>US role behind Thai slaughter

Posted on May 17, 2010

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AMERICA’S ‘bloody hands’ are being seen behind the massacre of anti-government protesters in Thailand.

Writes Shamus Cooke at PEJ News: “When the White House is quiet as protestors are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicacy.

“One can only imagine what the U.S.’ response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

“The history of U.S.-Thailand relations explains why. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. used Thailand as one of the main ‘anti-communist’ bulwarks in an area that included China, Vietnam, Burma, and other countries that were challenging capitalism.

“Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s ‘communists’.

“This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protestors that the Thai government named ‘communists’, or their modern equivalent, ‘terrorists’.

“The U.S.-Thailand relationship began to sour when the recently deposed President Thaksin Shinawatra formed a closer relationship with China that included economic and military deals.

“The U.S. coup against Thai President Thaksin is at the root of the current crisis in Thailand. Large sections of the Thai working class and peasantry still identify Thaksin as their President and are demanding his return.

“They have resorted to extremely militant tactics to achieve their demands, which, if won, would amount to the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

“President Obama has not said one word of support for Thailand’s poor, while his silence enables Thailand’s elite to murder protestors in the streets free of foreign pressure.

“The U.S. is the main purchaser of Thailand’s exports, while providing important economic and military assistance. One strong statement from Obama would deter Thailand’s elites from further killing. But he will remain silent.

“So far, dozens of protestors have been murdered. But for Thailand’s U.S.-backed elite to successfully maintain their political dominance, hundreds if not thousands more will have to be slaughtered.

“By working to maintain the Bush-era coup government in Thailand, President Obama bears criminal responsibility for the current atrocities. If the Thai working class is unable to overthrow their murderous government, Obama will bear further blame for propping up a coup-government that must resort to prolonged, massive brutality to maintain its rule.”

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Friday, 14 May 2010

Thai army murders protesters

SEVERAL people are dead after Thai government troops opened fire on unarmed protesters in Bangkok on Friday.

A leading Redshirt rebel was also shot, probably fatally, by an army sniper.

Eye-witness Ben Doherty, reporting for The Guardian from Thailand, says:

“The centre of Bangkok is now a battleground, with rolling skirmishes being fought in the empty streets between the redshirts’ compound, fortified with tyres and sharpened bamboo staves, and the hastily constructed sand-bagged and razor-wired positions of the troops.

In most places, the reds’ camp and the troop position are a couple of hundred metres apart. The areas between, some of the most exclusive addresses in Bangkok, are almost deserted.

Shops have been closed and thousands of residents who live in central city apartments have fled.

Gunfire rings out on-and-off, mixed with the explosions of firecrackers and grenades being launched. Police helicopters fly overhead.

As the troops try to move in on the redshirts’ encampment, more protesters, not necessarily redshirts but sympathetic to their cause and resentful of the government crackdown, are coming out onto the streets, attacking the soldiers from behind. They are throwing bricks, molotov cocktails and lumps of concrete.

Most of Bangkok’s busiest roads, which would usually by jammed with traffic on a Friday afternoon, are deserted save for protestors and soldiers. Protesters are burning tyres, and, in some cases, seized army vehicles in the streets.”

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