Freed From Freedom

Eighteen countries have issued advisories to Thailand warning against non-essential travel. The USA is one of them. My co-worker has a trip scheduled for later this month. Laara called this morning to ask my opinion on the situation.

“There is a curfew in effect. 10pm to 7am. No political gatherings over five people. Censorship of TV and the newspapers. No elections for a year. Arrests for any protests. The Full Moon parties will be cancelled in the beach resorts.”

“That sounds horrible.” She had been planning a fun holiday in Bangkok and Krabi with her mother.

“Other countries like England have said that travel to Thailand is okay, but to avoid any protest sites or unrest.” Thailand was suffering through another military coup, as the old elite refused to reform the nation’s power structure.

“So should I go?” Laara sounded nervous.

“At the moment the situation is quiet and everyone knows better than to anger the army.”

In 2010 the generals had ordered the troops to disperse the red-shirt demonstrators by force. An unknown number of people were killed and hundreds were wounded during the assault in Central Bangkok.

I told Laara, “The army has a special soldier who can kill anyone they want without any backlash from the courts. This khaat dta gaawn luaat yen dressed in a spiffy uniform with a gleaming helmet. If he comes into the room, no one moves. Not even his victim, whose crime could be insulting a rich person. One shot and the victim is dead. The soldier leaves the room and everyone mourns the dead person.”

I had seen a photo of such a soldier in the New York Times. He was confronting protestors. They were not scared on him in daylight, but I suspect this military assassin was taking numbers.

“That sounds horrible.” Laara came from Lithuania.

“It is terrible and it’s what happens in America to people every day, but the news only reports ‘the truth’.”

The police are immune from prosecution for murder and the US military killed collateral citizens without a conscience, but that’s all to be expected from nations freed from freedom.

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