f B by Tom

Email Tom

<< current

The Best of  B :
Blogroll Me!


Recommended blogs:

Andrew Sullivan

The Volokh Conspiracy
Daniel W. Drezner
The Belgravia Dispatch

The Dissident Frogman
Where is Raed?

Ken and Lat's Links


[Powered by Blogger]

Listed on Blogwise


by Tom


Saturday, October 18, 2003

 B  is for BUSH (He'll arrive in Bangkok any minute now.)

Update Off to a good start.

P.S. The post below has been updated. Do take a look.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Dark day for the (Thai) Dems

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1511, which includes the following text:

The Security Council

. . .

13. Determines that the provision of security and stability is essential to the successful completion of the political process as outlined in paragraph 7 above and to the ability of the United Nations to contribute effectively to that process and the implementation of resolution 1483 (2003), and authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including for the purpose of ensuring necessary conditions for the implementation of the timetable and programme as well as to contribute to the security of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Governing Council of Iraq and other institutions of the Iraqi interim administration, and key humanitarian and economic infrastructure; 14. Urges Member States to contribute assistance under this United Nations mandate, including military forces, to the multinational force referred to in paragraph 13 above;

That's bad news for the weaseling Dems. Some of you will know why already but for those who don't, do come back and I'll explain it to you.

Update Thanks for coming back. I wish I had more savory things to show you than this Dem-agoguery: [from Matichon 10.13.03]

นายอรรคพล สรสุชาติ กรรมการที่ปรึกษา คณะกรรมาธิการการต่างประเทศ สภาผู้แทนราษฎร กล่าวว่า รัฐบาลควรสร้างความชัดเจนแก่ประชาชนว่า การส่งทหารไทยไปฟื้นฟูอิรักทำเพื่ออะไร เป็นไปตามมติสหประชาชาติตามที่รัฐบาลมักกล่าวอ้าง หรือเป็นไปตามคำร้องขอของสหรัฐ หรือเป็นไปตามข้อตกลงที่รัฐบาลไทยไปสัญญากับสหรัฐเอาไว้ แต่เท่าที่ตรวจสอบกลับไม่พบมติยูเอ็นในเรื่องดังกล่าว. . . . . . ดังนั้นหากทหารไทยเกิดบาดเจ็บหรือล้มตาย จะบอกว่าทำไปเพื่อสันติภาพของโลกคงไม่ได้ เพราะไม่ใช่มติยูเอ็น Mr. Arkapol Sorasuchart, advisory member of the Foreign Affairs committee, said that the government should make clear to the public the purpose of sending Thai troops to rebuild Iraq. {Uh, I don't know, perhaps to REBUILD IRAQ? Is that not reason enough for you?}; is it in accordance with a UN resolution as the government claimed or is it because of the US request, or is it according to an agreement that the Thai government has promised to the US. {I think you can rule this one out, Dem. A "promised" agreement is probably not binding.} But as far as [I] have investigated, [I] don't find a UN resolution about the said matter. . . . . . so if Thai servicemen are injured or killed, [the government] can't say it's for the cause of world peace, because [the troop deployment] is not [according to] a UN resolution. {So the Nato intervention in Kosovo wasn't for world peace? How about the Allied forces in WWI and WWII? Gee, shame on the Americans for waging for without UN "mandate" all the time!} [emphasis and heckling added]

My apologies if the interspersed heckling was confusing. He all but asked for it and I'm always one to oblige. Anyway, coming back to the issue at hand, Resolution 1511 means the Dems can no longer hide behind that "no UN resolution" bromide. If they still want to pander to some (crazy, sick, boneheaded) voters by railing against Thailand's participation in Iraq's reconstruction, they'll have to find a new cover. Or, of course, they can ignore all this and simply keep on Dem-agagoguing.

Update: They did just that.


Thursday, October 16, 2003


If you've bought a copy of Time or Fortune in Asia recently, you'll likely have seen the two-page "Welcome APEC" ad featuring PM Thaksin and the Suphanahongsa Royal Barge with the Grand Palace and fireworks in the background.

So far, so kitsch good. But take a closer look at the members' flags proudly displayed at the bottom, doesn't one stand out? Blimey, isn't that the Union Jack!? Since when has the UK been part of the Pacific Rim?

Yes, I know the British still have some island possessions in the Pacific, but, by that measure, wouldn't France have an even bigger claim to being part of this Pacific community? Anyhow, the truth of the matter is the UK is not an APEC member. Period.

That in itself isn't a big deal. The Brits are used to getting their flag abused anyway and probably won't mind an honorary place in the APEC (advertisement).

The real problem is that the ad features 21 flags and the APEC has 21 members, so... yep, one member's flag goes missing in order to make way for the Union Jack.

Which member is that? At first, I thought it was Taiwan and was about to vituperate the Thai officials for yet another instance of their subservience to the Chinese hegemon. But then, much to my delight and before making a total fool of myself, I noticed the "Blue Sky, White Sun, Full Red Field" among the twenty-one flags. There, too, is Hong Kong SAR's Bauhinia Flag.

