Publish and Be Damned

The scene is the campaign headquarters of A Certain Party.  With just days to go to the election, they are heading for defeat even by their own polls.  Things haven’t been going their way.

‘What is it with this military?  No sooner have we announced on the platform at Ratchaprasong that the PM didn’t order the troops into a bloodbath than this Hua Na Khuang writes in this army rag that he did order it.  Are they on our side or not?’

‘I’m sure they are, sir.  You only have to recall the Army Commander-in-Chief’s interview on TV …’

‘Yeah, brilliant.  All this guff about good people and not voting for the same thing.  The ones who twigged what he was on about got pissed off about the military interfering in elections and the rest thought we were “the same thing” and he was asking people to vote us out.’

‘Well, sir, Col Sansern did come out and explain the article.’

‘Explain?  “The article is correct but contains some inaccuracies”?  And all that stuff about “protective troops” being different from snipers because “protective troops” stopped people getting shot.  So the snipers were there to shoot them, I suppose.’

‘I’m sure that’s not what he meant, sir.’

‘Lord knows what he meant.  I was there and I couldn’t understand what he was on about.’

‘Er, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the second article, sir.’

‘What second article?’

‘Well it’s in the same journal, sir, and it’s probably the same writer, but he explains how Military Intelligence used photos and videos of the red shirt business as propaganda.’

‘I don’t think I’m going to like this.  And how exactly did Military what for want of a better word we’ll call Intelligence use this stuff?’

‘Erm, no real problem there, sir.’

‘Incredible.’

‘But it’s the other stuff they used.’

‘What other stuff?’

‘Well it seems they took footage from the south and mixed it in to make the red shirts look bad.’

‘Well that’s brilliant.  So now every last picture is going to be questioned, even the genuine stuff.’

‘Probably so, sir.’

‘What is this Army journal anyway?’

‘Senathipat, sir.  It’s by the Army Training Command.  It’s a very good read, sir.  They analyze past operations and draw out the lessons to be learned.  Very informative.’

‘To the right people, perhaps.  But not everybody.  How can we create unity in this country if the military goes telling everyone how they’re being lied to?’

‘I see your point, sir.’

‘Right, get on to Army Command and tell them, er no, ask them, but forcefully, to stamp Top Secret on this blessed publication.  No sales to the general public.  Surely they don’t need the money, not after what we’ve given them.’

‘Very good, sir.  And shall we do the same with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?’

‘Why?  What have they done?’

‘Well, I have been informed that the next issue of their in-house journal contains an analysis of the Preah Vihear negotiations.’

‘And?’

‘And how the facts of the case were deliberately misrepresented, phone calls to the media, planted op-ed pieces, all that black information stuff.’

‘Give me strength.’

‘Apparently the article concludes that as an exercise in controlling the parameters of the debate, it has been extremely successful.’

‘I know it’s been successful.  We’ve even got half those yellow shirt yahoos thinking we’ve pulled out of the World Heritage thing.  That could mean enough votes for two, maybe three more Bangkok seats.’

‘Excellent news, sir.’

‘But it won’t happen if they find out it’s all a hoax and we’re staying in, will it?’

‘Perhaps they’ll still support us.’

‘After the names that Sondhi’s been calling us?  I very much doubt it.  Get the publication stopped.  Or at least postponed and kept under wraps until after the vote.’

‘Yes, sir.  And the others, as well?’

‘Others?’

‘Well, apparently the in-house journal of the Economic Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Commerce has done a costing of our election promises and worked out they will bankrupt the country inside 3 months.’

‘What!’

‘But the other lot’s promises will do it in 2 and a half, so that’s good news, isn’t it?  Then the Law Reform Society has a piece showing how court verdicts are manipulated.  And the Public Accountability Commission has analyzed how it came about that most National Human Rights Commissioners don’t know what human rights are.’

‘I’ll have to sit down.  Is that it?’

‘Pretty much.  Oh, except for the Royal Household Review.  They’ve got an article explaining how, over the years, they’ve managed to …’

‘I don’t want to know.’

Comments

Prachatai is funded directly

Prachatai is funded directly by the United States Government to the tune of 1.5 million baht. They fail to disclose this anywhere on their site, for obvious reason...

http://ned.org/where-we-work/asia/thailand

NED in turn hosts an array of degenerate Neo-Con warmongering scum, and their interests are neither "democracy" nor "human rights."

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/neo-cons-for-human-rights.html

Freedom House, which Prachatai loves to cite, includes Kenneth Adelman on their board of trustees - Adelman in turn was Thaksin's former lobbyist.

Prachatai, post your funding on your website, people have a right to know and judge for themselves how "independent" and "journalistic" you are after receiving money directly from a foreign government.

@tc: Yes, message received,

@tc:

Yes, message received, no benefit in over-doing it. Off and tell that nice Mr Prayuth about it. Or perhaps he told you about it. Or was it the lady-in-waiting?

The battle is already lost son.

Here's a lovely little video

Here's a lovely little video from al Jazeera...

...at the end of which a charming lady in Udorn explains that Bhumijaithai is welcome to pay them as much as they like... as much as they can afford. The people of Udorn will take it and take it and take it... and then vote for the party they consider number one.

I love it. Very rational decision, seems to me.

Excuse me... she's from Khon

Excuse me... she's from Khon Kaen.

The Al-Jazeera lady

The Al-Jazeera lady correspondent also wrongly said she was reporting from northern Thailand.

Simon: If it's lost already,

Simon: If it's lost already, I can keep on posting can't I? Such a futile act on my behalf should be amusing to you.

Prachatai is funded by the United States government and Prachatai refuses to disclose, because NED which is funding them the money is full of Neo-Con warmongering scum. People like Simon would like this to go away because they don't want people to know the truth as to who funds Prachatai and why.

Official link to US NED site...

http://ned.org/where-we-work/asia/thailand

Background on NED...

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/neo-cons-for-human-rights.html

@tc: The US sucks at so many

@tc:

The US sucks at so many different things but the National Endowment for Democracy is NOT one of them. They operate with a high degree of transparency and accountability and they post information about all of their grants and activities on their Web site. They are also subject to multiple layers of oversight by the US Congress, the Department of State, and independent financial audit.

Looking at their list of Board of Directors, I don't think that NED is "full of Neo-Con warmongering scum" as you suggest but if it is then I prefer my tax money going towards them than to Predator Drones for our liberal Nobel Peace Prize winning President.

Don't feed the trolls, Pat.

Don't feed the trolls, Pat. They're like Antaeus, and draw renewed strength from each contact with the earth. Hold them over your head, like Herecles, 'til they shrivel up, like autumn leaves, and the wind blows them away.