Thursday, May 03, 2007

More potshots

Thank goodness April is over. The hottest month of the year is oppressive. It's not just the heat but the accompanying humidity that can be very difficult to live with. Bizarrely, we have since been bestowed with four days of almost endless rain, something unknown to many locals.

The junta continue to establish their legacy as a real life version of Dad's Army. Sections of the US media have attacked Thailand on intellectual property violations and compulsory licensing. The hidden agenda here related to the fact that Abbott Pharmaceuticals have been antagonised by compulsory licensing to their AIDS drug in Thailand. The fact that CL has lowered the price for HIV afflicted consumers is not of their concern. Abbot, along with a US lobbying firm that includes ousted PM Thaksin amongst their clientele, have launched media tirades from across the pond at the Thai government.

The junta have not responded well. As ever, they project their bungling , nepotism gifted and outmoded image by threatening to take the action Thaksin took moths ago - hiring a PR firm. Other PR tactics include loans to the poor and censoring all marches , rallies and websites that oppose them. Surprise , surprise, these were also Thaksin maneuvers. Every time the junta seem to make fools of themselves, they compound it by taking retaliatory measures identical to those of the man they ousted because he was "bad".

Given Thaksin's recent bid to purchase Manchester City we can only wonder - will the junta respond by sending him to jail for corruption of making a desperate bid for a football club themselves? It may sound pathetic but don't rule it out.

In a related move, PM Surayud - one of the few in charge who still has the respect of most people, has taken the incredibly dangerous move of suggesting amnesty for terrorists and rebels in the south. His exact quote was "amnesty provided they have not broken a criminal law of Thailand" which begs the question: what self respecting terrorist does not break the law? It seems that we have not yet learnt that offering peace to the bloodthirsty is perceived as a sign of weakness. Offering amnesty to killers as far as I am concerned is a sign of surrender.

One reader Abdel sent some very interesting comments on one of my recent blogs concerning Islam. I contacted him and he very kindly agreed to let me blog his comments and respond to them. I also promised Abdel a chance to reply to my own comments. Stay tuned.

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