September 19, 2006
There was a Coup D'Etat in Thailand today. I read this article here. The last sentence reads:
The coup caused little stir in Bangkok's popular tourist districts, where foreigners packed beer bars and cabarets just a few miles from where the tanks were posted, AP reported.
It made me laugh to think that there are tanks rolling through the streets, the prime minister is stranded in New York, and yet the article seems to imply that all is well since the sex tourists of Thailand are alive and well.
Here's an article on the positive reaction of the Thai people.
In retrospect, I think it was only a matter of time before Thaksin got ousted. Thaksin is a billionaire in a country whose main tourist attraction is prostitution. The people are dirt poor, while their leader is a billionaire. Thaksin has more money than Bush, more money than Cheney, and yet his country is poor enough that people are willing to degrade themselves by selling their children to foreign pedophiles. In the U.S., people complain about growing inequality, but the difference in economic standing between our average citizen and our head of state is much less than the difference between the average Thai citizen and the Thai head of state. It was only a matter of time before the Thai people demanded a leader who truly represented them.
Time will tell whether this will be a good thing, but I think it's clear that the old system wasn't working very well.