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Thai politics, what else? I’m not planning to “go public” on this subject. If I break the law the police would know where to find me anyway.

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19 Responses

  1. Saw a comment of yours on “New Mandala” regarding Robert Amsterdam finding a willing audience at ANU.

    I would just like to point out that Robert Amsterdam’s law firm, Amsterdam & Peroff, is a “major” corporate member of the UK’s Chatham House. The Chatham House together with ANU are pro-globalist organizations- and by that I mean they serve the interests of the major corporations and banks that constitute their membership…

    Here is a link to Chatham House’s membership list.

    http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/membership/corporate/major_corporate_members_list/

    Hope you find this of some interest.

    • I’m interested in this link between Chatham House and ANU, Tony.

      I noted Amsterdam’s firm sitting conspicuously at the top of the “Major Corporate Member” list. I’m not sure I have any problem with Chatham House serving the interests of their commercial sponsors – however, the ANU should absolutely not be serving those interests. Although it’s possible I’m guilty of naivety there, I literally know close to nil about what appears to be a shady link.

      Definitely shady, actually. ANU cannot be passing off purely commercial propaganda under the guise of academic debate. There is so, so little that is remotely academic about New Mandala as it currently stands….and their inability to proffer even limp defence of their positions is…? I could pen their defending arguments for them – comprising almost exclusively of waffling nonsense, but they’d be – at least – plausible. They seem unwilling (or unable) to even try.

      It’s obscure.

  2. Hi StanG
    Your recent comment on my blog did not appear – not sure if you deleted it or there was a cyber error. I can post it if you want, or you can try again (you are not blocked in case you are wondering).

    Bottom line regarding our disagreements is still that I prefer democracy over military & judicial coups, and there is no one side (or person) that has the monopoly on right or proper thinking, so therefore it’s best to trust the wishes of the electorate as a whole.

    That’s the precedent that needs to be set in Thailand, because the old ‘system’ is way past it’s use by date.
    Hobby

    • Nah, if you read my comment that’s good enough. There’s nothing there people haven’t seen or said before.

      Coup vs democracy is a false dichotomy. I understand the standard “military override the will of the majority” definition but it doesn’t even begin to describe the situation in 2006.

      There’s another clash here – democracy vs “god”. For some Thais there are principles that cannot be overridden no matter what. If something is just “wrong” you cannot outvote it.

      Yeah you can say they don’t respect the will of the Isanese and choose “morals” over “votes”, to which they answer that if the will of the Isanese can be easily manipulated, why should they respect it, let along respect it over their religious/moral principles?

      For you democracy is god, because you believe it will all work out at the end, always. That’s your faith, they have theirs, they believe in following dharma and their religious principles, they in that as a solution to whatever problems.

  3. Killing in the name of……………………………………………………morals, dharma & religious principles?

    My point is that everyone thinks they are right, but there is no ‘right’, and never can be (only different opinions).

    And surely by now you can see behind the ‘god’ myth.

    • Urghh, the coup was bloodless, remember?

      And to justify the recent violence the government used “democratic” and “international” rules of engagement, not dharma and morals.

      Re “myths” – you don’t seem to realize that it’s none of your business whatsoever to dictate Thais what to believe in.

      What’s with this missionary zeal?

      Do you not realize that after being subjected to countless bombings and killings and burning in the name of “democracy” Thais do not believe any of that kind of “preaching”?

  4. I’m not the one dictating.
    (If anyone is dictating, it’s the side you continue to support and attempt to justify).

    Regarding what Thai’s believe in, I agree it’s up to Thai’s to make up their own minds, and I say let the ‘eyeopening’ continue:)

    What I want to know is why does everyone have to swear allegiance to, and pledge to protect something that is apparently so ‘revered’ ?

