Joe, an American inside Suvarnabhumi, Joins PAD

I’m watching some American clown on Thai PAD TV named Joe. A “marine” from Boston, Mass. in the states. Quoting John F. Kennedy… telling PAD at Suvarnabhumi Airport they should continue to fight for Democracy and independence.

Apparently he’s the only foreigner in the airport – and he just stood up in front of the whole group on a microphone to tell them he loves Thai’s and he loves the King. A woman asked what he wanted to say to HM the King…I cringed… he said, POM LA RAK Si Luang or something like that. Nobody said a word. He tried again. Silence. The woman told the audience what he said…

He’s wearing a yellow shirt and headband.

One of first things he said to the crowd that he has been “sleeping with all you people”. He then went on to explain he’s been talking with many people there at the airport about the corruption in government and that Thaksin was the head of it. He went on and on… warning them against violence…

Then he said, there’s only 2 ways he’s leaving the airport:

1. He gets dragged out, forcibly removed.

2. The airport opens. He is NOT leaving until he can fly out of the Suvarnabhumi Airport he insists.

Jesus… It’s time like these that you’ve gotta question Americans getting involved in things they don’t understand. The guy doesn’t speak Thai – though he tried, so he’s not been in-country long enough to not make an idiot out himself… Oh well. He sat down now – almost 10 minutes standing up making the whole group uncomfortable. I thought it was a teacher, “Mark” that I worked with at one time – that would have been great.

Why is it always an American?

Another Perspective on PAD, PPP

There is so much resentment toward People’s Alliance for Democracy, but I must say I see can see their side. I understand what they’re fighting against. I don’t agree at all with their methods, but, if I were really incensed about something going on in my country where I felt like the whole country was being taken advantage of by those in government – whose to say what I would do?

Here’s an interesting article about a guy – expat maybe, that makes an argument for PAD based on his experience living in Thailand.

While his experiences with PAD show them to be non-violent and non-radical, events of recent days show otherwise. There is a lot of emotion behind their protests, understandably so.

The current government – the People’s Power Party (PPP) – I keep hearing people say, was “Democratically elected”. There is a shade of truth to this as elections were held – but maybe Thailand has never had an election free from corruption. Allegations are that PPP, like Thaksin did years before, bought votes and manipulated polls and polling stations. Allegations are that Thaksin is still pulling the strings of the PPP from abroad. Having Thaksin’s brother in law as the current Prime Minister probably is fueling those accusations just a little. Probably the PPP that exists now is no different in spirit than Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party.

PAD appears to really want a government free from corruption – at least the current brand, and is fighting for an idea that is very strong in their minds and hearts. Their real goal is to remove anyone associated with Thaksin so he can’t affect anything in the country anymore. Thaksin made billions of dollars for himself, family, and friends while Prime Minister… some insist it wasn’t above board. I don’t know one way or the other – neither do you. What we read in the newspapers is of course not 100% truth. Government controls much of what is released through the media, including TV, radio, and newspapers. Still the TRT government watched helplessly as huge allegations of corruption slipped into the media and gradually gained a following as charge after charge was leveled at Thaksin and members of his TRT party.

Before this current crisis I heard many expats that have been living here for many years complaining about Thaksin and how he’s corrupt through to the bone and they couldn’t believe the Thais’ ignored it and went about business as usual. Now – when there is a group fighting against Thaksin and all he stands for – these same expats want airports open and business to be as usual. Expat business ‘owners’ were prospering under Thaksin – but wanted to enjoy their prosperity AND have him ousted as PM. Now – he’s ousted and the country is dying economically.

Can Thailand have good leaders AND economic prosperity at the same time?

Now Thaksin doesn’t seem to have been that bad to many expats – and Thais. Some (most?) are willing to accept Thaksin’s return if he can turn the country around economically – and he probably can. The guy is brilliant in his manipulation of people and cash. Will he return? I’m betting he will. Apparently he has a few BILLIONS of US Dollars on lockdown in Thailand that the courts won’t release. That’s a lot to fight for. I think he’ll give it everything he’s got to return.

Probably today is going to be the day of action by PPP, police if Prime Minister Wongsawat can mobilize them, and maybe the Army will either be called in or step in.

What if Thailand had a government almost free from corruption? What if the government was transparent and all dealings were subject to scrutiny and punishment if found to be self-serving or otherwise corrupt?

You know how far we are away from that today? Wow. Every bit as far as in the 1990’s I think. Is PAD any better? Any less corrupt? The politicians, chiefs of police, generals, business leaders and more that have enjoyed a corrupt Thai society because it gave them freedom to do as they chose is still here. Everyone has their own selfish interests at heart – not really the good of the country or the prosperity of the country as a whole in mind. Those with billions of baht are still in charge. The people are relatively clueless about the level of corruption that goes on. It’s accepted most times – it’s the way Thai society “is”. Usually it’s nothing Thais’ get upset about.

Now PAD is upset about it – is it for reasons of self-interest or the good of the country?

Probably a little of both.