The US always has preferred dealing with the Royal Thai Army to dealing with an elected government in Thailand.

Directed democracy

US gives U-tapao deadline

The US space agency Nasa has notified the Foreign Ministry it will withdraw its request to use U-tapao naval air base if Thailand cannot provide an answer by Tuesday, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said yesterday.

The US embassy in Bangkok conveyed the deadline, set by the US government, to the Thai government on Tuesday, said Mr Surapong.

He insisted that the cabinet is authorised to endorse the project which does not require parliamentary approval under Section 190 (2) of the constitution as it does not involve the country’s sovereignty. The Council of State expressed the same opinion yesterday.

“This is a political game by people who might not understand the big picture. I feel pity when thinking about the benefits that Thailand would gain from it [which may be lost.] It is not as bad as some have made it out to be,” said Mr Surapong.

The game being played is that of the US camel re-inserting its nose into the Thai tent at U-Tapao.

The US cannot be unaware of the recent judicial coup in Thailand yet has chosen this particular time to extract an agreement to re-insert forces at U-Tapao. It must feel it can do so now when the Royal Thai Army, its traditinal ‘partners’, are back in the ascendant without having to put its proposal before the parliament, and without having to take into account the will of the Thai people.

Now it’s ‘take it or leave it’ on a deadline which cannot be met even within the provisions of the Royal Thai Army’s Charter, substituted for the Thai constitution by the coupsters of 2006.

The power play is on.

The Royal Thai Army is pushing for the Counci of State to approve the overflight of Thai airspace by foreign surveillance aircraft and for the unspecified provisioning of foreign ‘Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief’ at U-Tapao to be approved by the Council of State as well … then to be ‘acknowledged’, after the fact, by … ‘the cabinet’!

Even if the intent of the US were wholly innocent, and given its wild, worldwide rampage in defiance of international law under the aegis of ‘Humanitarian Warfare’ there is no reason to assume it is, mindful of the recent judicial coup in Thailand, the US would not be pushing for extra-constitutional agreements allowing the resumption of its basing armed forces in this country.

But the US is doing exactly that.

The US always has always preferred dealing with dictatorships abroad that will look after US interests. and that’s always been with the Royal Thai Army rather than an elected government here in Thailand.

About jfl

A 66 year-old American male living in Chiangrai, Thailand
This entry was posted in People, Politics, TH politics, US politics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The US always has preferred dealing with the Royal Thai Army to dealing with an elected government in Thailand.

  1. charlie says:


    Great post.

    Of course the US of A likes dictatorships best. They do not have to answer to the people. Kind of like the Mafia, without the traditions and loyalty the Mafia is supposed to have.

    Those dictatorships had best watch out, look what the US did to Noriega, Saddam, and many others too numerous to list here. Not the best track record for loyalty FROM the US towards the dictators. Well, play in the sewer and you get what you earn I suppose.Yes, I am implying that getting “in bed” with the US is like playing in the sewer. Would that it were not so.

    p.s. I “named” you in my newest blog rant. In a nice way. Honest.

  2. jfl says:

    Thanks for your kind words in your latest “rant”, Charlie.

    A fellow named John Grant has an article, Charlie, on Obama’s envisioned 13 year, $65 million rehabilitation of the Vietnam War, which opens …

    The history is clear: It was the US, not the Vietnamese, who scotched the unifying elections agreed on for 1956 in the Geneva negotiations following the French rout at Dien Bien Phu.

    Why did the US undermine these elections?

    As Dwight Eisenhower said in his memoir, because everyone knew Ho Chi Minh was going to win in a landslide of the order of 80% of the population of Vietnam.

    So much for Democracy.

    Democracy, it turns out, was something faked at home by the United States government throughtout my lifetime … and never even considered abroad.

    It is no longer being considered at home at this point, with Obama’s and the Supremeroos’ having opened the floodgates of campaign finance to corporations and plutocrats and daily, it seems, further subverting our constitution.

    Obama’s rehabilitation of – rewriting of – the history of the Vietnam War is to enable all Americans to climb on board with his new Obama Doctrine of perpetual warfare.

    All of this is predicated on the American public going along with what is transparently a pack of lies.

    Will we go for it? It doesn’t look good from here.