    • Hobby is definitely right that the end decision will simply have to be made by Thais. Are they willing to tolerate the oppressive rule of a egomaniacal tyrant who promises them this, promises them that, here’s some development loans, vote for me and you don’t need to repay them, everyone in Esan get a new iPhone if I win this election, no welfare or medical for those who don’t punch in their vote for The Boss….if they are, and they give him amnesty for crimes (which, with his genius and illegitimate wealth, will put him back on top very quickly), they will deserve everything get (good or bad – obviously I am quite confident it will be bad in ways they can’t fathom, but what can you do? I don’t think you can babysit them for ever, which is what has been happening, largely for their own good I suspect…)

      StanG is 100% right that there is no moral high ground for the ‘democracy for Thaksin’ camp. Thaksin’s version of democracy is to throw money at everyone to fall in line behind him, and anyone who doesn’t – may God help them. What nerve must they have to reject his overtures or criticise him – do they know that he’s Thaksin, future Emperor of the Democratic Republic of Thailand (one-party state, 100% voter turnout, 100% TRT sweep of the polls again, new iPhones for all!)

      ———

      Thailand faces the most important years of the nation’s history, in the very near future. I fear they will choose badly, and regret it in time. They must be allowed to make their own bed, sleep it in, wake up and know they did make it.

      Are many Thais simply unable to act in their own best self-interest? I firmly believe so, and the evidence supports that. They have somehow fallen backwards, with sheer blind luck, into a once-in-a-lifetime statesman in Abhisit…and I have this sick feeling a tiny fraction of them even realise it. What’s probity? Thaksin gives me iPhone. What does Abhisit give me? A welfare program from cradle to grave, promise to slowly take Thailand to where it should stand, a pinnacle of good governance and the shining model for SE Asia. But Thaksin give me an iPhone.

      What can you do. Help them as much as they can, let them choose poorly as it is their right, suffer a bit and maybe the next time an Abhisit rolls around in 20 years they’ll remember the lesson? I don’t honestly know, but I know that Thaksin is poisoning the fabric of Thailand – and there’s just far too few Thais who…seem to care.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Panuwat, Hobby Nganadeeleg. Hobby Nganadeeleg said: @on_off_course @igorc166 StanG tells me he is banned from NM – please join him at his blog to hear what he has to say http://bit.ly/bMuFLY […]

  6. Came across your site by chance whilst googling “New Mandala Amsterdam Thaksin” and it’s refreshing to see something, in the English language; on the Thai political scene that doesn’t fall in line with NM, it’s sad how comments on NM tend to be penalised if it doesn’t fall in line with their world view – you will not only get a thumbs down, but the entire faculty will get you.

    I’ve always felt that things were chugging along pretty well for the past few centuries, if not millenia in SEA; despite 1932 – things were carrying on the same way in various guises. The last thing Thais and Asians in general need is a white person like me pontificating to them on the values of liberal democracy. It may work very well here in Aust, but I’m not so sure if it amounts to life and death north of Darwin.

    But anyway, keep up the good work. Hope to read more of your thoughts soon.

    • I don’t think I will continue this “good work”. After my last entry on paradigms it became clear to me that folks populating NM are not going to change their ways and attitudes. I thought I would spell it out clearly in the next installment but now I think it’s just a waste of time.

      It’s not entirely their fault either, they simply come preloaded with the “liberal democracy” paradigm out of the box. It’s the people like Amsterdam or Soros, or Amartya Sen and everybody who cheered up the “march of liberal democracy” myth some twenty years ago who must be held responsible.

      The US fully supports illiberal regimes in the Middle East, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but demands liberalism from their enemies. They go after Iran but befriend Pakistan that not only secretly developed a nuclear bomb, but was even caught selling the technology on the black market.

      Australians might not be directly involved in that, but what do they do about it? Lecture third world countries instead, and don’t even notice that there’s something seriously wrong with this sermon.

      I believe that this “liberal democracy” is just a neo-imperialistic tool to keep a grip on developing world, nothing more. The west certainly does not practice it at home.

      And that’s not the worst part. The worst, absolutely worst, is when the whole NM community gives a nod to crap like “if it wasn’t for English, Thais couldn’t even read Buddhist literature and develop their Buddhist ideology”. They say Thais were too primitive to read Pali texts themselves and relied on English translations, and they got it all wrong anyway.

