin, that he even made the 2011 general election campaign slogan, “Thaksin Thinks, Puea Thai Does.” His inept sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who held no political office in her life before suddenly becoming “Prime Minister of Thailand,” holds his place in an embarrassing display of 3rd world nepotism.
But Thailand’s current regime harbors other, much darker characteristics than its cartoonish corruption and banana republic-nepotism. Thaksin Shinawatra, while in office from 2001-2006, conducted a brutal “war on drugs.” It was in reality a 90 day campaign of extrajudicial executions in the streets that left nearly 3,000 innocent people dead – half of whom had nothing at all to do with the drug trade, none of whom were formally charged or put on trial.
Despite the brutality of what was by all measures a grotesque crime against humanity, the “war” was wildly popular amongst his supporters (See the Economist’s: Thailand’s Drug Wars – Back on the Offensive) who apparently have no grasp or concern for concepts like human rights, trials, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty – the same supporters that continuously vote him into power time and time again.
A criminal like Thaksin Shinawatra would not be a free man had he committed his crimes in the West, or in a country the West was at odds with. He would likely have found himself a minor member of the “Axis of Evil,” and surely no government he was running, directly or remotely would be considered “legitimate” or “democratically elected” no matter how popular it was portrayed as being. His followers would be labeled “fanatics.”
A convicted criminal running a party by proxy in the West would be unthinkable, and surely unacceptable. And sure enough, it is found unacceptable in Thailand as well. This is what has brought millions out into the streets in protest and is at the crux of the ongoing political crisis unfolding in Thailand today. There are no efforts to stop elections in Thailand, simply efforts to stop the current regime’s sham elections which are being held against the wishes of the nation’s own Election Commission, and with all opposition parties boycotting it.
And as serious and important as this all sounds for those trying to understand Thailand and its current political crisis, none of these facts were reported in the BBC’s latest report. Titled, “Thailand protests: Yingluck government rejects election delay,” it claims:
Thailand’s government has rejected calls to delay February’s election, amid increasingly violent protests in which a policeman has been shot dead.
The Electoral Commission urged the postponement over safety fears for candidates on the campaign trail.
But government officials said parliament was already dissolved so there was no legal reason for a delay.
The protesters want the government to stand down and be replaced by an unelected “people’s council”.
The article is purposely crafted to assign blame to the protesters for the policeman’s death – when it was already reported (Reuters) that unidentified gunmen on rooftops did the shooting. It also claims the protesters want the government to be replaced by an “unelected people’s council,” which is also intentionally misleading. The protesters, almost daily, in both Thai and English, reiterate that they have no intention of ending democracy or elections.
The goal is to remove Thaksin Shinawatra and his dangerous, criminal, corrosive influence from the country, before truly free and fair elections can be held. The council is no different than the unelected bodies that took over in the many Western-backed color revolutions around the world, as well as the imperialistic “Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq” that ruled the decimated Middle Eastern nation shortly after the West invaded and occupied it. The difference of course is, this council doesn’t work for Wall Street, the others did.
But the article continues, with “analysis” from the BBC’s Jonathan Head – already exposed as a peddler of falsehoods – he states:
In most other countries an attack on an official election site by protesters armed with slingshots and homemade bombs, resulting in the death of a police officer from a gunshot wound, would prompt a robust response from the authorities. A state of emergency perhaps, or the deployment of the army, as happened in Bangkok in 2010.
That this is not happening in Thailand – that protesters are free to block roads, occupy ministries and launch an assault on a stadium in which political parties were trying to prepare for a democratic election, tells you a lot about the polarised state of Thailand right now.
Again – the police officer was killed by an unidentified gunman located on a nearby roof, not by protesters clashing with police below. Head once again invokes the violence of 2010, in which Thaksin Shinawatra deployed some 300 heavily armed, professional mercenaries in a violent attempt to seize back power. These mercenaries (according to even Human Rights Watch) attacked riot troops with AK47s, M16s, M79 grenade launchers, and M67 hand grenades initially killing 7 soldiers including the commanding officer – which triggered weeks of gunfights in the streets and left up to 92 dead. This violence in both terms of context and scale is in no way comparable to what happened today – but Jonathan Head hopes readers are unaware of this, as well as many other facts, as he sells his dishonest narrative.
Head enjoys using the word “democratic election,” because it alone in the minds of many qualifies any voting process as “legitimate.” Of course, in reality, many of the very worst autocracies in the world, past and present, have used elections as a means of lending themselves unwarranted, nonexistent legitimacy. A few examples that come to mind are Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, North Korea, and the despotic autocracy of Saudi Arabia where half of the country is disenfranchised, but still defended by the BBC as “cautious reformers.”
Like in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Kim Jong Un’s North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, Thailand’s elections will feature one viable party, with one family dominating it – the Shinawatras. Voting is compulsory and in many regions in rural Thailand where Thaksin has particularly entrenched his political machinery, dissent is often met with intimidation, violence, or occasionally death. Elections in Thailand, with the Shinawatra family involved are anything but democratic – and the process is solely designed to take advantage of a minority that finds exjudicial executions acceptable, nepotism preferable, and the voice of the opposition intolerable – and lend for themselves the same credibility and legitimacy Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Un, and the Sauds sought when they held their sham elections.
Jonathan Head of the BBC has already demonstrated without doubt his contempt for the truth, and does so again in his latest piece. But this goes beyond “Head the propagandists” – it is a systematic manipulation of the truth by the Western press in general – because in addition to being a mass murderer and a convicted criminal, Thaksin Shinawatra is also well connected with Washington and Wall Street:
- In the late 1990’s, Thaksin was an adviser to notorious private equity firm, the Carlyle Group. He pledged to his foreign contacts that upon taking office, he would still serve as a “matchmaker” between the US equity fund and Thai businesses.
- In 2001 he privatized Thailand’s resources and infrastructure including the nation’s oil conglomerate PTT – much to Wall Street’s delight.
- In 2003, he would commit Thai troops to the US invasion of Iraq, despite widespread protests from both the Thai military and the public. Thaksin would also allow the CIA to use Thailand for its abhorrent rendition program.
- Also in 2004, Thaksin attempted to ramrod through a US-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) without parliamentary approval, backed by the US-ASEAN Business Council who just before the 2011 elections that saw Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra brought into power, hosted the leaders of Thaksin’s “red shirt” “United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship” (UDD) in Washington DC.
- Since the 2006 coup that toppled his regime, Thaksin has been represented by US corporate-financier elites via their lobbying firms including, Kenneth Adelman of the Edelman PR firm (Freedom House, International Crisis Group,PNAC), James Baker of Baker Botts (CFR, Carlyle Group), Robert Blackwill (CFR) of Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR), Kobre & Kim, Bell Pottinger (and here) and currently Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners (Chatham House).
- Just this year Thaksin Shinawatra’s Puea Thai party amended article 190 of the Thai Constitution. This removes the obstacle that prevented him from passing the destructive, highly unpopular US-Thai FTA in 2004 – and other treaties that will undermine if not utterly destroy Thailand’s sovereignty on behalf of enriching Thaksin and his Western sponsors.
The BBC’s Jonathan Head is not stupid – he is simply doing what the BBC does best – taking cash and directives from the monied elite of Wall Street and London, and spinning a narrative that suits them. Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, the “popular democrats” of Thailand most closely reflects the cozy relationship and immense investment the West has placed in the Shinawatra famility, even if it reflects nothing at all of reality.