Sunday, April 15, 2007

Deconstructing Sophon: Blame Surayud, Blame the Undercurrents


It's past time to believe there is honour among thieves

The Nation

Sopon Onkgara

Surely Surayud has heard the time-tested adage that "there is no honour among thieves". If their past behaviour serves as any guide, his hope that the thieves would repent was merely wishful thinking.

Which thieves? These innuendo games that these columnists like to play are idiotic.

He should have known better. If the thieves had shown signs of repentance, as Surayud expected, there would not have been reports of continued flows of funds to support undercurrent movements against the government and the CNS under the guise of demanding early elections and the return of democracy through the ballot box.

What reports? I don't remember The Nation doing a report about mysterious thieves funding undercurrent movements. WTF does that mean anyway? If his accusation is true, where is the evidence? And even if the reports are true, what is wrong with demanding early elections and a return to democracy? There is nothing sinister about that.

The thieves have already plundered national assets and caused severe structural damage that will require many years to be restored - if it can ever be, since our gutter politics never allows sufficient time for a clean slate and rebuilding. Political reform, among the numerous goals set for the government, has yet to take shape with not much time left before the general election.

Plundered national assets? Severe structural damage? WTF is he talking about?

By waiting for the thieves to repent, Surayud has given them more time to enjoy their spoils, plot more sinister game plans and expose the people to more risks and threats to national security. The soft approach has already undermined confidence in the private sector, resulting in an economic slowdown, decline in investment and weakening consumer purchasing power.

Waiting for who to repent? Why is Sophon too much of a coward to name names? Surayud's "soft approach" against the mysterious undercurrents has nothing to do with the his government's idiotic economic policies.

In the past six months, the soft approach on the part of Surayud and the atrophy of the CNS's powers through disuse have left both the government and the junta with growing frustration and a growing challenge from activist groups loyal to Thaksin.

These idiots at The Nation are reckless. They either think all the problems of the country are a direct result of the prime minister's leadership or sinister nameless forces.

There was a warning from a member of the People's Alliance for Democracy, which was instrumental in the movement against Thaksin, that Surayud might not have the opportunity to regret and make amends if he continues to believe that there is honour among thieves. That warning said a cobra is always a cobra.

There are signs that the political movements will intensify right after the Songkran festival, with Surayud being spared and more protest rallies and tirades directed at the CNS to cause friction and an atmosphere of distrust between the two ruling bodies.

Sophon a mind reader?

The assets investigation committee is having enough trouble tracing the spoils looted by the thieves. The people have problems in trying to predict what kind of future they face and wonder whether the coup was just a wasteful exercise for a lost cause because those who were supposed to fulfil its aims did not have the courage to strive for success. Such failure could pave the way for even more conflict and turbulence.

Love The Nation. They never do any investigations of their own. Why is the government the only body responsible for investigating corruption? In any civilized country in the world, the press does the investigations and the government usually follows with its own investigations and indictments, with the press making sure the government follows through.. In Thailand, the Thai media waits for the government to tell it what to report. Also, if The Naton knows who these Thaksinistas are who are covering up the tracks of the last administration, it should be reporting the names of these people. Instead, it blames Surayud for not being agressive enough and sits on its ass waiting for the AEC to report.


Anonymous said...

Directed here by bangkokpundit blog and, jeez, I thought his website was total biased crap. This one makes bangkokpundit looks like Oxford University professor!! Thaksin's financing your uncurable alcoholism or what?

Bye bye (and no need to say who asks you to read, coz I'll never come back)

Fonzi said...

I wonder why every anti-Thaksin poster's argument is "you are bought by Thaksin."

I'm really disappointed by intellectual weakness of the Thaksin haters.

Not one has made an intelligent defense of the coup yet, here or elsewhere.

hobby said...

At times I have also read Fonzi as having a bias towards Thaksin, but this is his response to others who have also made that claim:

Fonzi said: "I have never been a Thaksin supporter and I don't like him personally.
My stance is that he was the legal prime minister, and regardless of my personal feelings for him, he should have remained PM unless he resigned or was legally ousted."

Personally, I could not see Thaksin being ousted legally within a forseeable time period, and I still see the coup as the lesser of two evils.

I don't agree with everything Fonzi or Bangkok Pundit say (especially about Thaksin, tax avoidance, Big Pharma & foreign investment rules), but there is no doubting the effort they both put into their blogs and their knowledge of the issues facing the country.

Anonymous said...

The September coup might have been better for the country than the October elections, but the currently junta is certainly doing worse than the Thaksin government.

Anonymous said...

Not spesifically related to this post, but saw some commentator asking this on your entry couple of days ago, and maybe it would be it's own "post" for answer to the (annoying) question presented to you and many others elsewhere: "Where were you complaining about Thaksin when he was in power? You are hypocritical complaining only now! What proof we have that you "didn't like Thaksin either"!? (Maybe add mumbling of extrajudicial killings etc) "

Because I have seen this kind of questioning elsewhere as here too: that questioning the methods of power and results happening now somehow is not valid if you had not publicly opposed the previous bosses!