So whose flag exactly is missing? That'll be for you to figure out. The first one to post the right answer in the comment box gets to be the Bathing Apec.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

That Asian summit type thing

The Thai staff who's gone to great lengths to prepare for this super-duper once-in-a-life-time APEC happening (we now have an APEC channel!) aren't going to like this: [from NYT]

The visits, before and after a three-night stay in Bangkok for the annual economic summit meeting of Asian leaders, will reward two of Mr. Bush's most important allies at a time when terror groups still have a potent presence in Asia. [emphasis added]

Come on, people! The name is the "Informal APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting" or "the APEC Summit" for short. And APEC, of course, abbreviates "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation", thus encompassing the entire Pacific Rim, not just Asia (and not all of Asia for that matter).

Ah, this is like déjà vu all over again. Two years ago, when I was in Shanghai, "Ei-Pei-Ke" was this earth-shaking event to the Chinese while the rest of the member countries economies barely noticed that their leaders went missing for a couple days, much less for knew for what occasion.

Update The WaPo gets the name right. Woo-hoo.

Who has the wrong target?

Another letter unfit to print in the Bunkum Post:

Dear Editor
Brian Knight (“Postbag” Oct 9) has it backwards. The Assembly of the “Poor” and its allies are not venting out their frustration with the Thaksin government mistakenly on capitalism, globalization and the US. The three have long been attacked by these crusading activists, who see them as one and the same evil. PM Thaksin—once their great hope—only recently became a fourth target after consistently refusing to do their bidding.

The PM resisted early on their calls to repeal what they dub “the 11 sell-out laws” (prescribed by the IMF, another face of evil), halt privatization (SOE workers are “Poor”) and ban foreign retailers (“deviously luring buyers with low prices!”). Now he’s passed the point of no return: having joined the War on Terror, sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and handed over terrorist suspects to the US. No wonder the crusaders are up in arms.

In much the same way only Nixon could go to China, only Thaksin can take an increasingly nationalistic Thailand westward. Now that the Democrats have joined the activists in denouncing the deployment of Thai troops in Iraq, Thaksin is, to borrow Mr Knight’s phrase, one of Thailand’s last bastions against raw nationalism and hack socialism. By trying to undermine him, Mr Knight is playing straight into the hand of the crusaders, many of whom would love to align Thailand with “anti-imperialist” China.

Tom Vamvanij


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Ford vs Sharpless

Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor, announcing a 500-million-dollar investment: [from BaPo]

"And I believe one of the reasons for our success here can be attributed to the Thai government's open policy towards foreign investment. These include not only economic incentives and relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions, but also the policies and economic stability that stem from the leadership of Mr Thaksin," he said.

"Thailand also offers the additional advantages of a large domestic market, the biggest pickup market outside of the United States, excellent energy and transportation infrastructure, strong supply base and available pool of skilled labour." [emphasis added]

But that can't be right! Gordon Sharpless told us the opposite. He's leaving Thailand's unfriendly environment and taking his business with him to Cambodia!

Gordon who?

I was wrong
And delightfully so. Time didn't snub my letter, they published it (under the heading "Coping with grief). Yeh!

But then again, couldn't they have done a better job at contracting my letter? Heck, the letter's and barely coherent in Time's version. Grrrrr. Maybe this isn't so delightful after all.

Sunshine hawk

He marched with Martin Luther King in Washington, was smitten by Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and picked up Indonesian during his ambassadorial tenure to the world's largest Muslim nation. He also:

...says that he agonizes a good deal over the dangers of dispatching Americans to war, that he respects the traditional conservatism of men in uniform who know the Antietams of the globe firsthand. Interventions that are only indirectly about American interests, like Somalia, he says, should be ''as close to risk-free as possible,'' and, he suggests, ''maybe somewhere along the way we should have a volunteer force that is specifically volunteering for missions other than defending the country.''

I'm talking, of course, about Paul Wolfowitz, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense who's become synonymous with "über-hawk".

The article was written a year ago for the New York Times Magazine but I only got around to finish reading it recently (and there are still a few items left in the "outstanding" folder). Anyway, I think the profile still fits him today.

Bill Keller, naturally, was my favorite New York Times columnist and is now editor of the embattled, yet still renowned, newspaper. I first remembered his name from this piece about China, which I read when I was in Shanghai and thought was "right on the money".

Sunday, October 12, 2003


The (nice) Iraqi generals are finally being released! Kudos to all the imperialistic heartless witless warmongers who made this happen and with whom I'm proud to be on the same side. [via Instapundit and Citizen Smash]

I wonder what the "peace lovers" are doing. Trying to recall Arnold, of course!

JI update
Or recap, since it contains a lot of recycled material. Anyway, this isn't bad to read and is written by the only Bangkok Post reporter for whom I have some respect.

For more  B , please see the archives.


All original content on this website is governed by
a Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License