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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Sounds like an al-Qaeda group to me. Whatever it is it's certainly an expansion of jihad this time against Thailand. :shk:
Ford's legacy in Thailand tainted
Effects still felt from the former US president's decision to violate Thai sovereignty in the Mayaguez incident
Gerald Ford has been and always will be remembered in Thailand as the only US president to have violated the sovereignty of Thailand. His decision to send US marines to rescue the American crew of the merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Gulf of Thailand in May of 1975 was a disaster with far-reaching ramifications. Washington failed to consult Bangkok on its plan to dispatch US marine special forces to U Tapao military base in Rayong province and went ahead with the rescue effort despite not having received permission from the host country. The Thai government was very upset at the violation of the nation's sovereignty, especially newly elected prime minister MR Kukrit Pramoj, of whom it could be said that there was no love lost between him and the Americans.
The Nation (Thailand) January 12, 2005 >More people should be talking about U-tapao
Many Thais will concur that the terrible tragedy of the seaquake should not serve as some sort of subterfuge or potential Trojan Horse for strengthening the US military presence in this region. A number of Thailands neighbours in Asean will not be enthusiastic about the prospect of U-tapao revived under the Stars and Stripes.
Some American analysts believe that wrapped in the guise of a major long-term aid and reconstruction package the return to U-tapao base represents a significant bolstering of American military might in the area. Geopolitics doesnt go away. It meshes well with a central aim of Washingtons evolving policy in this part of the planet.
As an article in The Nation entitled Terror Offensive: US wants forward base here [News, June 12, 2003] noted, the Pentagons interest in a base on Thai soil was broached in June 2003 during the prime ministers visit to Washington.
When the Yanks Went home
July 20 marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of the last US military base in Thailand, a country that had become known at the Pentagon as “the unsinkable aircraft carrier”.
During the first half of the 1960s, the US government built a network of roads, army camps, airfields and listening posts from Chiang Mai to the Malaysian border, but most American personnel, equipment and infrastructure were concentrated in the Northeast, close to the war in Indochina.
“In 1961 I was asked to fly a plane from Saigon to Vientiane,” recalls a former Air America pilot.
“We flew over Korat’s Nak airfield. At the time it was a dingy little place – a few water buffaloes grazing on the strip".
“Three years later I flew the same route, and Korat was bustling with activity. Vietnam was heating up and the military had arrived.”
Top US Defense Official: Troops Should Finish Tsunami Relief Work
Ron Corben, Bangkok, 15 January 2005
U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the United States will withdraw its troops from tsunami relief operations in Asia as "soon as possible". Mr. Wolfowitz made his first stop on a regional tour to assess how the military is aiding countries hit by the December 26th earthquake and tsunami.
During his stopover in Bangkok Saturday, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz met with Thai Defense Minister General Samphan Boonyanant to assess overall relief efforts in Thailand and the Indian Ocean region following the December 26th disaster.
The United States is mobilizing its largest military operation in Asia in more than 30 years, using the Thai Air Force Base Utapao as its staging ground. So far, more than three million tons of relief supplies have passed through Utapao.
"Thailand should replace Buddhism as its official religion, as all its affairs seem to obey Murphy's laws, then surely Murphy must be the ruling deity in this country? I assume most Thais would never have seen or even heard of the British soap comedy, "Yes Minister", it has many parallels with here:-) "
"The more I see, the more I read, the more it seems that Thailand is a ship that has not only lost its captain but also its rudder. Next to go will be the engine (economy). It is time the passengers take action before the ship founders totally."
Krid 13/01/2007 15:42
So Thai military factions murder innocent civilians to gain what exactly? Is this just revenge for loss of face, power and jobs? It seems a very un-Thai way of going about things and does not go with the "graduates from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy will not annihilate one another" concept. I mean, a motive is still missing. The bombings would not necessarily result in de-stabilizing the junta (the opposing faction), it might even strengthen them if the perpetrators are exposed. And for the perpetrators it's suicidal politically and possibly even literally. So thanks for exposing the rotten core of the Thai military which will rule the country for the time being, but the theory has some rather large holes IMHO.
Pedro 13/01/2007 15:45
In 50s and 60s the military operated extensive drug running operations (aided by the CIA) and none of them ever faced justice for this. In the 70s they were behind a string of bombings and no one was ever arrested. Now in 2007 they are apparently reverting to terrorism in their own capital! What use is the military and its silly code of honour that conceals drug dealers and terrorists to the Thai people? It is also known to be an expensive but ineffective fighting force with hundreds of generals in inactive posts and billions are syphoned off from arms purchases and military TV and radio stations. Why do Thai people put up with this?
Ian 13/01/2007 16:17
Pedro, Thais tolerate many things simply because they have never known anything different. It is a survivalist, dog eat dog mentality. This is the information age but the average Thai is both denied information and indifferent to it when he gets it. There is a fatalism about Thai thinking which I am unable to come to terms with.
Tosakan 13/01/2007 19:32
Krid, the theory makes perfect sense in the context of Thai history and domestic Thai politics, especially concerning the activities of police and military factions. Pedro is right. But the problems were occuring long before the 50s and 60s.
Ian 13/01/2007 21:09
So to summarise the last few comments, Thai behaviour is the result of Thai culture. So the solution is to change the culture? Would Thailand still be Thailand? This is a conundrum.
The Thai junta is caught between a need to get tough on Thaksin and his still-powerful loyalists, and to show a democratic, tolerant face to Thais who no longer suffer army rule as passively as in generations past. While Thailand has seen 18 coups and 16 constitutions since it abandoned absolute monarchy in 1932, this crisis is especially troubling because Thais cannot count for long on the stabilizing presence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has moderated political conflict here over a 60-year reign.
Bhumibol (pronounced "pumipon"), the world's longest-ruling monarch, is frail at age 79. His son, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, is widely seen (although never publicly described) as a somewhat thuggish playboy who will be unable to play his father's stabilizing role.
The problem now, voiced here only in whispers, is that the thrice-married crown prince is seen as an arrogant womanizer prone to eruptions of bad temper. Paul Handley, an American journalist and biographer of Bhumibol, wrote that army generals "did not want Thaksin in a position to exert influence" on the succession to Vajiralongkorn.