Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coup Leaders Meeting With The King

This BBC report states that coup leaders "went to meet the king." Nothing certain yet about the outcome of that meeting, if it even happened.

If the King tells the remainder of the armed forces to stand down, the crisis is over, and the coup succeeds without a shot. No one wants to see a civil war, with different factions of the Army fighting each other. I cannot fathom this King allowing that to occur -- the King's first responsibility is the physical security of his subjects (which, at the moment, includes me), with the preservation of democracy lower down the list.

It may be hard for Westerners to grasp the enormity of the influence of the Thai monarch. The Thais revere him. Although he is not officially a god, in practice, many Thais treat him as if he were. Although he has little formal role in government, he can -- and has -- brought down governments and his intervention in politics is reserved for only the most critical junctures.

King Bhumibol, the world's longest-serving monarch, is a Renaissance man, and, while the constant hosannas to His name are a bit much, if even one-fourth of what people say about him is true, he is an impressive individual.

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Anonymous ziv said...

I travel a bit in Thailand and I agree with you about the degree of respect that the King has among the Thai people. His wife and kids are loved or tolerated, but he is simply a man that nearly everyone looks to with respect and near adoration. Every dive shack I went to in Thailand had his picture in it, and it wasn't an empty gesture.
I find it hard to believe that the military units that are in rebellion right now did not have at least a wink from the King in advance. If he comes out and calls for their arrest, this coup will crumble in hours. And the generals knew it going in to this that that was the case, ergo...

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The King was born in the States, Cambridge I think, while his dad wad here to study medicine. This would mean that he was at least an American by birth. Wierd, eh? The guy did a lot for his country, talk to a Thai and you'll see them just gushing about him. My cousins are his subjects, naturalized citizens of Thailand. At least that's what the documentaions stated. Before that they were refugees from Cambodia.

Yeah, it's as close to being revered as a god without the requisite Kool-Aid drinking followers.

Icepick the Mad!

12:09 AM  

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