Monday, November 1, 2010

McCarthyism in the Thai Government: Both the Joseph and the Charlie Types

It’s been nearly two years since the military made Abhisit Vejjavija Prime Minister in Thailand and things don’t bode well for democracy there. Abhisit is the perfect example of both types of McCarthyism.

On one hand, the Abhisit government is the most fervent drummer of royal hysteria. Anyone who is pro-democracy (pro-Red) is subject to intimidation or even arrest. Political opponents of the military-run regime are even falsely targeted under the very strict and unreasonable lèse majesté laws.  These laws are used to suppress criticism, expression of opinions, and public scrutiny—the hallmarks of any minimally functioning democracy.

This type of repressive government behavior is the most commonly known type of McCarthyism – The Joseph Type, named after the former US Senator, Joseph McCarthy.  His communist witch hunts in the 1950s defined the term as demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.

I believe Abhisit to be worse than Joseph McCarthy in that McCarthy actually believed he was actually protecting democracy.  He was wrong in that his actions weakened the institution and endangered its future. Oxford educated Abhisit knows better. He fully understands that what he is doing is wrong and he propagates the same old corrupt system of governing in Thailand.

The other type of McCarthyism which Abhisit exhibits is the Charlie type.

Charlie McCarthy is a famous ventriloquist dummy, a puppet controlled by Edgar Bergan, son of Swedish immigrants (speaking of Sweden - I want to give a hearty “shout out” to my good friends and fellow supporters of democracy at Thai Red Sweden).  

Abhisit is clearly a puppet controlled by “the invisible hand” in Thailand. In fact, Abhisit is always drawn as a puppet by our favorite Thai political cartoonist, Zia at Thai Rath - see here.

However, we politely disagree with Zia’s interpretation of “the invisible hand” controlling Abhisit by strings from above.  A better comparison is “the invisible hand” placed up Abhisit’s backside controlling both his actions and his speech – like a ventriloquist and his “dummy.”

What else would make Abhisit say what he did to defend the military against:  1) their use of the fraudulent GT200 explosive detection devices, 2) their atrocities against the Hmong and the Rohingyas, and 3) the deadly use of snipers against their own people?

It’s not just Abhisit either. The entire Thai Democratic party are just a bunch of “dummies” with “the invisible hand” up their backsides controlling them as well.

Thailand desperately needs democracy!

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