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A bit non sequitur – Thailand arms civilian auxiliary to stop muslim terror November 6, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Ecumenism, history, horror, non squitur, persecution, secularism, self-serving, Society, unadulterated evil.

Most readers are likely aware that the past decade or two have seen the worst persecution of Christians we have seen in a century or so.  However, while due to proximity and other reasons Christians tend to bear the brunt of muslim depredations, muslims are equal opportunity persecutors.  I have mentioned on this blog that I used to belong to a defense analysis group online that included a broad cross-section of military/diplomatic/economic professionals deep in “the business” (the defense biz), as well as some exceedingly well informed outsiders.  And then I just kind of hung along.  Anyway, one of the professionals that belonged to our group (which included high ranking staff and flag officers (including a former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy), senior defense analysts at the premier consultancy firms, people with many years experience developing and applying military hardware, etc) was an active duty major general in the Royal Thai Army.  There was no one quite like Suphi.  She had fought the Vietnamese at Mon Mok Moon (an attempted invasion of Thailand by Vietnam crushed by the Royal Thai Army and almost unknown in the West), conducted counter-insurgency against the Vietnamese and Chinese backed communist insurgency in Thailand (she had a special method of “interrogating” communist cadres, she would take them up in her personal helicopter and throw them out), and, around 2003, started informing us of the growing muslim insurgency, backed by Malaysia, against the southern Thai provinces.

This activity soon got so intense she would drop off the site for extended periods.  Then she ultimately relayed that because of the coups that began in Thailand in 2006 and the role the Army (or she?) played in those coups, she could no longer participate at all. That’s about the time I finally dropped off, as well.

But prior to doing so Suphi had described for the benefit of others how Thailand defeated  the communist insurgency of the 70s and 80s.  They did this not by bombing their own country to smithereens, as we  did to our ally South Vietnam, nor by flooding the countryside with hundreds of thousands of troops and thereby totally disrupting rural life so essential to the stability of any country.  No, they did it by giving some basic training to villagers, winning them over to the country’s/government’s side decisively, arming them, and leaving a radio to call for help to stop large groups of insurgents the villagers could not handle.  This method was exceedingly successful, and after 20 years of patient effort the communist insurgency – conducted mostly by Chinese and Vietnamese outsiders – was crushed.

She said similar steps were being taken to fight the muslim insurgents in the South, but that the left wing government that occasionally came to power constantly opposed this. The most recent coup in Thailand unseated a certain destructive political movement again, and I must admit I smiled when I read this:

Thailand has a separatist problem. A Muslim separatist problem, to be more specific, in three southern provinces. As straitstimes.com reports, “Violence in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south has left thousands dead – the majority civilians – since 2004 across the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, which were annexed more than a century ago by Thailand. In response to a recent slew of shootings and bomb attacks on civilian “soft” targets, Thailand has vowed to protect locals while it seeks a firm date for a fresh round of peace talks with the publicity-shy but ruthless rebels.” But the strategy they’ve chosen is an unusual one for a government that took power in a military coup . . .[Suphi described how these terrorists work. First of all, almost all of them are high as a kite on speedballs when they do their attacks. She described hitting one with 7 rounds from her .45 Smith and Wesson Desert Eagle and still not taking a doped up terrorist down. He was eventually cut down by a Ma Deuce.  Secondly, they have sanctuaries in Malaysia and the Malaysians do absolutely nothing to stop them, and probably help the insurgents quite a bit, least of all by letting armaments get to them.]

So to uphold the new prime minister’s promise to bring both sides to the negotiating table, he’s trying to create a balance of power. To do that…

Some 2,700 Heckler & Koch HK33 assault rifles have been distributed over the past two months to volunteers in the region, according to a spokesman for the Internal Operations Security Command (ISOC). [Yeah, well, these people cannot be negotiated with.  They aren’t interested in “dialogue.”]

Yes, an authoritarian government is putting thousands of rifles in the hands of volunteers who have come under attack, part of an insurgency that has killed more than 6000 people in the last decade. As one internal security official put it,

“They need weapons for self-defence… they can’t fight with just wooden sticks,” ISOC spokesman Colonel Banphot Phunphien told AFP.

