Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deconstructing Suthichai Yoon: He Says Enough to Political Violence--Except for Military Juntas

So they think we are all suckers? Perhaps they're right

Suthichai Yoon

The Nation

Confusing times such as these tend to produce an unusually high number of pessimists. That's understandable.

Along the way, we will also find an increasing number of cynics. That, too, isn't such a great surprise. But how do we explain the sudden emergence of a society full of wimps and suckers?

Maybe because they listen to a Thai media that is intellectually and morally bankrupt.

It took only a few rumour-mongers and one or two sensational newspaper headlines to shake the very foundation of Thai society by spreading speculation that chaos would rein and violence would rock the country if the Constitution Tribunal handed down a verdict to dissolve one or both of the country's major political parties.

The Nation was at the forefront of spreading hysteria and rumors. It sees conspiracy and undercurrents under every rock. It has predicted counter-coup, violent backlash, massive protests, huge movements from upcountry descending upon the city time and time again. It has printed the words of the fear mongers in the military as if their words were as sacred as the Lord Buddha.

It seemed that everybody began to assume politicians or their henchmen had the right to break the law if they didn't like the decision handed down by the country's highest constitutional legal body.

Who made this assumption?

It didn't seem to occur to them that the rule of law should prevail in a civilised society that is in the process of returning to a general election.

Suthichai doesn't believe that the "rule of law" should prevail, which is why he supported an illegal coup. He had no problems bringing down the last government with tanks and guns, because his personal enemy was Thaksin Shinawatra.

It seems we are all too ready to succumb to the politicians' selfish proclamations. We not only got scared, we let them know that they can continue to pour scorn on our dignity and intelligence. Since when have we surrendered our citizens' rights to a handful of people screaming for their own interests?

Suthichai figuratively handed the keys to the country over to the military.

How, for example, can a decent society put up with a threat delivered by a group of political operatives that if a certain party is dissolved by a court order, they would storm various provincial city halls to show how serious they can get if things don't go their way.

But when the generals make similar threats, Suthichai is silent. Suthichai says nothing when General Saprang or General Panlop threaten violence.

By the way, which political operative threatened chaos and disorder? If they made the threat, why not quote them?

If these irresponsible politicians' threatening pitch was worrisome, the submissive reaction from the public at large to the intimidation was even scarier.

How can we react when Suthichai refuses to name them and make them accountable?

The "Silent Majority" decided to remain silent and the few who managed to utter a few words confirmed my worst fears. It's this growing defeatist attitude that is most depressing. Their reaction has gone something like this: these people who promise violence if their wishes are not met may be thugs, and they may be ruining the country's very foundation of good governance and reputation, but they have money and hence influence. So, what can we do?

How did Suthichai ever become a journalist? The first thing that they teach writers at journalism school is who, when, why, what and where. Suthichai doesn't believe in revealing facts. Who said what when where and why?

The suckers among us - who refuse to be forced to become starry-eyed apologists or virulent critics of the current scheme of things - probably don't realise that if the "old power clique" can frighten us with such threats of violence in order to pressure the panel of judges to tone down their verdict, the "powers-that-be" could also exploit our fears to their advantage. The military and military-backed elements (and they don't necessarily have to be in the government) could well counter any threat of public unrest with their own threat to stage a second coup or take any other action that will plunge the country into another vicious circle.

Suthichai, what are the details? He always speaks in cyptic, conspiratorial terms that has no basis in empirical evidence. If he knows something, he should tell us, because that is his job.

Now, what do suckers like us do? Perhaps, we believe that both sides are capable of doing evil things to the country - and we therefore live in constant fear of both sides, choosing to lend credence to the side that seems to scream louder or that seems to have the potential to win over the other side, regardless of whether they are morally or ethically acceptable to us or not.

Suthichai is a joke. He is neither a sucker nor part of the silent majority. He is a player in this country. And he is a player who sold his soul to the military.

Wimps, after all, don't choose. They go where the wind blows. That's the kind of mentality that subverts the very foundation of any democratic society.

I have chosen. I chose the 1997 constitution. And Suthichai chose also. He chose the junta. And his mentality and his media empire subverted the foundation of Thailand's fledgling democratic society.

Or we can decide to embark on a more enlightened path. We could stop behaving like nervous, weak and ineffectual members of society - and declare our independence by stating our case which is as simple as: we won't tolerate any more threats by any side to use violence or the threat of violence to achieve their political goals.

Suthichai's enlightened path was to chose tanks and guns on September 19, 2006.

If we are convinced that only the rule of law can carry us through the current crisis - if we insist that only law and order can prevent this country from being plunged into the abyss of a "failed state" - then the suckers and wimps among us will have to emerge from the shell of fear and anxiety caused by all the ongoing political manoeuvres that, in effect, boil down to nothing more than empty threats and irresponsible machinations.

Coup after coup is what has brought Thailand to the brink of disaster and has undermined our democratic development. Any fool knows this. And Suthichai sided with the military. He sided with an institution that continues to look after itself at the expense of everybody else.

Ironically, none of Suthichai's undercurrent theories have come to fruition and there has been no violence caused by political parties or political groups--except those in the South. It is only the military that has used the threat of violence to keep the riff raff in line.

All suckers, unite! We have nothing to lose but our naivety and unfounded anxiety.

The only suckers, Suthichai, are the idiots who think you are a good journalist and listen to your drivel. All you give us is unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracies. You are at the source of the anxiety.


Anonymous said...

Another day . . . another Fonzi rant against the Nation.

'When will they ever learn . . ."

sooksiam said...

I read somewhere that Thaksin said the decision of the court was too harsh. I know the outcome of the verdict is breaking Fonzi’s heart.

Which one of the Thai media is intellectually and morally bankrupt? Can you be specific? Basically, if Thai people read or listen to the Nation, they are deemed dingbats by this blog. How can you prove that the media is behaving as you are saying?

I do not think it is fair to say that Thaksin is Suthichai’s arch enemy. You accuse him of making assumptions on many stories; instead you are doing the same as him. You could be Suthichai Yoon’s personal enemy then?

The 1997 constitution is long gone. It is past tense. It is time to move one, sweetie. I did not see Fonzi speaking out like this when the one-time Prime Minister cancelled the programme which criticised him live on Thai television. This is merely another example of Fonzi’s hypocrisy.

anon said...

sooksiam, were you speaking out when Prime Minister Surayud shut down thousands of radio stations, websites, and television programs? If not, then you shouldn't criticize other peoples' hypocrisy.

Fonzi said...


What are you babbling about?

I already said I thought Thai Rak Thai was guilty of a criminal conspiracy.

By the way, this blog didn't exist before the coup, and if it did, it would have criticized the government for closing down any media.