Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coup in Thailand

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
El Jefe is, of course, very interested in the apparent coup d’etat in Thailand. With Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in New York at the United Dictators General Assembly, the armed forces and police have lined up against a dubiously popular government. The Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Ministers are apparently under arrest. Although the army has struck at the King of Thailand’s government, the coup-plotters have naturally declared their complete loyalty to the king.

No doubt the coup-makers will find their loyalty to the Crown amply and rightly recognized if they are successful: if not, the treason trial will be interesting. For would-be saviors of the State, the alternatives of a pretty medal, with offices and honors -- or an ignominious flight and maybe a traitor’s death are simply possibilities that go with the job description.

For the moment, it looks as if the coup is working: Prime Minister, or maybe, ex-Prime Minister, Thanksin apparently had some warning: having sufficient time to proclaim a state of emergency via government-controlled television stations, before the coup was properly underway. No doubt the television stations have received or are receiving, new instructions, which they will surely hasten to obey, as long as the givers look like winners.

The US State Department spokesman says the situation is unclear and that the Thai people are expected “to resolve their political differences in a peaceful manner and in accord with the principles of democracy and the rule of law” blah, blah, blah. On balance, that’s as good a US reaction as the coup-makers can expect: if the streets remain quiet; the rest of the army, police and bureaucracy falls into line, and the king keeps a low profile – the lawyers, (or enough of them) can be relied on to do as they're told and paper matters over later. Looks like Washington thinks the coup will work, or does not object if it does.

6 comments:

Eagle1 said...

I wonder if this portends a crack down on the Muslim extremists in the south of Thailand.

El Jefe Maximo said...

There has been a lot of criticism of the Thaksin government for fumbling measures to control the insurgency, but I wonder if it is this that tripped him up or if the coup's really about money: all the talk about privitization and free trade ?

The first clue might be the membership of this "Council of Administrative Reform" that has apparently taken power; i.e., are the members associated more with cracking down on Muslims and separatists; or the putative losers from Thaksin's economic policies, or some combination of both ?

louielouie said...

i hope chavez is in the US.

El Jefe Maximo said...

If Louie means Chavez in the US so he could be overthrown too, nice thought, but unfortunately, not likely. Chavez is a tougher and better prepared customer -- now -- than any marginally popular Thai prime minister.

A thousand pities the coup attempt of 2002 did not succeed. The attempt itself was positively farcical – the plotters’ designated president was certainly no Augusto Pinochet, but rather the head of the local equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce. Not the stuff of which successful usurpers are made.

The would-be rulers had the Tyrant in their clutches – and still managed to lose. What can you do with incompetents like this ? Clearly, none of those people ever read their Machiavelli, or even The Godfather, because if they had, Moonbat Chavez would have wound up against a wall someplace or in a ditch, and not held in a military camp guarded by peasant soldiers whom any good demagogue could subvert.

Too, too bad, because there will probably not be another chance, and Venezuela will pay for the plotters stupidity for generations. When you have decided to turn rebel against the State, you can’t be squeamish.

Chavez might even win an election today -- he's given out sufficient donatives to the poorest to buy a lot of popularity. What happens when the oil money runs low or oil prices fall is another question, but Chavez should be fine. He doesn't have to worry about silly things like popularity. Chavez has learnt his lessons and purged the army, and built a reasonably competent secret police, so no further coup threats to his tyranny -- oops, his regime of justice and socialist construction, are likely.

Still guess we can hope.

Candidly Caroline said...

After reading the latest headlines, I have to wonder if Hugo Chavez is on crack. Seriously.

louielouie said...

CC,
rofl
i am assuming you are refering to the prince of caracas' speech at the un.
after reading our excellency's post regarding huGo, i came back here to point out the lead article of fox news on-line had a picture of huGo holding a book by none other that noam chomsky.
a favorite of excellency i'm sure.
continuing with my rofl.