Sunday, September 2, 2007

Deconstructing Sopon Ongkara: Junta's Nominee for Hire in Thai Press Spouting Unfounded Soponisms, Once Again

Nominees for hire in our big-money politics

The Nation

Sopon Ongkara

Self-styled political firebrand and Thaksin loyalist Jakrapob Penkair told an audience at the Foreign Correspon-dents' Club of Thailand the other day that his boss had contemplated a government in exile in London but been talked out of it by a mysterious call from Bangkok.

But actions speak louder than words, and Thaksin has been unable to resist the temptation of making political comments while insisting he has given up politics, at least for now, for the sake of national reconciliation and harmony. What he has been doing has been for political purposes, at times in a guileful manner.

Soponism 1: More convoluted syntax that makes no sense.

Thaksin has decided to use London as his base, under the camouflage of his chairmanship of the Manchester City Football Club. Never mind the ongoing investigations of his family members and arrest warrants out for him and his wife over alleged corruption and other misdeeds.

Soponism 2: Base for what? Dig this: Sopon sees Thaksin like a James Bond villain. The guile, evil Dr. No who acts like an innocent footie owner by day, super-villain by night ready to crawl out from Sopon's bed at night and go "Boo!"

Thaksin does not need to set up a provisional government or a government in exile. To do so would make relations difficult between Thailand and Britain, though London is a favoured place for political and other kinds of asylum.

Soponism 3: Is Sopon taking drugs? Thaksin didn't set up a government in exile and isn't planning on it. Sopon is so deluded that he is hallucinating non-existent scenarios.

At least two ex-premiers of Pakistan and an ex-president of Zambia have chosen to seek asylum in London. Thaksin wants London as his political command post with his wealth stashed in European banks and safe havens.

Soponism 4: Look at these two sentences. They are totally unrelated. By the way, the ex-premiers of Pakistan were ousted in illegal military coups, which doesn't disturb Sopon.

Soponism 5: Command post for what exactly?

A large group of 70 ex-Thai Rak Thai MPs and members have decided to take a trip to London to meet him, to ensure that he will provide continuing support for the grand plan to reclaim government power through his self-confessed nominee, Samak Sundaravej, leader of the People Power Party.

Soponism 6: We don't know what they will do in London, because The Nation won't do any investigation into their activities. Instead, we get Sopon's lies and speculations that have no basis in reality.

That announcement over Samak's nominee status may soon lead to political troubles for the People Power Party, because Thaksin is banned from all political activity for five years.

Soponism 7: In Sopon's totalitarian world, any politician with links to Thaksin is automatically denied his political rights and should be considered a criminal.

An appointment of a political nominee is no exception. There have also been other pieces of evidence and verbal statements made by ex-Thai Rak Thai members, who are bankrolling the stability of the new party in big-money politics.

Soponism 8: Of course Sopon won't list the evidence and verbal statements. This writing is really horrible. I have a sense that the farang sub-editors refuse to touch Sopon's writing.

Samak has become strangely quiet these days after realising that his loose lips could threaten to sink the People Power Party even before its maiden political voyage. If he is not plotting how to dodge reporters' pressing questions, he should at least explore ways to be evasive without being too combative.

Soponism 8: Any Thai citizen who is a Thaksin ally and practices free speech should have their political party destroyed by the state.

That 70 ex-Thai Rak Thai members plan to go to London should tell us that they are not there to watch a Manchester City match. There is also the question over who is looking after their travel expenses while they're there.

Soponism 9: Make a wild accusation that can't be justified with evidence.

They are not expected back in Bangkok with empty hands or empty promises.

Soponism 10: Any Thai who comes in contact with Thaksin automatically is assumed to benefit from his largesse.

What does the gathering imply? Well, they must have talked politics and planned how to regain government power so that Thaksin, his family members and other cronies could be saved from criminal trials and possible jail terms.

Soponism 11: Any Thai who meets Thaksin is plotting Thaksin's return to power.

In that case Thaksin is using London as his base to come up with a nasty, if not sinister game plan for his gradual return to power. The Surayud government might make a discreet enquiry to the Home Office, through the British Embassy here, as to whether it is permissible for somebody to use the city to plot political harm to another country.

Soponism 12: Get the British involved with his idiotic fantasies and conspiracy theories. Notice that Sopon equates any activity related to Thaksin as treason. This is really sick.

This is the same as the case of money arriving from a casino in Burma, a pariah in the international community, to finance campaigns against the referendum on the new constitution last month.

Soponism 13: Make an unsubstantiated claim

Soponism 14: Support the junta's efforts to criminalize opposition to the referendum.

Given the current status of the government and its lukewarm interest in pursuing real action against Thaksin and his family members currently being probed by the Assets Examination Committee, it is difficult to imagine that anybody in the Cabinet would venture that far. That certainly includes the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the head of which has been regarded as "pretty soft" on Thaksin all along.

Soponism 15: Sounds like a babbling idiot.

If they have been showing reluctance at home, we cannot expect any Cabinet member to mess with a foreign government in the wake of the EU's not-to-subtle pressure to allow it to monitor the upcoming general elections.

Soponism 16: Continues to sound like a babbling idiot with more horrible writing.

What the government wants now is to make a quick exit and leave behind all unfinished business and unresolved problems, old and new, amidst potential threats of economic crises arising from the strong baht, business bankruptcies and rising unemployment.

Soponism 17: Notice Sopon's disappointment in the military junta in its unfinished business, as if the junta had any legitimacy in the first place.

Cabinet members, and even the junta, are no longer shy these days of talking about their failure to fulfil their mission. They are not even abashed when they hear gossip about several people in power who have been in a hurry to amass wealth for a comfortable life after retirement, or building up war chests for adventures in politics.

Soponism 18: More unsubstantiated gossip. More incoherent babbling.

Nobody in the government even wants to show a keen interest in whether Samak's declaration that he is acting as Thaksin's nominee breaks the law. What the people have heard so far is that it is an issue for the Election Commission. Political courage and accountability are rare qualities these days.

Soponism 19: Sopon wants the military to use its police power to chase after his enemies and to criminalize politics. This is really sick shit.

So we are in an era of nominees for hire in politics. A fair fight on a level playing field is out of style. We have either nominees or proxies with different prices on their heads, split into various groups, all with the same objective, to fulfil the wish of the political broken-hearted roving around in England soccer stadiums.

Soponism 20: More unsubstantiated bullshit with no basis in solid reporting.

It may be an exaggeration to say that the past year has been wasted and the public's expectations were too high that those in charge would have the competence and the nerve to carry out the tough mission of restoring a national structure in decay.

Soponism 21: Sopon must be longing for the days of Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat.

There were some achievements, such as the investigations into massive corruption and the historic verdict delivered over 10 hours by the Constitution Tribunal, telling the country, if not the entire world, what the man in London and his crowd did not want to hear.

Soponism 22: Applaud a junta selected tribunal for ruling against its political enemies, whoo hoo!

The government cannot claim full credit for these events. Its scores of failures and the degree of public disappointment with its sloppy performance are overwhelming.

Soponism 23: Blame the junta for not being more totalitarian and more vindictive, lovely!

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