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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Deconstructing Thepchai: One Minute He Loves The Coup, the Next Minute He is Condemning it.

HARD TALK

Does the government have the political will to live?

The Nation

Thepchai Yong

It looks like the beleaguered Surayud government has been given a new lease of life by the Council for National Security (CNS).

Until their much-publicised lunch last week, a countdown to the end of the military-installed administration seemed to have begun.

Because of its sheer incompetence and lack of vision, the six-month-old government has been a big disappointment. Some of the generals in the all-powerful junta have privately made known their displeasure with Prime Minister Surayud, who is seen as indecisive and directionless. There were even rumours that the CNS had already started working on a Plan B that would not have the former privy councillor in the picture.


Continued


Like I have pointed out many times before, Thepchai and other columnists were allies and cheerleaders of this junta in the beginning. They even went so far as to attack foreign countries like Singapore and foreign journalists like in The Economist who didn't kow tow to their ideological line.

How many "those stupid foreigners don't get Thai politics" columns and editorials did we have to suffer through because some had the audacity to question the legitimacy of this government?

Even Thaksin, the man who was illegally ousted, was berated by The Nation for mildly criticizing the policies of those who booted him out.

Now The Nation is embracing all those criticisms that it had routinely denounced before.

I don't know how these Nation journalists have any credibility left. Anywhere else in the world, they would have been fired by their publisher and berated by the readership. In Thailand, what happens? The lies, the bullshit and hypocrisy continue without any criticism except from me and a few other lonely souls barking in the wilderness.

By the way, Thepchai took down the comments section on the online portion of his column. Maybe the readers are finally getting fed up.

4 comments:

Bangkok said...

I think you are being too hard on Thepchai here. He is not criticising the coup, or even the junta. He is having a go at the government. I don't think that is a technicality. There's quite a difference.
I do believe this was entirely predictable - because I predicted it on September 20 - that the coup would turn into a "such a great opportunity wasted" and I think that Thepchai has leapt onto that bandwagon. But again, he is not criticising the coup - yet.

Fonzi said...

I disagree with you.

Maybe I should have said coup makers or junta, which is what I meant. I apologize for not being clear.

Also, I think he is criticizing the junta, but can't attack it directly, and I think my point is proved in today's editorial in The Nation.

As for being too hard on Thepchai, trust me, I'm holding back out of kindness, because my instinct is to unleash as many expletives as possible on him.

Great opportunity wasted? How so?

Use dictatorial powers to reform the country?

Isn't that a contradiction?

If coups and juntas are needed to reform the country, why have democracy in the first place? Seems like a waste of time and energy to go one with the pretense.

Bangkok said...

In a way, we are not disagreeing, except that I think Thepchai still has his faith in the junta.

On the night of the coup, I made three key predictions:

1. The military would spend all its admin time preventing the return of Thaksin, instead of working on an actual constitution with enforceable checks and balances. The constitution doesn't matter; preventing Thaksin and his cronies from returning does.

2. Within six months, newspapers and people who supported the coup would begin lamenting that the lack of action and reform by the junta and its lackeys represent an opportunity wasted - because they really, truly supported the coup and thought that Sonthi and Surayud (who was named as PM on the night of the coup, actually) would be great, when obviously (to me) they would not.

3. The regime would end in bloodshed in Bangkok within 18 months. My actual quote was: General Sonthi should begin pondering how many Thais he will be willing to kill before giving up power.

I stand by those.

hobby said...

Fonzi said:"Great opportunity wasted? How so?
Use dictatorial powers to reform the country?
Isn't that a contradiction?
If coups and juntas are needed to reform the country, why have democracy in the first place? Seems like a waste of time and energy to go one with the pretense."


You hit the nail on the head - Dictatorial powers ARE needed to reform the country, but that wont happen because if you dont play the democracy game then you risk sanctions etc.
That's why there will always be the pretense to democracy whether it is believed in or not.