Almost a failed state; surely a failed conscience
By Sopon Onkgara
It's not yet two months since the mayhem, arson and other crimes committed by red-shirt mobs. Some of the ringleaders are gaining experience of life in captivity after a month of full rest at Cha-am Beach.
As Bangkok people get their lives back to normal, the peace interval might not be long-lived. Now we are hearing periodic warnings from military generals, and of late, Prime Minister Abhisit, that the red shirts might resume their terror campaign before the year's end.
We all know now that more red-shirt horror is a very distinct possibility as long as the government fails to restore law and order by taking firm control of the police, who have become notorious for their sympathy and alliance with the red shirts.
During the red-shirts' illegal protest at Rajprasong, the country was regarded as being almost a "failed state" due to the inability of the government to enforce the law. City residents were like hostages.
Army barracks were attacked with M79 grenades, and the prime minister had to seek refuge inside an Army regiment's quarters for safety. Such a fear of terrorism was never experienced by his predecessors, who had been troubled by the yellow shirts but without violence. This was one of the many stark contrasts between the two opposition campaigns.
Now that the government is talking about the possibility of more mayhem, people are still not getting any heartening answers. What is the prime minister and his team prepared to do to prevent such a repetition of terror? Future red-shirt retribution could be far more devastating, judging from the pressing need of Thaksin Shinawatra and his cronies to fulfil their vendetta.
What has been learned after two very costly political lessons? Not much, we can presume. We continue to witness complacency and the government's expectation that it can always rely on troops to suppress the red shirts if they resort to more violence. The emergency decree remains in force in Bangkok and many other provinces.
That's exactly the point. The red shirts remain unrepentant. Some red shirts continue to challenge the government and its ability to enforce the law. They have come out with a news magazine "Red Power" and a new TV station "Asia Update" with the intention of pursuing their original objective - getting rid of the Abhisit government as soon as possible.
The ongoing probe into the terror campaign financed by Thaksin and his cronies has so far not produced desirable results. The authorities, particularly the Department of Special Investigation, have not been able to nail the real culprits despite the strong evidence against them. Those in the know are aware that Thaksin's cronies had a network of campaign financing, but it will take more than a Herculean effort for the DSI to achieve what it set out to do.
What are the key problems facing the government right now? Among many factors are its sinking credibility and lack of public confidence - due to its incompetence, blatant corruption, and its ignorance of public calls for integrity and the restoration of law enforcement.
More worrying is that the government creates the impression that its incompetence and shortcomings could eventually drag the country towards becoming a failed state if the red shirts are able to regain strength and resume their subversive activities. The overall failure is based on its "failed conscience" and lack of ability to display a sense of accountability in its governance.
When such virtues are lacking, public trust gradually thins out and the government will find it hard to claim a mandate to continue its presence. If public distrust turns into a groundswell of hatred, when incompetence turns into the arrogance of power, then Abhisit will learn by himself that the red shirts are pretty harmless compared to the anger of a people filled with self-righteousness and true patriotism.
With the appointments of three committees on political reform, reconciliation and fact-finding - each comprising prominent personalities - we are seeing the familiar act of buying more time to remain in power, while feigning ignorance of the real crisis, with Thaksin as the sole root cause.
The first act of courage by Abhisit and the committees in gaining credibility and public acceptance will be the utterance of a name: "Thaksin". If we do not hear this word from them, it will be a waste of Bt600 million of taxpayers' money in a futile three-year exercise of shadow chasing.
Sopon is a hysterical xenophobic idiot who sits firmly in the foaming-at-the-mouth-royalist camp along with nation editor Thanong.
The following quote is from another article of his, written just after Hun Sen had announced he would give refuge to Thaksin:
... I mean it is just so difficult to keep a straight face at what some of these upper-class Bangkok Thais think about the world. Reminds me of the Thai who responded to a London Times article on the red-shirt with a comment written in a tone of eternal patience and sadness, until he came out with the line "I used to respect these people when they were selling me noodles. They were hard-working salt-of-the-earth ... "Originally Posted by Sopon
Last edited by Bubba; 13th July 2010 at 10:05.
Nuts In A Blender
QA - you're a twat.
I'm everywhere you've never been and better than I've ever been
Yeah, those unrepentant red shirt terrorists. They should stick to selling noodles and keep their heads bowed low when a Mercedes drives by ...
or a Maybach....
Fair? Well balanced? You're having a fucking laugh!
The Nation is the shittiest shit-rag around. Fucking joke.