I love my Bangkok Post – –
It brings the whole world into my home more than any American newspaper ever did. In addition to locally generated stories there are articles from the Independent, Reuters, Bloomberg, and other sources most Americans only find on the internet, and only if they look. This is one of several reasons I have a more worldly view about the issue of trafficking, an issue I think is totally whack and out of balance with reality.
With that in mind I have a few letters to the editor, called the Post Bag, to share from one newspaper on one day here in Thailand. See if you find any unusual opinions about America you won’t commonly see in America – –
Note: people are speaking up because of the way America has responded to the recent military coup in Thailand. I was surprised when my girl friend, a university professor, called the military “heroes.” And that opinion has been confirmed with several other Thais as well. But America has threatened sanctions, their middle name these days.
These are published letters, Bangkok Post, May 31, 2014:
Defining a coup
I wish someone could ask the US Ambassador what the difference is between Egypt and Thailand. Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were democratically elected by the people, but overthrown by the army. Yet the State Department jumped through hoops to keep from calling that a coup. It seems America has different definitions of democracy based on different circumstances.
I have lived in Thailand for 30-plus years and probably have more Thai friends than farang. (Note: farang = Thai for westerners) Many have sent me messages telling me how they hate the US Embassy, and all I can say is that I understand. Steven BKK
A Reuters news article reports that US President Barack Obama is fighting his foreign policy critics. Rather than fight these critics, Mr Obama might be better off listening to his critics. American meddling in internal policy of countries around the world, including Thailand, is appalling.
It is getting to the point where, when confronted with, “Are you American?” by Thais, my friends simply say, “No, I’m from . . . “ and name any other English speaking country. Americans used to be proud to declare, “I’m American.” Now many hang their head in shame. Jingle Bell
As a foreigner who has lived very happily in your country for many years and loves your country, I feel I would like to voice my thoughts.
Thai people do not tell the US or UK how to run their countries. So why do Western countries not show the same respect back to Thailand and stop arrogantly interfering in their affairs? I am embarrassed by the naiveté and arrogance of Western leaders and equally disturbed by the lies I see in the Western news media.
I have a lot of respect for the Thai military. They have brought peace and security to this wonderful country. We Western people love coming to your country and many are very happy here. JACK
US double standard
RE: “US govt doesn’t get it” (Post Bag, May 27th) I am an American living in Thailand, and it irks the hell out of me when I read that American leaders, such as John Kerry, can’t get it through their heads, that Thailand, above all other ASEAN nations, has backed the US in every conflict they have ever been involved in. (Note: In recent times yes, but the writer ignored WWII when Thailand capitulated to the Japanese, declared war on America, and largely sat out that minor conflict)
You threatened to withdraw aid just after the military put their foot down to stop the bloodshed and rot which is tearing the country apart, while you are still giving aid to other countries around the world, including Israel, many of which are run by non-democratic dictators. Charlie Brown
Here is my short lecture or call it a summery:
Does this have anything to do with the issue of trafficking? No, of course not, at least not if all you know is the common knowledge that trafficking is about young children being abused and forced to be prostitutes, or that some people work in slave-like conditions.
Of course this blog is begging you over and over to look at a bigger picture including how America, and it’s Trafficking in Persons demands are perceived around the world.
I have said elsewhere that Americans live by myths of their country’s goodness and the myth that other counties love America and want to be like us. Wake up folks! Thailand is not telling the USA how to run our country. The Economic Union is not telling the USA how to run our country. Why is the USA telling so many other countries how to run their countries?
I ask a lot of questions on my blog. But I ask you now, has the word sovereignty been removed from dictionaries over at Main State, the Harry S Truman building? It seems so!
If enough people start asking these kind of questions we not only will get this trafficking issue, internationally at least, under control, but a lot of other relationships with other countries will turn a corner in a positive way. America will become a better member of the world’s community of nations.