South Park Wisdom

Just watched the latest episode, Whale Whores, it’s about Japanese dudes killing whales and dolphins, and ruining Stan’s birthday in the process. So Stan goes to rally his friends to do something about it but Kyles just retorts: “It’s not like we can the change the way the entire country thinks. I don’t like it, but it’s just the way they are”. Stan, of course, disagrees, but it’s something foreign commentators on Thai politics should take into account – it’s just the way they are.

In 2003 the govt unleashed a drug war and lots of people were simply killed, allegedly by fellow drug traffickers, but it’s the attitude of the entire country that was shocking – there was massive popular support, and no one showed any mercy to suspects being gunned down in the streets in the broad daylight. Some monks approved of it, and some singers composed songs about it.

There were several attempts to investigate those murders and link them to Thaksin, but even after the coup those investigations went nowhere. That gave a lot of ammunition to anti-coup campaigners because the reason they assumed was that there were too many anti-Thaksin elites involved in the drug war as well. I don’t remember any particular names or any presented evidence, but the way the chief anti-drug war campaigner and investigator Kriengsak Choonhavan let it go without any statement does make it look suspicious – if there were names besides Thaksin, they were not meant for the general public knowledge.

I, personally, don’t believe in this conspiracy theory, even it seems plausible. It might not be the uncovered names but the general lack of enthusiasm that killed those investigations. No one would admit to anything and everyone would just ignore this seemingly noble cause. There were certainly no whistle blowers in the corridors of power, no one felt strongly about the “injustice”.

That’s just the way they are.

There’s no unconditional right to live here,  every situation is judged on its own merits, some people deserve to die regardless of the “due process”. And the due process is probably the last thing people would rely upon if they search for justice, they would probably rely on trusted sources outside officialdom. Everybody in the neighborhood knew who the drug dealers were and when they were killed no one shed a tear, let alone complain about some judicial ideas like presumption of innocence.

My point being – don’t get worked up over Thais not displaying the usual indignation when something illegal happens, like the coup or the drug war. If justice has been served in their eyes, they don’t care much how it came about.  So when some activists start their arguments with “the coup was illegal”, half the country doesn’t get it: “Generals did the right thing in removing Thaksin. Justice has been served. What’s the problem?” , and the other half wouldn’t mind another coup if it went their way and reinstalled Thaksin.

It’s just the way they are, and it doesn’t mean they don’t care about justice or fairness, they just look for it in different places. More on this topic later.

If it appears that I’m lecturing here – I put this post in “Fundamentals” category, it’s where I come from, it’s here to better understand why I form certain opinions on current events.