19 May 2010

Thoughts on Thai Violence, #3

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(Start reading first from “Thoughts on Thai Violence, #1” below this.)
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It is after sundown, and there are several rifle squads of Royal Thai Army outside on the main street. They are guarding a sidestreet entrance to a utilities office complex, and they seem to have the situation in hand at the moment. Our neighborhood is quiet.
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I have to say with amazement that the Army is learning very fast after a slow start last month, when the Reds took them by surprise on 10 April by being better armed than expected and better informed – i.e., the Reds “men in black” snipers took out the Army commander on the scene at the very start of the engagement. Now the Army is using squads of soldiers on motorcycles as quick-response teams, copying the Reds’ efficient use of cycles.
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You might not believe me on this at first, but the Army is also showing exceptional fire-discipline in their operations. The huge number of fatalities since 10 April – i.e., over 65 – may be astronomically high, but remember that the Army has been facing many armed Reds mixed amongst the peaceful Reds, and they have had to fight it out in a densely-packed city. Also, many of those civilians killed were killed by the Reds.
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Don’t get me wrong, I am not totally unsympathetic to some of the more peaceful complaints of many in the Red Shirt movement. I will address those issues in a later entry.
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Here at home, Tuk and I share a small walled outdoor courtyard-kitchen with her parents next door, as well as a shared locked gate. Today Tuk’s mother put up some sharp-edged corrugated steel to top a weak spot on the top of our wall. Tuk has several bags packed in case of sudden flight. I asked her where she would go, and her planning had not yet gone that far.
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The ladies of the family are nervous. Somehow I suspect that this is their first perimeter defense.
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2 comments:

  1. Please, stay safe and keep in touch. I will be in a panic if you suddenly disappear.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stay safe Darwin! Let us know you are ok.

    ReplyDelete