  3. charlie says:


    Regarding Vietnam, according to the “Pentagon Papers” (which I had a copy of but never read it totally) Ho asked the USA for help in freeing his country from French rule. Ike and de Gaulle were old pals from WW2 and Ike gave in to the French “request” for help, Poor Ho, he had studied communism when he was a student in France pre-WW2. Good grief, many people had read Marx, it didn’t make them commies.

    USA, hypocrites for 200+years and damn proud of it.

  4. jfl says:

    I really haven’t studied the available resources on the war Charlie. Just googling now I find …

    The Geneva Conference July 1954

    In July of 1954, a conference was convened in Geneva in an attempt to resolve the problems in Indochina. Although an agreement was reached, its provisions were quickly violated and the plan never came to fruition. The agreement reached on the 20th and 21st of July included:

    1. the nation of Vietnam was guaranteed its independence
    2. national elections, under international supervision, would be held two years hence (July 1956)
    3. in the interim period, Vietnam would be divided at the 17th Parallel (just to the north of Hue on the map). Control of the north would be held by the Viet Minh forces led by Ho Chi Minh while control in the South would be held by forces who had fought with the French.

    The United States disapproved of the agreement, did not sign the accord, and announced that it felt no obligation to abide by it.

    Instead, in September 1954, the United States became, along with Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand, a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). This alliance was designed to resist the spread of communism in southeast Asia.

    The Causes of the Vietnam War

    When the Vietnamese Nationalist (and Communist-led) Vietminh army defeated French forces at Dienbienphu in 1954, the French were compelled to accede to the creation of a Communist Vietnam north of the 17th parallel while leaving a non-Communist entity south of that line. The United States refused to accept the arrangement. The administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower undertook instead to build a nation from the spurious political entity that was South Vietnam by fabricating a government there, taking over control from the French, dispatching military advisers to train a South Vietnamese army, and unleashing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to conduct psychological warfare against the North.

    Vietnam_War: Exit of the French, 1950–1954

    In September 1950, the United States created a Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG) to screen French requests for aid, advise on strategy, and train Vietnamese soldiers. By 1954, the United States had supplied 300,000 small arms and spent US$1 billion in support of the French military effort, shouldering 80 percent of the cost of the war.

    There were also talks between the French and Americans in which the possible use of three tactical nuclear weapons was considered, though reports of how seriously this was considered and by whom are even now vague and contradictory. One version of the plan for the proposed Operation Vulture envisioned sending 60 B-29s from U.S. bases in the region, supported by as many as 150 fighters launched from U.S. Seventh Fleet carriers, to bomb Viet Minh commander Vo Nguyen Giap’s positions. The plan included an option to use up to three atomic weapons on the Viet Minh positions. Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave this nuclear option his backing. U.S. B-29s, B-36s, and B-47s could have executed a nuclear strike, as could carrier aircraft from the Seventh Fleet.

    Eisenhower’s Letter of Support to Ngo Dinh Diem, October 23, 1954

    Dear Mr. President:

    I have been following with great interest the course of developments in Viet-Nam, particularly since the conclusion of the conference at Geneva. The implications of the agreement concerning Viet-Nam have caused grave concern regarding the future of a country temporarily divided by an artificial military grouping, weakened by a long and exhausting war and faced with enemies without and by their subversive collaborations within.

    Your recent requests for aid to assist in the formidable project of the movement of several hundred thousand loyal Vietnamese citizens away from areas which are passing under a de facto rule and political ideology which they abhor, are being fulfilled. I am glad that the United States is able to assist in this humanitarian effort. We have been exploring ways and means to permit our aid to Viet-Nam to be more effective and to make a greater contribution to the welfare and stability of the government of Viet-Nam.

    I am, accordingly, instructing the American Ambassador to Viet-Nam to examine with you in your capacity as Chief of Government, how an intelligent program of American aid given directly to your government can serve to assist Viet-Nam in its present hour of trial, provided that your Government is prepared to give assurances as to the standards of performance it would be able to maintain in the event such aid were supplied. The purpose of this offer is to assist the Government of Viet-Nam in developing and maintaining a strong, viable state, capable of resisting attempted subversion or aggression through military means.

    The Government of the United States expects that this aid will be met by performance on the part of the Government of Viet-Nam in undertaking needed reforms. It hopes that such aid, combined with your own continuing efforts, will contribute effectively toward an independent Viet-Nam endowed with a strong government. Such a government would, I hope, be so responsive to the nationalist aspirations of its people, so enlightened in purpose and effective in performance, that it will be respected both at home and abroad and discourage any who might wish to impose a foreign ideology on your free people.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    SOURCE: Department of State Bulletin. November 15, 1954, pp.735-736.

