Thursday, June 26, 2014

I told you so......

I'm not an ivy league educated diplomat with years of Washington experience, but I have enough common sense to know that what the US and its buddies in  the EU have done so far in diplomatic sanctions and reduced aid has done nothing but pushed Thailand much closer towards China and Russia.  In fact, the Chinese have come out in praise of the Junta and has shown a willingness to step in to fill the void.  That 'void' has shrunk over the years and events this year has shown that the US is not a partner that can be trusted and counted upon when things don't go as expected.  With its current leadership, its economic woes, and troubles all over the planet needing their attention, the US has turned into a paper tiger in this region with very tiny teeth.

Cutting off a few dollars of aid and threatening to move 'Cobra Gold' to Australia will disappoint the bar owners and teeraks in Pattaya, but it will likely disappoint the boys in blue even more.  But a few years ago, the Chinese also started joint military exercises with Thailand as well so I'm sure their military won't mind a bit.  As for the US strategic pivot to Asia, it looks the pivot has gone completely in a 360 loop backwards with China getting stronger and the US weaker in the process.  They've done nothing for the Philippines when China set up their oil well platform and schools on the islands in dispute.   


So what are Thailand's options?  If Uncle Sam and the EU don't want to be your friends, there are all those Chinese and \Russians who would gladly step in.  In fact, the Russian already have key interests in pockets like Pattaya and the Chinese are looking at financing the high speed train that will connect China to South East Asia in the future.  China would love to 'close the loop' around itself with a friendly neighbor like Thailand instead of a proxy government controlled by the west.


Expect Thailand's junta to ignore the snub and continue its merry way.  Thailand did not achieve its success as being the only country to not be colonized by being subjective and stupid.  The pride of the country and its ability to weave through its relationship with competing powers will get it through these times and years from now, the Western nations and the Feds that controls them will wonder how things got so very bad for them here in South East Asia.

Anyway, I'm heading back to the mango for a couple of days as soon as B gets back from the Wat.  Its big Buddha day today so I expect most of the people will be on holiday.




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