My own guess, just guess here, is that instead of them being those "evil Thaksinists", they just have not had the interested, as unortunate as it is, into these matters before, so that many of the more or less vocal opposers now, maybe you too, "woke up" to do things publicly only after they witnessed maybe first time in their life something like coup, that differed so much from their own politicians methods back home.(Ofcourse that could be said from drug wars etc too, being very different to methods back home, but my guess again is that many of these people have not stayed in Thailand when the events occured as for example average stay of expats in Thailand isn't that many years)

Maybe that is reason a lot of people suddenly are interested in Thai politics and it doesnt really make sense to start reading old daily news and commenting on them imho, so instead ppl concentrate commenting on current quirks that are called "news" in Thailand. :) (I am this kind of person myself.)


Fonzi said...


First, my blog is only a few months old.

Yes, I attacked Thaksin in my life outside the blog. How can I prove such a thing?

I recall a screaming match with two Thai "academics" about how I thought Thaksin would be a disaser for the country back when he was first elected.

I predicted there would be a coup back in 2001.

I was laughed out of the room.

Also, I have written letters to the editor, condemning Thaksin's "War on Drugs." I have criticized Somkid and Purachai in this blog. I dislike those two jerks as much as I dislike Thaksin Unlike some of my critics, I don't believe Thaksin operated alone, and I don't believe Thaksin is the source of all evil in Thailand. I take a responsible look at the big picture unlike many of my detractors.

Now, Mike, I'm just a blogger with a small audience. I'm not a journalist with a massive audience that the powers at be listen to.

As a blogger, I really have the freedom to write whatever I want to write about on any topic that I feel like blogging about.

I don't really see the need to justify not blogging about why I was against Thaksin two or three years ago.

And taking a pro-constitution stance on this blog doesn't make me pro-Thaksin or anti-Thaksin. I have made this point a million times already.

Unlike my critics, I don't believe the world begins and ends with Thaksin.

As for the coup, I agree with you, it is a wake up call.

It is a scary thing when the military can tear up the constitution without just cause.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer, I made it bit like "question for general good", so that your anwer answers not to me personally, but for those, excuse my French, jerks who seem to think, as you mention that all evil has concentrated on Thaksin and shout out all these stupid things against people who only now happen to have public opinions (or so it seems to them and their limited views). I am sure most critics of you still wont believe what you say, but no one has asked them. Free world and all, but I personally pity these kinds of people who seem to have no skills of argumentation at all.
The "opposition" that your blog faces, has been similar in my own participation experiences, absurd calls for "where you were when Thaksin did this and that" and bs like that. Keep up the good work,I definetly don't agree with all your opinions on some topics but most of the stuff is brilliant ranting! :)


Anonymous said...

Very interesting. You PREDICTED A COUP!!! I'm just curious why. A: Because of his corruption, massive conflicts of interests and abuse of power? B: Because you thought he was getting too popular and powerful and thus making "others" feel the need of a conspiracy to overthrow him? I'm sincerely curious. Please answer. I may have been harsh on you, but this revelation makes me think perhaps we can find a common ground.

Steven Gerrard

Fonzi said...


This is what I said way back in 2001.

I think the country has made a massive mistake to trust Thaksin with so much power. Now he has control over both private and public mass communication. He will use his new overwhelming mandate to put his own people in positions of power, at the expense of the traditional power brokers and people with influence. Also, I said that the political opposition(The Democrat Party) was totally worthless and won't be able to make a stand against him.

I said, in the end, the military will have to come in and check Thaksin's power, from a theoretical standpoint, and because he is a arrogant asshole who won't listen to anybody and will step on too many toes(especially concerning money), notably the monarchy and sidelined generals in the military.

Also, I have read many political theory books, including Dr. Chai-Anan Samudavanija, who has a theory on the cyclical nature of Thai politics.

If you go back to the last coup, there are many similarities also.

Lastly, this not just about Thaksin. The corruption in this country is deep and wide, mostly involving the military and its allies in the bureaucracy and old capitalist elite. Thaksin is a parvenu who was upsetting the old order. Regardless of what you think of him, you can't take that out of the analysis.

There has been a war going on between the old royalist/military elite and the new Chinese capitalist elite for decades. The peasantry is just a pawn in their stupid games.

In the current political situation. Thaksin, even though he had a lot of power, really is nothing but a patsy for deeper issues. He is the
illusion in a sleight of hand trick.

In other words, just because Thaksin is gone, nothing is going to change, except that the traditional elites have regained their lost ground.

My stand is that unless the country grounds itself in a constitutional system where the law is the last word, then we might as well give up on this stupid charade and go back to a absolute monarchy.

And in context of the Thaksin crisis, not every constitutional mechanism was used to get rid of him, and quite frankly, going back to a constitution that limits the people's powers even more wont change a thing.