Monday, February 19, 2007

Deconstructing The Nation: Hypocritical Defense of Somkid's Appointment Part 1


Govt gambles with Somkid

The bold appointment by Surayud, while confusing locals, could serve to alienate Thaksin internationally

The appointment of Somkid Jatusripitak as Thailand's flag bearer for the sufficiency economy model is a political move, which means that it carries both risks and potential benefits. Initial local reaction to the gamble by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont suggests that it could backfire politically, as the resurrection of Thaksin Shinawatra's economic tsar has either upset or puzzled political allies of the military-backed interim leadership. The main criticism is that making a key architect of "Thaksinomics" the guardian of the sufficiency theory is an act of political insanity that will only generate widespread confusion among the Thai public.

The interim leadership's motives are clear. There has been little problem locally when it comes to promoting His Majesty the King's concept of prudent self-reliance, however the global community has either misinterpreted the theory or been fed distorted information. Ousted leader Thaksin's interviews with the international media, as well as foreign articles written about him, have created doubts concerning the philosophy; this is due in no small part to some economic policy misfortunes in the wake of the September 19 coup.

While Somkid's sudden political resurgence may have created confusion locally, its overseas impact could be more positive. Thaksin, with his globe-trotting campaign, has sought to portray himself as a champion of capitalism, but the defection of his former key economic man could make the international media stop to watch things here more closely. Since acting as the defender of the sufficiency economy theory is a purely political role and has little to do with economic management, Somkid's appointment cannot be seen as a desperate move. The interim leadership wants the world to get this message: Look, even Thaksin's economic right-hand man is deserting him to support HM the King's theory.

That, most likely, is what it's all about. Major propaganda warfare is underway. The military-backed government wants to alienate and humiliate Thaksin, who has been trying to do the same to it internationally. Somkid is a pawn, or proxy, no more, no less. The Thaksin camp will now have no choice but to belittle him, or create the impression that the appointment was a silly move.

Such countermeasures can be helped along by local critics, or upset allies of the interim leadership. Chat Thai leader Banharn Silapa-archa has said that Thaksin could discredit the Somkid appointment by simply laughing it away. Former Democrat leader Chuan Leekpai said he didn't think "Somkid can change" and there is no good reason why he should be brought into the interim government. On a thread at The Nation's Website, sceptical views far outnumbered positive ones.

But a gamble is a gamble. In a conventional war, nothing can demoralise an enemy more than a major defection. How Thaksin's lobbyists will explain Somkid's stunning about-face will be very interesting. Some observers believe that Somkid may have had his arm twisted into turning against Thaksin because the former finance minister is still hounded by some scandals. However, the "blackmail" excuse cannot be argued internationally, because it would suggest that something not so clean took place when Thaksin and Somkid were in power. One plausible explanation from the Thaksin camp would be to portray Somkid as an ambitious Brutus.

Possible local benefits are obvious. Former Thaksin allies have received a major message: "We are only after him, not you. We are open for reconciliation, but you will have to make your choice." It can be seen as both an olive branch and a stern warning. Somkid's defection is coinciding with the looming dissolution of the Thai Rak Thai Party over alleged violations of election law, a seemingly imminent fate that is already causing the steady disintegration of the core of the former ruling party. But in the end, this gamble will depend the most on how Somkid is used, and what is done to pacify the present allies of the interim leadership like the Democrat and Chat Thai parties as well as the increasingly unsettled Finance Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula. It's time for Prime Minister Surayud to show his mediating skills and convince doubters that Somkid's appointment is pretty much a political move aimed at achieving a common objective - alienating Thaksin Shinawatra. Yet trying to convince doubters will be difficult because Somkid at this time is like a double-edged sword.

Have I mentioned yet that The Nation's editors are morons. I think I have. And here is even more evidence.

Why the fuck would the international community give two shits about Somkid's interpretation of sufficiency economics? The fucker can't even interpret it for a Thai audience . That is the problem. Nobody can. When Thais talk about sufficiency theory, they sound like idiots.

Further, nobody cares about sufficiency economics--except those in power who want to use it as a royal shield for their idiotic policies and to protect their economic interests. And to have the Thai intelligentsia go crazy over it just shows what lame ass hypocrites they are, especially when none of them live a sufficiency lifestyle.

And Thaksin hasn't misinterpreted anything. He hasn't said anything of importance. There is no propaganda war. The only propaganda war that is going on is in the imaginations of Thai journalists, who believe there is a Thaksin boogey monster under every bed out to get them.

And to send out Somkid, Thaksin's brain, to counter Thaksin's non-existent anti-sufficiency theory propaganda is so ludicrous that only dipshits in the Thai media think that it makes sense.

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