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Is Thailand Going The Way of Cambodia? The Thai Rouge are Coming…

  • Written by KK
  • December 5th, 2008
  • 4 min read


Imagine a fervently Buddhist country with a famously peace-loving, constantly smiling, conflict-averse populace. It is a favourite with expatriates who enjoy low costs, the tropical climate, the friendly locals and the highly accommodating exotic-looking woman folk. The capital is adorned with a spectacular golden-domed, Buddha-statued royal palace in its heart, next to the massive river dissecting the town. Beneath the surface there is trouble brewing, however. The lighter-skinned mixed-Chinese capital city elite that runs the country faces growing pressure from the dark-skinned poverty-stricken rural folk who are increasingly unhappy with being treated second-class and sneered upon as if they were untouchables or animals. They are fed up with the current state of affairs and brandish blood-red bandanas to show their dissatisfaction with the corrupt self-serving political regime. Coups are commonplace and police are merely there to take bribes. An insurgency is brewing in part of the country and the corrupt and inefficient army is powerless to stop it. The red-flag-waving downtrodden country folk are burning with a pent-up desire to take revenge on the bloodsucking elite and their government and business cronies. The King is the only person keeping the two irreconcilable parties apart and only reverence to his royal person avoids the spilling of blood.

Thailand circa 2008?
Nope. Cambodia circa 1970.

Outlandish? Ridiculous? Couldn’t possibly happen?

I don’t know, but history tends to repeat itself with distressing regularity. Take Rwanda. The Hutus massacre a Million Tutsis. There is international outrage. Movies are made extolling the horrors of the massacre. Never Again – the battle cry goes out.

Fast forward a few years and the Hutus and Tutsis are slitting each other’s throats once again. This time in neighbouring Congo. Is it really so inconceivable that what happened in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and most recently Nepal could happen in Thailand? After all, Thailand is perhaps the only country in the region that has never resolved its internal class and ethnic conflicts and preferred to sweep them under the carpet. The underlying dynamics are exactly the same as they were in Cambodia prior to 1970 and recent events seem to be pointing into the same unimaginably horrific direction. As witnessed in the land of the Khmer, centuries of pent-up frustration in a face-saving, hierarchical society tends to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction when finally let loose, with a bloody orgy of free-for all gleeful massacres where old scores are finally settled.

Let me stress that I do not wish for such an outcome, though I can’t help but hallucinate, dark-skinned Asian peasants filling up virulently green rice-paddies with blood-stained corpses whenever I see PPP supporters waving those red flags and shouting communist-sounding slogans. Am I the only one who instantly associates to the Khmer Rouge when I see these images on TV? Is it only me who has nightmares about Thais killing each other in a futile civil war while terrified foreigners are airlifted from walled embassies in the last minute, just before the raging crowd floods through the gates? Will they one day make Oscar-winning movies about the killing fields of Korat? Will future tourists a few decades from now marvel in horror at the thousands of human skulls piled up in a wat? I really hope not. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

You see, I grew up in a communist country. My grandparents survived both Nazi and Communist rule. There is one thing I can tell you about both communism and fascism. It has little to do with economics, but everything to do with the baser of human emotions and instincts. In a society where the rich are too rich and the poor too poor, there always comes a time when the downtrodden, particularly the lazy and stupid among them, rise up in envy to dethrone the competent and the rich and rule over everyone else, including the decent, intelligent section of the lower classes. Needless to say, the upper classes are at fault as well. They treat the less fortunate with unnecessary harshness and disdain. Their arrogance is limitless and so blind that they believe the status quo can never be broken. Then in a flurry of revolution they suddenly find themselves headless or hanging from trees. I have a nasty feeling that the PAD is really pushing its luck and the peasants might eventually rise up following a very likely economic collapse. By the way, a revolution might very well happen in the U.S. as well, if leading Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente is to be believed (go look him up on YouTube). You may well see banksters and politicians hanging from trees in New York and D.C. once enough people have lost their homes and / or their livelihoods. After all, Gerald accurately forecasted the fall of the Soviet Union, the 97 Asian crisis, the Dotcom Bust and the current economic collapse. But that is a whole different story…

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Stickman's thoughts:

A great analogy and a very well put together.