Thursday, September 21, 2006

White House Comments

White House spokesman Tony Snow answered reporters' questions yesterday and left dangling an intriguing hint as to whether the U.S. knew of the Thai coup in advance:

"Q. Given the President's heartfelt promotion of democracy yesterday in his speech, how come we haven't heard from him about the coup in Thailand? Does he have any reaction to the efforts by the military there?

"MR. SNOW: Yesterday, while this was going on, we were still trying to gather facts on the ground. We're disappointed in the coup. We hope those who mounted it will make good, and make good swiftly, on their promises to restore democracy. And by restoring democracy not only means elected governments, but protected rights of citizens, including freedom of speech and assembly. And we also think it's important -- well, again, not only the restoration of democracy, but once that's -- once you have democracy restored, we'll also be in a position to move forward on a free trade agreement with them.

"Q. Did the U.S. government either officially, or unofficially, have any indications that this coup was coming? Did it catch you guys by complete surprise?

"MR. SNOW: I don't -- the honest answer is, I don't know. I'll try to find out. Rather than saying something on the record, call me later and I'll get you a clear answer. I think I know the answer, but I don't want to say without being absolutely sure.

"Q. Did the President have any interaction with the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister of Thailand at the U.N., or any other Thai officials?

"MR. SNOW: I don't believe so, no. I think -- in fact, I believe the Prime Minister was back in the air yesterday -- wasn't he in the air fairly early? I think he was heading back to London."

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Anonymous Holly Gardner said...

Thanks Paul!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Realist said...

Did they know in advance? More like they backed it. Funny how this coup serves U.S. interests in the region enormously. Thaksin refused to allow a U.S. military base in southern Thailand (perfect place to safeguard the offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Thailand) and Thaksin, a Thai of ethnic Chinese ancestry, was moving Thailand in the direction of China's orbit. The U.S. has always had tremendous influence with the Thai military ever since the Vietnam war. The C.I.A. is very active in the country. The junta leader is pro-U.S. Does the Cheney regime have to spell it out for you and say "Yes, we backed the coup" ??

5:15 AM  

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