Wednesday, October 08, 2008
A few thoughts and questions
It's hard for me to comment on the ongoing crises as so many other bloggers do it much more promptly, often I would be simply recycling their own links and comments. That's why I tend to stick to longer, more thoughtful blogs where I can at least add my own considered opinions into the matter.
It seems to be a generally accepted fact in Thailand - even more so than elsewhere - that politics is played out behind the scenes, while the general public just get to see small parts of the script. Whilst there seems to be a large debate concerning excessive police force and the possibility of grenades being used, I see this as - in one sense at least - specious.
Don't get me wrong, I abhor violence and violent people. Yet the fact is this - the protesters knew what was coming. They had been warned and they responded by surrounding themselves with arms and security guards. Regardless of whether the PAD are right or wrong, the fact is they knew that their ideology and demands meant they had to challenge the police and receive a police response. Still, the guy who drove that car at the policemen should be locked up.
A more intriguing question for me lies in the thoughts and actions of General Chamlong. Nobody can doubt he knew he would be arrested but what were the circumstances? Were the police tipped off (if so, by which side?) or did they follow him? Did Chamlong strike a compromise? Did he even want talks with his long term acquaintance Chavilit to be successful? Did he want the PAD response to be violent? Did he expect so much bloodshed?
Thai politics is always a complex, tortuous affair, but it seems to be particularly exacerbated by intrigue right now. Yet throughout the twists and turns, I struggle to disagree with the person who observed that it boils down to a struggle between just two people. Yet even if we can accept such a simplification, my mind echoes with an even greater thought: what are their children thinking?