As most know, Thailand’s military has once again ejected the democratically-elected prime minister. I have not commented until now not out of any lack of interest or geopolitical significance but simply because I know diddly-squat about the story. You can find up-to-date major media coverage here. Also, three bloggers whom I have found insightful:
Via the Washington Monthly, a creepy parallel (if too cute by half).
An informed essay by a reader at Obsidian Wings.
Billmon points out that former Thai PM Thaksin seems to be made up of equal parts Hugo Chavez and George W. Bush. Billmon speculates about how the Bush crowd will reacts, since some antidemocratic coups are obviously ok (e.g., Venezuela):
It’s easy to see why the Cheneyites might feel a little schizoid about this one. It almost reminds me of the time the Makah tribe in Washington State decided it wanted to exercise one of its old treaty rights and harpoon a whale. I knew some liberals who were really thrown for a loop by that one. They didn’t know who to support: the tribe, or Greenpeace. “But they’re Native Americans! But they’re killing whales! But they have a treaty! But they’re killing whales!!” It was very awkward.
Last night the Daily Show (youtube will be up as soon as anybody finds one) noticed the distinctly velvet nature of the Thai revolution, which probably has something to do with the generals having the support of the Thai king. Constitutional monarchies are strange.
While I agree that military juntas tend to promise a democratic transition and then underdeliver (see, Burma) Thailand has some experience with this. If the saying holds true that history does no repeat itself but it rhymes, then we may be watching the regular death-rebirth cycle of a governing system which while unfamiliar may not necesasrily be any less functional. Or I may be full of it and Thailand will descend into a Burma-style security state. Wait and watch, I guess.