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Old 06-08-2014   #61
Bill Moore
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http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opin...-30235269.html

To John Kerry: America needs a better understanding of Thailand

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A core principle in Thai culture is "face". The issue of face in Thai culture is not amenable to reason. It may be hard to comprehend this in the West, but to us here, it became perfectly clear that for both opposing sides, face had become a higher priority than the fate of their nation.

I believe that the General did the one thing that could allow the opposing camps to retreat without losing face. He chose between incurring the wrath of the international community and saving his country from a civil war. The minute he made this decision, he started to work on a credible plan to return Thailand to a state of a functioning elective democracy.
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I do not ask that America refrain from condemning this coup. Indeed, I myself do not approve of coups, and I applaud America for making its fundamental stance immediately public. Nor do I ask that America reconsider the suspension of aid, or other sanctions. These things are necessary because we need a deterrent, should the General not be true to his word, or should other, more power-hungry individuals seek to hijack the process.
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What I ask is that you seek out, digest and act on a complete, detailed briefing about the situation on the ground. I ask that the power and influence of the United States be used in a way that helps Thailand in its journey towards a more enlightened governance. I ask that you work through diplomats who understand what is going on the ground, to become as well informed as possible, and (behind the scenes if necessary) you attempt to facilitate, rather than obstruct the future of this country.
Highlights are mine
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Old 11-03-2014   #62
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The insurgency in Southern Thailand must rank as one of the most obscure and on SWC too.

Caught this via a Tweet from IISS and I noted:
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The Thais have drawn on two classic models of COIN – from French military officer David Galula and Britain’s Sir Robert Thompson – to develop their own approach.
I'd missed that there was a new book The Thai Way of Counterinsurgency byDr. Jeff Moore; a recent IISS discussion features him and is the podcast at the end:http://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voices...WTL91E.twitter
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Old 08-18-2015   #63
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Two helpful articles on the bombing in Bangkok:http://www.vox.com/2015/8/17/9164963...g-what-we-know

http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/whats...y-bomb-blast/?
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Old 08-30-2015   #64
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An Open Democracy article, which is of interest, but has IMHO been overtaken by events:https://www.opendemocracy.net/alista...ry-junta-react

From the BBC a report which starts with:
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Police in Bangkok have charged a man in connection with the bomb attack that killed 20 people in the Thai capital nearly two weeks ago. Officers say the suspect, who was charged with illegal possession of weapons, was involved in the attack. However, they say he is not the man seen on CCTV footage leaving a bag at the Erawan Shrine before the explosion.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34101309

Last night on Twitter attention was drawn to the discovery of a pile of reportedly badly forged Turkish passports and the possible Uighur links, not to terrorism, but enabling refugees to travel.
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Old 08-31-2015   #65
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Last night on Twitter attention was drawn to the discovery of a pile of reportedly badly forged Turkish passports and the possible Uighur links, not to terrorism, but enabling refugees to travel.
Not sure what this comment means, but this is clearly terrorism. The motivation behind the attack still remains unknown to the media. However, even media reporting points out that two apartments have been raided, and both contained bomb making materials indicating the potential for several additional attacks.

The Chinese claimed the Uighurs Thailand sent back were enroute to Syria to join ISIL, but apparently provided no evidence. However, some Uighers have been associated with Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, so while we can't trust China, their claim isn't out of the realm of the possible.

If the attack is a revenge attack due to the forced repatriation of the Uighurs or the mistreatment of the Rohingans trying to immigrate from Burma it would highlight the risks associated with the current global migration crisis. Much of it driven by the current crisis in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps it is being viewed as a crisis due to the coinciding with the economic crisis. Resulting in a right wing backlash in parts of Europe and the U.S. (due to Latin American migrants). Perhaps it is due to the perceived threat a large number of foreigners with very different cultures present to the countries taking on tens of thousands of migrants? Regardless, migration in many parts of the world ranging from Australia, Thailand, Europe, and the U.S. is now seen as a crisis that will likely result in more violence against migrants, and the raise the potential for revenge attacks. I don't see this problem going away anytime soon.
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