AFP reported in an article titled, “EU raps Thailand on coup, cuts official contacts,” that:
European Union foreign ministers on Monday condemned the military takeover in Thailand and agreed punitive measures to back up calls for an urgent return to democratic rule.
It also claimed:
The ministers halted all official visits to Thailand and suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation accord with Bangkok, a statement said.
Expressing “extreme concern” at developments, ministers said the military should restore “as a matter of urgency, the legitimate democratic process and the Constitution, through credible and inclusive elections.”
They should also free all political detainees and respect human rights and freedoms, it said, adding that EU member states will review their military ties with Thailand.
An “urgent return to democratic rule,” however is impossible, because there was never any “democratic rule” to begin with. In fact, this was one of the many issues that provoked the military coup in late May 2014 in the first place. The EU’s calls for respecting “human rights and freedoms,” is also suspiciously hypocritical, as similar calls were absent in the weeks and months leading up to the coup, when the now ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra was carrying out a nation-wide terror campaign against his political opponents that left over 20 people dead and hundreds maimed.
In fact, the Royal Thai Army has removed from power one of the worst human rights offenders in Thai history. Thaksin Shinawatra oversaw the deaths of over 3,000 innocent people during his time in power, including under various proxy regimes run by family members including his brother-in-law and his own sister, as well as political allies openly serving as his “nominees.” To describe the Shinawatra regime as “democratic” is to sidestep the fact that Thaksin Shinawatra himself had been running the country from exile with those “elected” serving openly as proxies his proxies – an arrangement as illegal as it is undemocratic.
The EU has conveniently sidestepped these facts in its condemnation of the coup and its calls for an “urgent” return to “democratic rule.” Clearly, elections alone do not define the legitimacy of a ruling government, as exemplified by the EU itself in its support of armed Neo-Nazis and their successful overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine in late 2013-early 2014. The EU’s condemnation of Thailand’s coup, but support of violent Neo-Nazi usurpers in Ukraine, illustrates that selfish special interests, not principles, define when “democracy” must be respected, and when it can be sidestepped and overthrown.
Ousted Dictator Creates “Human Rights and Democracy” Front After Trampling Both
The EU’s move to condemn Thailand comes just a day before Thaksin Shinawatra’s deposed regime announced the rebranding of its criminal enterprise. Formally known as “Peua Thai Party” (for Thais), with its subsidiary, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship” (UDD) constituting its violent street front, it is now being called the “Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy” (FTHD).
The curious title is ironic indeed, as Shinawatra’s regime trampled both human rights and democracy for the decade it was in power. Shinawatra had overseen the mass murdering of some 3,000 innocent people over a 90-day period in 2003 as part of a politically-motivated “war on drugs.” The following year he would have over 85 protesters killed in a single day in Thailand’s troubled south. During his first term in office, 18 human rights activists and lawyers would be either assassinated or disappeared and since his initial ousting from power in 2006, one prominent opponent of his narrowly survived a brazen broad daylight assassination attempt, while two others did not, and were killed.
And in the months leading up to his regime’s final ousting from power this year, Shinawatra had deployed a vast terrorist network across the country, with large caches of assault rifles, grenade launchers, and hand grenades. Attacks were carried out almost nightly against Shinawatra’s political opponents, from armed assaults carried out against unarmed protesters at night, to grenade attacks on Thailand’s courts and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). For Shinawatra’s FTHD to feature a dove as its logo is the metaphorical dancing of Shinawatra on the graves of his many victims.
That the EU has clearly, intentionally ignored the true nature of Thailand’s political crisis exposes its hand, along with the US, in backing the Shinawatra regime and attempting to undermine the new government in hopes of returning Shinawatra or one of his political allies to power in the near future. That they insist a transgression against “democracy” has been committed in the removal of a mass murdering dictator proves that Shinawatra’s utility in serving Western interests takes precedence over his trampling of alleged Western values of human rights and democracy.
For the new government of Thailand, there is no winning in the face of such self-serving, unprincipled hypocrisy. Their best bet, instead of attempting to appease the West, is to simply ignore their unconstructive and manipulative meddling in Thailand’s internal political affairs and proceed solely with what is best for Thailand and its future. Threats to cut ties with Thailand should be met with efforts by Thailand to ensure it no longer depends on such ties with the West in the first place.
Dependence begets subservience, independence begets freedom. Ironically, Shinawatra’s “Free Thai” movement represents precisely the opposite of what true freedom requires – his “Free Thai” movement is working on behalf of foreign interests that seek to impose globalized interdependence on the Kingdom. The new Thai government should be working in the opposite direction.