Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tulsathit Taptim Jumps the Shark

Leaders fear the 'Thaksin Curse' landing on their doorsteps

With the "Thaksin Curse" threatening to wreak havoc on the world
stage, international leaders must be having sleepless nights, anxious
about if or when the "pop-up" magician will suddenly appear on their
doorsteps. The following dialogue between the US president and
Singaporean prime minister derives purely from my imagination, and is
intended solely to ease the global tension resulting from the Thai
crisis. I will take no responsibility, though, if it generates an
opposite effect:

Translation of Thai thinking:

With the Thai Frankenstein monster Thaksin running around the world making a fool out of himself and our country, civilized countries and their leaders are worried that Thaksin is going to spread Thai political bullshit everywhere.

The following dialogue is an expression for my contempt for the US and Singapore, and how I blame those countries for all of Thaksin's crazy antics and Thailand's bullshit problems.

US President: You look pretty messed up.

Singaporean PM: Tell me about it. Those arrogant Thai junta hotheads. They came at me with everything they had.

US President: You should have known better, frankly speaking. After that deal with the Shinawatras, which exacerbated a crisis in their country - not to mention the fact that Ample Rich is based on your soil - you can't expect a 'thank you' note from the Thai leaders after you allowed their biggest enemy to launch diplomatic salvoes from your territory. Learn from the Chinese - they are smart when it comes to this kind of thing.

Singaporean PM: The man wanted to talk. What else could we have done? And didn't he do well to promote democracy and free trade? I was almost in tears myself.


It is America and Singapore's fault that the Thai people elected a greedy corrupt asshole and it is their fault we had a coup. And the only reason why they support Thaksin is because they want to buy Thailand and enslave its people. By the way, I don't really mean that, but it is easier to blame foreigners for Thailand's problems than actually getting our own shit together. At The Nation we strictly adhere to a blame the foreigner first policy when it comes to laying blame for Thai politics.

US President: Yeah, I got a lump in my throat too. Half of Japan must be crying by now. He seemed to have a new series of interviews lined up in that country. If Aung San Suu Kyi had got the same kind of exposure a few years back,Burma would be a free country right now.

Singaporean PM: The guy was spot-on regarding capitalism. He deserved your help for defending the philosophy. Even The Wall Street Journal was full of praise.

Translation: Thaksin got a couple interviews where shed a few crocodile tears, but it is better to exaggerate Thaksin's impact in the international arena, because that justifies our hatred for Thaksin and justifies our support for the coup. Now we can support Thailand's fascist economic policies, because we at The Nation can't compete with foreign media companies. And if we at The Nation continue to support the coup, we will reap a windfall in advertising revenue, the revenue we lost while Thaksin was in power.

US President: If I remember correctly, the same paper had criticised him earlier for blocking foreign competition in the telecom sector. Oh well, bygones should be bygones. And surely you can't call him a protectionist after his virtual sell-off of Thai telecom properties to Singapore.

Singaporean PM: You seemed to be on the verge of getting a sweet Free Trade Agreement as well. Good old Thaksin. No wonder most of the free-trade world is weeping.

Translation: See, I have to lie to make a point, because I have no integrity. In fact, it was only Shin group telecom companies that were being sold to Singapore rather than a complete sell-off of Thai assets.

US President: What a generous guy. In fact, the Temasek deal can encourage more international trade because the Thai military may need a new satellite to ensure security-related signals are not intercepted.

Singaporean PM: That's one crazy expert's opinion. But even if that's true, it will only be good for the world satellite market.

Translation: You see how we Thais twist things to fit into our deluded world view? See how I link the Shin/Temasak and military procurement deals in the US? Again, blame the foreigners first, do fact checking later.

US President: Yes. It's all about the money, mind you. Apart from us big economic powers, I haven't seen too many Third World countries coming out against the Thai coup. What worries me, though, is things will get more complicated after the junta completes the corruption probe against our man.

Translation: Third world countries haven't complained about the coup because most of them are just as politically backwards and as corrupted as Thailand.

Singaporean PM: He assures us they have no case. He says they haven't found any evidence.

US President: Well, we didn't have much evidence going into Iraq either. And we hanged Saddam!

Singaporean PM: What are you saying?

US President: We made accusations, groundless or not, bombed Baghdad and overthrew a government against the will of much of the world. Sounds a bit like the Thai coup, don't you think?

Singaporean PM: If you take away gutted buildings and casualties, that is. Yes, I know what you mean. It's getting awkward to criticise the coup, right? And, of course, what if he seeks asylum? What if he sneaks in and lobbies your Congress? What if the Thais demand extradition? Nightmare scenarios.

Translation: When things get bad in Thailand, always fall back on calling the Americans hypocrites. Again, see how Thai logic works every time? It is always easier to point the fingers at somebody else rather than take responsibility for the actions of our corrupt political system.

US President: Exactly. I heard that our pal Tony Blair needs an injection to get some sleep every night. As much as I pity your man, I would rather see our democratic hero head Tony's way than here.

Singaporean PM: I guess the British should be more worried. But with the lobbyists he's hiring, you'll never know. Japan has handled it well so far, but, as you said, hats off to our friends in Beijing, who are real specialists when it comes to this kind of situation.

Translation: We love the Commie Chinese. The staff at The Nation admire our Chinese cousins for handling things the Chinese way instead of airing our dirty laundry in public. We at The Nation support the Chinese way. 20 million dead. One party dictatorship. Jailing and murdering of political opponents. We at The Nation share this philosophy when our guys are in power.

US President: Don't under-estimate the "Curse", though. You will be surprised to know that the majority of anti-coup comments posted on the website of the Thai newspaper The Nation come from China and Hong Kong.

Singaporean PM: Now, that's interesting. But in this era having so many ardent lovers of democracy in China is not that strange.

US President: Not if they use different IP addresses. Our intelligence has found that many "posters" to that newspaper's website were using the same computers in China and Hong Kong. For example, 10 comments lambasting columnist Sopon Onkgara this week alone originated from one computer in China but were written under different names.

Singaporean PM: Are you suggesting there are "hired guns" posting pro-Thaksin comments from overseas? So much for "Enough is enough", then.

US President: All I'm saying is you have to get used to the use of "nominees" when dealing with the Thais. Oh well, look whom I'm trying to teach.

Translation: Even though we at The Nation make a lot of noise about "Thai democracy," we believe in monitoring the ISPs of our customers so we can report any nefarious activity, or viewpoints not in sync with our world view, to the military government, our new masters and political heroes.

Editor's note: Although this conversation is fictional, the parts concerning the IP addresses of visitors posting comments on our website are factual.

Translation: You have been warned once already. Be prepared for a backlash if you challenge us on our website again.

Tulsathit Taptim

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