THE MUSLIM QUESTION
There are many similarities with the beginning of the insurrection in South Vietnam. The terrorists go first after the people who speak out against them. It is like a death warrant for a Muslim leader to speak out against them. They target teachers, police and politicians. They made a huge mistake when they assassinated a prominent Buddhist monk. Killing a peaceful Buddhist leader is not taken lightly here in Thailand. They bully store owners to shut down when ordered so they can show their ‘power.’
The newspapers here were once very sympathetic toward worldwide Muslim terrorists. They had articles by Muslims defending Muslims with no balancing viewpoint. Then happened that horrible Muslim bombing of a wedding party in Jordan pulled off by a man and wife. The papers here stopped defending Muslims. That was similar to the My Lai incident in Vietnam which lost us the Vietnamese street forever. I could sense the difference in everybody.
There is a major difference between here and Vietnam. The terrorists can only move freely among the Muslim population. The Muslim population is confined generally to the south and amounts to only 4% of all Thais. They will never have much influence among ethnic Thais.
There is a long boundary with Myanmar (Burma) and a smaller, but still substantial, boundary with Malaysia. These boundaries are nearly impossible to police. While Myanmar only has a small (also 4%) Muslim minority, the majority of Malaysians are Muslim. Based on these figures, I would say the major Muslim threat to Thailand, if there ever is one, will eventually prove to be external.