Lets Go Everywhere

smiling soldiers
September 21, 2006, 4:21 am
Filed under: army, bangkok, coup, expat, free press, freedom, News and politics, protests, Uncategorized

yet another normal day at work and in the city, with the addition of
several more soldiers outside the Nation offices. downtown women are
buying yellow roses and flowers (yellow being the colour representing
the king) and offering them to soldiers. to be perfectly honest, i
like king bhumibol very much, but his endorsement of the coup leaves
me with mixed emotions.
the thais like to say that foreigners will never understand their politics, but truthfully, it’s not nearly as clever or complex as
they’d like to think. vote-buying is rampant in the countryside (where
thaksin’s power base is located) and votes are bought for literally a
few hundre Baht, or less than US$10.
it’s especially confusing since elections were planned for little more
than two months from now. thaksin would have won (thanks to his
populist platform and rural vote-buying) and protests likely would’ve
turned violent if pro and anti-thaksin factions collided.
so, while the coup probably averted violence, it left a lot of people
here with a bad taste in their mouth. people from north america just
aren’t used to seeing power change hands at the barrel of a gun.
thaksin had to go, but it’s too bad it all had to come down to this.
so, all to say everything is calm and normal in the city and there’s
nothing to worry about at all.
as for north america, i urged my family to stay away from washington and new york city for the time being. it probably sounds silly, but
al-jeezera and other middle estern news agencies are running
continuous warnings for muslims to leave those two cities in the run
up to another major attack. it could just be a scare tactic, but it
seems likely that there will be another strike and this one could
include a dirty bomb. i find it very sad that all the people who are
agitating against the us’ foreign policy and war will be the ones
silenced by yet another attack on america. the right wing will simply
have their mandate upped and the peace movement will be destroyed.
when i was leaving the office last night a young
soldier stopped me just to smile and try out a ‘hello’ in english. where else but in thailand?


1 Comment so far
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Glad to hear you are okay. I have been thinking about you ever since the coup. News reports here painted a picture of no violence and life in Thailand generally going on albeit the streets at night were very quiet with the curfews in place. Hopefully things will return to some semblance of normal Whatever that is in Asia.
Your comments about al jezeera are a lot more worriesome. You are probably safer in Thailanc than North American right now. I enjoy reading your blogs. You must miss the animals Take care

Comment by Anne Austin

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