Friday, September 5, 2008

The Scrambling Samak Sundaravej

Just resign and leave already, will ya?

"Thai leader promises vote to end standoff" by Seth Mydans, New York Times News Service | September 5, 2008

BANGKOK - Under pressure from antigovernment demonstrators, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said yesterday that he would hold a nationwide referendum to let the public decide how the paralyzing standoff should be resolved.

I think they have ALREADY DECIDED, and they WANT YOU GONE!

He said a relatively small group of demonstrators was attempting to overturn the will of the majority, who voted his party into office last December.

It is the WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY, dick!!!!

Responding to Samak's address, one of the protest leaders, Sondhi Limthongkul, told the crowd that the prime minister was "lying again," according to a Thai news agency.



"Former Left-Right Alliance against Globalization and America
Thongchai Winichakul
28 July 2008

Almost all Thai rightists I interviewed for my recent research perceived that the threats to Thailand today are capitalism and America. Even lifelong anti-communist ‘Phor’, an alias used for this research, who has tenaciously held the idea of national security being under threat from two strands of communism, sees that Thailand has to be cautious of the CIA interfering and agitating groups of Thai people to the point of being a threat to security. Of course, they were well aware that the threats from capitalism and America are not one and the same as the communist threat.

The rightists’ discourse of capitalist threat obviously differs from the leftists’ Maoist anti-capitalist discourse of 30 years ago. These rightists speak pretty much the same anti-neo-liberalism and anti-globalization language which Thai intellectuals and activists have adopted since after Oct 6, 1976.

Although all the interviews were done years after the 1997 economic crisis, the pain caused by the capitalist crisis was still alive in their memories. Their discourse on the cause of the crisis turned out to be nationalist and against ‘farang’ or western capitalism, pointing to western capitalist giants led by the US bullying emergent smaller capitalist nations. For the ease of digestion and propagation, it was made a story of conspiracy among a handful of global political and financial figures, often including George Soros in particular. The ‘Washington Consensus’ was understood simply as a plot by western capitalist neo-conservatives to destroy smaller states. With the calamity besetting Thai nationalist capital which had eagerly embraced globalization over a decade earlier, globalization has become undesirable. Their discourse against western capitalism was therefore not of a socialist bent, but was outright nationalist, against those ugly farangs abusing decent Thais.

Most of the interviews were done during the years of Thaksin administration which was seen as representing the evil western capitalism, subsequently labelled as ‘vicious or immoral capital’. The exasperation against Thaksin and globalization and the global anti-American sentiment fed into one another. Among the rightists I interviewed then, only one person liked the Thaksin government, and the rest were suspicious of Thaksin because he was pushing the agenda of globalization.