All of which has caused pearls to be clutched and hands to be wrung among Thailand’s peace activist community, who have apparently learned to appropriate talking points from America’s disarmament community. As bbc.com relates,

Guns have been distributed to Muslim and Buddhist villagers before this, but some fell into the hands of the insurgents themselves or resulted in incidents where volunteers opened fire on unarmed civilians. [Sure, and guns were stolen from villagers during the communist insurgency, but the vast majority weren’t, and the forming of armed groups of loyal Thai citizens played a decisive role in blocking the previous insurgency]

Right(s) groups have condemned the distribution of guns saying it would only increase violence in the region. [And the government removed from office by the military – possibly at the behest of the Thai king – had made this policy so inconsistent as to be ineffective.  Perhaps it will be more so now.]

I’m not saying this is the only way to defeat an insurgency, but it’s a proven and effective way.  The British won the insurgency against them in Malaya during the 50s by police tactics which included arming loyal citizens.

Thailand is one of the least Christian countries in the world.  It was never successfully penetrated by missionaries of any stripe.  The vast majority of the populace is semi-Buddhist but mostly addicted to pleasure.  Thais are a happy people, a business-like people, and an incredibly well-mannered people, but they are not religious. It will be interesting to see how they stand up to this insurgency, even more fanatical than the communist one.


1. MicahC - November 6, 2014

Great article and very interesting. As you know, I have a very long-lasting and deep relationship, history and connection with Thailand as I have family who live over there and have traveled there myself many times.

I have also been to the southern provinces and can say that the Muslim population is a lot higher there due in part to the proximity of Malaysia.

I’d like to make an addition to the comment that Thais are not religious. They’re not religious in the Catholic sense, which obviously is the only sense that matters.

It is a rather hedonistic pleasure seeking society and is “happy” be it on the emotional or pleasure level. In fact Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles.” It’s very true. As a whole, they are an extremely humble and very hospitable group of people. I’ve experienced this many times. Of course in their language, there is a strikingly large variety of words to basically describe a Con artist. In many ways, Thailand is a place of stark contrasts that coexist. It’s an interesting sociological phenomenon!

While most of the population is Buddhist (even nominally), it’s a completely different climate than the West.

I wouldn’t say it’s completely unreligious, but it is very animistic and extremely superstitious.

Make no mistake, it’s very pagan, but it’s a different type of paganism than in America.

I look at Thailand like the pagan Roman Empire. There are a variety of religions, and it is not uncommon to see shrines on the street clothed in flower garlands and incense with worshipers kneeling and praying. Many businesses and homes will have shrines with little sticks of incense or small fruit and beverages. There is ancestor worship especially among the Thai of Chinese descent. Many people have “spirit houses” to ward off evil spirits. Once a drunk man fell into my father’s pool at his condo complex and died. They drained the pool and got Buddhist monks to come out and chant over the area.

One thing I will say is that there does seem to be some small sense of the sacred. If you were dressed inappropriately and visiting a Buddhist temple, they will not let you in. And there are no exceptions. They have clothes there at the temple into which you can change. But at the same time they charge a lower rate for Thais and a higher rate for tourists at some places, so there you go! They will write the Thai price in Thai numerical characters, and the higher price in modern numbers, so few people even know it’s there. Again, a land of contrasts.

Every time I’ve gone to Mass there on Sundays, it’s been a good attendance. When asking a Fraternity priest why there was no Latin Mass in Thailand, he commented that it was because the King had not endorsed it. The people of Thailand would follow the king off a bridge if he led them.

I will say it is the one place that I’ve seen more Novice Ordo priests in cassocks. I have also prayed at the relics of Thailand’s first Blessed which are house in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Bangkok. He is Blessed Nicholas.

Tantumblogo - November 6, 2014

I thought you might comment. Bear in mind, my statements were from the 100,000 ft level, very broad brush.

Thank you for the insights!

2. Camper - November 7, 2014

My experience of Thailand came from some workers at a fast food restaurant once where I was working… they were not hard workers. Pleasure seeking and weak indeed…

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