Clinton nailed it

In his Op-Ed commemorating Oklahoma bombing this Monday Clinton wrote:

Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials. But we do not have the right to resort to violence — or the threat of violence — when we don’t get our way.

He could say it again: “we do not have the right to resort to violence — or the threat of violence — when we don’t get our way.”

If the link above gets broken because of NYT restrictions, just google the quote, it’s been widely repeated. I came across it in Nation’s Pornpimol column, aptly titled “The delirious and unhinged who cross the line

Normally I don’t pay much attention to her writings, she seems to be a whining kind, perhaps it’s just hormone induced deficiency that comes with age, but every now and then she brings up starking parallels between the American and Thai politics, among local commentators her knowledge of the US is exceptional, even though she would probably be called “partisan” there.

Check out her “Tea party and reds” piece a couple of months ago, interesting observations, if true.

I’m not done with quoting Clinton yet:

Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.

Reportedly, there’s a shrine at Rajprasong dedicated not to democracy but to ways to kill the Prime Minister. It’s from the comments by FaranginBangkok on Nirmal’s blog about Silom mini-clash.

Or check out the above mentioned Pornpimol’s earlier article on red propganda.

Or enjoy this cover of Voice of Thaksin:

Let’s move on to the next part of Clinton’s quote:

We are again dealing with difficulties in a contentious, partisan time. We are more connected than ever before, more able to spread our ideas and beliefs, our anger and fears. As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.

Emphasis mine.

There’s a growing view that in the “connected” world there’s no more distinction between reporting and opinion, and propaganda and brainwashing. Proponents of this view argue that we shouldn’t treat people as if they are immature and need babysitting. Throw all you can at them, it’s freedom of speech, they say.

The notion of responsibility for what you preach does not exist, there’s only freedom, no responsibility.

Moreover, proponents of this view deny that the media can influence minds and actions of the people at all. Strangely, though, this denial extends only to their particular brand of media. They do not extend this courtesy of irresponsibility to the government (at this particular point) and government supporters. Non reds are brainwashed, the reds are wise and mature and knowledgeable and always think for themselves.

Civic virtue can include harsh criticism, protest, even civil disobedience. But not violence or its advocacy. That is the bright line that protects our freedom.

And that line has been crossed by reds many many times, it had been crossed when they marched in the middle of the night to attack PAD camp in 2008, it’s been crossed when they set fires around Bangkok, hijacked buses and brought LPG tankers threatening to blow up residential apartments in 2009, it’s been crossed during the current protest, too.

No need to remind everyone of the recent happenings.