    This and your reference to The Pentagon Papers sent me looking for more … I made a link on the front page under ‘Docs’ to The Vietnam War

  5. Rey says:

    My perception in Thailand, very limited as it may be, is that the US supports the RT Army (ie Monarchy) while also supporting groups opposed to the Army-backed governments.

    USA seems to benefit most from the tension of these opposing groups currently represented by the Shinawatra faction and the Gen. Prayuth people.

    The Army seems to be an obvious choice of support by the North Americans, though, the support of the Shinawatra “reds” may be less obvious.

    I look to the fact that Thaksin is a member of CFR and enjoys a very tangled web of friendships with Western powers.

    And, also, that he is very much in control behind the scenes of Thailand’s ruling political landscape now.

    Classic imperial strategy to support opposing sides at the same time; what are your thoughts?

  6. jfl says:

    Well, I certainly agree that the US tries not to be left out in the cold if, and when in my opinion, the Royal Thai Army is finally removed from power.

    But I don’t see any US perceived benefit from tension and uncertainty at all. I think those in the US government would prefer a ‘return to normal’ in Thailand with the people terrorized and the Royal Thai Army in control.

    I do agree that the Royal Thai Army has been and remains the ‘obvious’ choice for the USA, if not for the Canadians or Mexicans, and that US support for the “reds” is not at all obvious. I don’t agree that the “reds” are “Shinawatra reds” at all and in fact, as they are daily more outrageously betrayed by Shinawatra II, that is daily becoming more obvious.

    What is the CFR? You cannot mean the Council of Foreign Relations can you? I don’t find Thaksin on their list. And in fact the Generals from Prem on down, the capitalists from Korn on down, all the Royalist Thai ‘elite’ enjoy a tangled web of friendships with the Western powers, and have done so for far longer than have Thaksin and the Shinawatras.

    I find the idea that Thaksin is ‘in control’ at this point, after the recent Judicial Coup and on the way to the Constitution Court’s dissolution of Yet Another of Thaksin’s Parties curious, if not ludicrous.

    As I said at the beginning, I do believe the US and/or any other hegemon will habitually play all sides to the extent that it is able; but frankly I think that as a monarchist.militarist you are trying to draw attention from the very badly behaving Royal Thai Army and their very badly behaving Constitutional Court and to focus it, as is the wont of Thai monarchist.militarists, on Thaksin instead.

    But thanks for not offering a good deal on Viagra.

  7. charlie says:


    Just finished reading the Grant article at Counterpunch. Gobomber is beyond disgusting. He wants to remake the whole Vietnam war mess. That crap speech he gave to “kick off” the “commemoration” is total crap. He said, in part that the Vietnam war made the US use “its power more wisely and treat our veterans better” OK, I may have not given and exact quote, but that is part of what he claimed. Bulls**t! “We” do NOT use our power any wiser at all. As to caring for our veterans, how does he explain away some 70,000 veterans being homeless on any given night in America?

    As for this “commemoration” crap, I am going to avoid it any way possible. Do not thank me for my service in that damn fool war. Do not tell me that “we could have won, if not for (insert favorite bad guy)”. That war was a lost cause from the start and never should have happened. THAT is the “lesson of Vietnam”.

    Sorry if I got too nasty, just had to rant on this one.

  8. jfl says:

    I’m encouraged, although not surprised, by your reaction to the present efforts of the USG to explicitly integrate perpetual warfare outside the ‘Homeland’ into the American dream, Charlie.

    Your reference to the Pentagon Papers earlier sent me looking and I found a copy, and have got through Mike Gravel’s introduction so far. The parallels between his and Daniel Ellsberg’s lamplighting and that of Bradley Manning’s compare and contrast

    Mike quotes Neil Sheehan …

    “To read the Pentagon Papers in their vast detail is to step through the looking glass into a new and different world. This world has a set of values, a dynamic, a language, and a perspective quite distinct from the public world of the ordinary citizen and of the other two branches of the republic, Congress and the judiciary.”

    I don’t know how distinct the Congress was from the Executive in 1971 … certainly more than now, but the courts were … and are no longer.

    It’s different now, Charlie. I hope others see the difference as well. It was bad then, it is much worse now.

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