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Thailand: The Sick Man of Asia

In 1853 Tsar Nicholas I of Russia is reputed to have called Turkey “The Sick Man of Europe.” In 2015 Thanawaut Wichaidit, spokesman for the Demon Thaksin’s UDD Party said something similar about Thailand: “The Military Government is in the final stage of cancer. It will kill itself because of economic mismanagement and allegations of corruption.”

Is he right? Apparently the Great Demon himself thinks so as he recently told his supporters to “go to sleep for a while,” which is the same thing as telling them to wait around until that rapidly spreading cancer takes its toll, not on the ailing King, but on General Prayuth and his government- perhaps it will be the first to go.

But though the Tsar’s diagnosis was correct, the ailing patient lived on for another 70 years before succumbing to his sickness; could Thailand’s knuckle-dragging Junta last that long?

Everything moves faster these days than it did in the 19th Century so maybe Thaksin’s ‘sleepers’ will soon be able to awake. But maybe not, the world is moving faster, but Thailand isn’t. Indeed its current leaders appear to want to take it back to the 19th Century. 1853 looks just fine to them. There’s no doubt that the Thai Military government is sick, by every economic and political and social lab test available-and getting sicker by the day. There’s no doubt that its anti-corruption cops will nab more political foes and dissidents than real crooks, too many of the real crooks are on their side for that to happen.

There’s no doubt that the courts will do their usual work of certifying whatever ‘justice’ their masters desire. Is there a cure for Thailand’s cancer? If there is, Chinese doctors will provide it, for a price, a very high price-‘your Kingdom for a cure,’ that will be their bill. And their remedy? A strong dose of Tourism-Chinese of course, that’s already underway. Then a massive application of construction projects, railroads are such good medicine, even American Progressives think they’re highly efficacious, especially if they’re ‘light’ railroads. Good for both doctor and patient-never hurts to pad the bill, does it? Then take three Chinese submarines at a billion dollars before bedtime and you’ll feel much better. Oh, forgot to mention the radiation treatments, not for the patient, but for all his detractors, those to continue until the detractors are wiped out…which will make the patient feel positively sprightly.

That’s the Chinese Medicine regimen. Much better than all those unpalatable American and European nostrums. ‘Democracy,’ phooey, when did that ever cure anything! The Chinese treatment plan properly addresses the “Thai-ness” of the patient, but by the time their Docs get done treating him he may not have much Thai-ness left. He might find their bill to be exorbitant, and he might end up being as sick as he was to begin with, only with a different disease. Will ‘The Sick Man of Asia’ recover? Only time will tell. But there is one encouraging note, his next door neighbor Myanmar, who has been sick much longer that he has, is rallying, and his prognosis looks good.