      Such arrogance!

      • There will always be eager audiences for people like Mr. Amsterdam, if it does appeal to their biases. But I agree that it’s quite futile trying to even have a debate on NM, if you have nothing negative about Thailand to mention on the lines of “didnt-they-realise-the-meaning-of-this-sutta” or “didn’t-they-realise-there-were-army-snipers”. I haven’t bothered to start seeing how comments to the contrary were belittled, savaged if it isn’t in line with the PTP/UDD/Robert Amsterdam agenda.

  7. Yep. I often forget how this is all a big charade. You can change the cast around, or bring in new cast members, or rid yourself of some…the charade will go on. And on. And on. Faithful to the ‘script’, more or less. Much the same.

    Fighting against the endless hypocrisy? Why not, if one enjoys it. There’s literally no other point that I can see, if not for mere leisure.

  8. Sometimes to stay sane you have to stop reading crap.

    I reduced myself to only keeping an eye on Twitter, but even that sometimes makes my blood boil.

    But the truth is – nothing good will come out of arguing with people who honestly believe that PTP will be suddenly dissolved before the elections. or that 91 people were killed in the cold blood at Phatumwanaram temple, or that red shirts finally developed into an independent, democratic force, while Chaisit Shinawatra holds a meeting of their big wigs in Khon Kaen and stomps his authority, or Thaksin phones in to PTP meetings, or they are about to appoint another Shinawatra as a party leader.

    It’s not a charade, it’s just a few sorry individuals overcome by self made illusion.

    You will not make a dent if you enter into their playground, their brains are beyond salvation.

  9. Actually, I was thinking more about the global charade.

    You know, the UK passing ruthless anti-corruption legislation whilst the FSA is the most corrupt regulatory monopoly on the planet.

    The US fabricating ‘Intel’ to justify invasions of sovereign nations.

    The US trying to kill a man for doing – quite literally – what the First Amendment was written to protect and ensure.

    Italian PM paying underage prostitutes and coercing police to ignore rule of law.

    Australian organised crime figures cutting “classified” deals with prosecutors for decades for endless immunity for the gravest of offences.

    It’s all a ridiculous charade Sir. The fact that we find it morally reprehensible says a great deal more about us than them. And it’s a great deal more embarrassing, for us.

  10. Only recently I used to believe in the romantic ideal that life was an endless battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. I was a rube.

    Life is an endless battle – between evil (in power) and evil (without). It’s not really all that surprising that the evil without power would discard their wolf skin and don a fluffy woollen cardigan instead.

    • The war maybe endless, but it also has some remarkable battles. In Thailand it was a battle against Thaksin. It has been, by and large, won decisively.

      At that time everyone was mobilized, everyone had to take sides, but that time has passed.

      Now, when we are back to the daily grind of politics and only exceptional persons can find enthusiasm to indulge in political games. Yes, politicians think one thing, say another, and yet do something completely different. The more acquainted you become with this bunch, the more disillusionment follows. They are not losing anything, that’s their lives, we, on the other hand, stand to lose our faith in the world. Do it at your own risk.

      Another thing to remember – no one is without faults. Just assume that politicians do their best, don’t judge them too harsh for following their nature. Remember that they are doing a job neither you nor I are capable of, for moral reasons alone.

  11. Hobby is definitely right that the end decision will simply have to be made by Thais. Are they willing to tolerate the oppressive rule of a egomaniacal tyrant who promises them this, promises them that, here’s some development loans, vote for me and you don’t need to repay them, everyone in Esan get a new iPhone if I win this election, no welfare or medical for those who don’t punch in their vote for The Boss….if they are, and they give him amnesty for crimes (which, with his genius and illegitimate wealth, will put him back on top very quickly), they will deserve everything get (good or bad – obviously I am quite confident it will be bad in ways they can’t fathom, but what can you do? I don’t think you can babysit them for ever, which is what has been happening, largely for their own good I suspect…)
    +1

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