NYT’s delusional analysis won’t stop inevitable fall of Wall Street’s proxy regime in Thailand.
March 5, 2014 (ATN) – For the past decade, the regime of billionaire, accused mass murderer, convicted criminal and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra has been coddled by the West, in particular the corporate-financier interests of Wall Street and their massive lobbying firms in Washington D.C. Starting in the 1990’s, Thaksin Shinawatra has accumulated a long list of ignominious accomplishments including:
- 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. It would represent the first of many compromising conflicts of interest that would undermine Thailand’s sovereign under his rule.
- Thaksin was Thailand’s prime minister from 2001-2006. Has since dominated the various reincarnations of his political party – and still to this day runs the country by proxy, via his nepotist appointed sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
- 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 2003, he initiated what he called a “war on drugs.” Nearly 3,000 were extrajudicially murdered in the streets over the course of just 90 days. It would later turn out that more than half of those killed had nothing to even do with the drug trade. In this act alone, Thaksin earned himself the title as worst human rights offender in Thai history, and still he was far from finished.
- In 2004, he oversaw the killing of 85 protesters in a single day during his mishandled, heavy-handed policy in the country’s troubled deep south. The atrocity is now referred to as the “Tak Bai incident.”
- 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.
- Throughout his administration he was notorious for intimidating the press, and crushing dissent. According to Amnesty International, 18 human rights defenders were either assassinated or disappeared during his first term in office. Among them was human rights activist and lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit. He was last seen in 2004 being arrested by police and never seen again.
- Also throughout Thaksin’s administration, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) claimed in its report, “Attacks on the Press 2004: Thailand” that the regime was guilty of financial interference, legal intimidation, and coercion of the press.
- 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).
- In April of 2009 gunmen would fire over 100 rounds into the vehicle of anti-Thaksin activist, protest leader, and media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul in a broad daylight assassination attempt. He was injured but survived.
- On April 10, 2010, heavily armed professional militants deployed by Thaksin Shianwatra and his “red shirt” front targeted and assassinated Colonel Romklao Thuwatham who was at the time commanding crowd control operations near Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. Thaksin’s “red shirts” would go on to clash with the military for weeks before ending their riot with mass city-wide looting and arson.
- In August of 2013, businessman and outspoken Thaksin opponent Ekkayuth Anchanbutr was abducted and murdered.
This does not include more recent events, which also includes attempted and successful assassinations targeting Thaksin Shinawatra’s enemies, and a campaign of increasing terrorism being employed against growing dissent in the streets railing against his regime symbolically led by his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
It is easy to see why the West, despite the unraveling of the regime in recent months, is still stalwartly defending it, particularly in the editorials and columns of their newspapers – the West has invested a decade propping it up and is unlikely to find another political machine as effective and as willing to divide, destroy, and attempt to wholesale handover the resources and sovereignty of Thailand to foreign interests.
It is this that brings us articles like the New York Times’ recent piece titled, “Protesters Say They’ll End Blockades in Bangkok,” by the biased and wholly inaccurate Thomas Fuller. He claimed in the article that:
In what appeared to be a major retreat by the movement to overthrow the Thai government, protesters on Friday said they were abandoning their campaign to shut down Bangkok and would dismantle their blockades of major intersections set up in January.
He cited what he called a “dwindling number of supporters,” and claimed the Thai military had “distanced” itself from the protest movement’s goals. Aside from demonstrating a complete lack of understanding, either witlessly or intentionally misleading his readership, Fuller qualifies his analysis by amateurishly referencing two overt regime supporters, Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Sombat Boonngamanong. A far cry from journalism, Fuller’s article reads like an advert for the regime – full of biased, unbalanced opinions from dubious sources and wishful thinking to sell Thaksin Shinawatra’s political machine as still in control and perhaps even “winning” against dissenters.
Fuller preys on the ignorance of his readers, claiming:
The protest movement, which in December and January drew tens of thousands of office workers and wealthy Bangkok residents into the streets, struggled to attract similar crowds in recent weeks.
However, in December and January, protest leaders were, just as they are now, operating from a single stage, and called for massive, single day demonstrations that drew not tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands. After the protesters’ recent so-called “retreat” back toward a single protest site, they will be able to do so once again. When they do, Thomas Fuller and the New York Times will once again be exposed as a biased chronicle of how Wall Street wishes the world was, rather than a journalistic endeavor recording how the world truly is.
Consolidation, Not a Retreat
What protesters have accomplished over the past few months, not only in Bangkok, but across the country – is unparalleled in terms of organized dissent in Thailand. When Thaksin Shinawatra mobilized mobs in 2009 and 2010 in a violent attempt to seize back power, his organizers managed to fill only a single location with fewer than 50,000 at the peak of demonstrations (with daily averages standing at between 10,000 and 30,000) and for no longer than 2 months.
Conversely, the ongoing protests against the Shinawatra regime have lasted from late October 2013 onward, and have managed to fill the streets of Bangkok with hundreds of thousands of protesters at a time. The recent “Occupy Bangkok” campaign was approaching 2 months before stages were once again consolidated. The campaign was in fact designed to expose and lead protests against February 2nd’s sham elections – which it did so with resounding success. Over half the voting Thai population boycotted the elections, and of those that did vote, many defaced their ballots or filled in “no vote” in a display of defiance against the regime.
With the elections and the democratic mandate of the regime fully exposed as illegitimate, the “Occupy Bangkok” campaign served no further purpose. Fuller’s attempt to claim the winding down of a successful campaign is instead a “retreat,” will neither negate the gains of the campaign, nor diminish the impact it will have on the tenuous standings of the regime.
The West is accustomed to reshaping reality by simply and repetitively stating a narrative they wish to impose upon public opinion. Those days are over – and continuing on with this practice only exposes just how detached from reality these narratives are. Thomas Fuller and the New York Times will have no impact on the inevitable fall of the Shinawatra regime, and their ability to manipulate public perception regarding its inevitable fall becomes increasingly negligible with each and ever biased, baseless, and clearly delusional editorial they publish.