Thursday, November 23, 2006


The military leaders who executed the Thai coup have come out with a 35 page “White Paper” to explain why they did it. It will be distributed by the end of the month. The Nation, an English language newspaper has and advance copy and reports on it *HERE*.

I haven’t seen this white paper but the description The Nation gives of its contents is disappointing to me. The most obvious reason for the coup in omitted and it causes me to wonder why.

Think about it.

There were repeated demonstrations against Prime Minister Thaksin’s administration of a hundred thousand or more people.

There was a questionable assassination attempt on Thaksin after which he fired a key general, replacing him with his own man.

I read reports of troops loyal to Thaksin being moved from the outer provinces to Bangkok where the demonstrations had taken place.

Somewhere on the horizon, or over the horizon, was the possibility of a catastrophic clash between Thaksin controlled soldiers and demonstrators.

Wouldn’t that be the number one reason for the coup? To prevent bloodshed? With that reason they wouldn’t have needed 35 pages. One would have sufficed and no one could argue with it.

How strange that it wasn’t even mentioned.

According to The Nation, all the reasons the military give for the coup are civilian problems, having nothing to do with the military and all of them are arguable.

The last line in the article is unconsciously funny:

After the military elite took control of the country on September 19, they were granted an audience with His Majesty, to report on the situation. It is a tradition in Thai politics that whenever a coup topples the government, the military reports to His Majesty.
They have an established routine for military coups. That’s convenient because it is the 18th coup in the last 74 years. That’s one coup every four years or thereabout. The US hasn’t had that many presidents in that time.


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