Today in Thailand, the Red Shirts, headed by the lunatic ex-prime minister decided that the Thai way of peaceful solutions to problems should cease. And based upon video and news reports that I have seen, the Red Shirts have gone crazy. At least, two people are confirmed dead and more than 100 are injured in just the last 24 hours.
Since most of you that are not aware of the situation in Thailand, a little background is in order. The Red Shirts are led by the ex-prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted in 2006 amid allegations of corruption and political scandal. Since then, there have been two other prime ministers, both of which Thaksin claims are illegitimate “heirs” to his position which have not been democratically elected. The current government, of which Thaksin is in direct revolt, has seized all of his domestic assets and has been trying to extradite him back to Thailand for criminal prosecution.
The government of Thailand is backed and supported by the King whose supporters are called the Yellow Shirts. Since Thursday, the Red Shirts have been staging protests against the government and the Yellow Shirts and are being paid to protest by Thaksin. In fact, a lot of the protestors are not even from Bangkok, but are from small villages outside of Bangkok. They are being lured by small amounts of cash from Thaksin into the city for the sole purpose of causing disturbances.
Before the last two days, the protests were relatively peaceful. Since then, they have become violent. Today, two people were killed and many more injured. The Red Shirts are promising violence until a new government can be democratically elected. The current government is fighting back. Unfortunately, this is only going to get worse. Hopefully, it will not break out into a full on civil war.
Is this where the entire world is heading right now? Are we headed towards mass violence in many more places? Based upon the current state of the world economy, this is entirely possible. In times of economic turmoil, people tend to get more violent as their pockets get emptier.
On another front, today President Obama, displaying some guts, ordered the US Armed Forces to take down the pirates off the coast of Somalia and saved the US Captain of the vessel they boarded last week. Three of the pirates were killed and one was taken into custody. Piracy off the African coast has increased dramatically in the last few years. Again, is this a sign of the current economic situation?
Last week at the G20 meeting, President Obama tried to coerce the leaders of the major economic powers to follow his lead and to spend billions of dollars in additional economic stimulus packages in order to solve this deepening economic crisis. Of course, while he was doing this, he was apologizing to the world for being an American and for American “arrogance”. The liberals in this country seem to think that apologizing is more effective than other types of foreign policy. Of course, none of this kowtowing succeeded and Obama came out of the G20 summit with nothing at all. In fact, other than the UK, most of the leaders, just rebuked his policies. Among them, is the leader of the small Czech Republic. Of course, we are now weaker on the world stage because of his trip.
As you all know from my prior columns, North Korea tested a long range missile last week and is continuing with its nuclear ambitions. Iran is also continuing its nuclear development programs. So much so, that Israel has told President Obama, “Either you take care of (Iran) or we will.”
Amongst all this turmoil, is now the correct time to lower the defense budget by twenty percent? That’s right, twenty percent! With Obama’s record budget passed by Congress last week you would think that military spending would increase as well. But, no! President Obama has decided to disarm at a time when we are in the midst of two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan; when North Korea and Iran are threatening to join the list of nuclear countries; when Pakistan could fall any day to Islamic extremism; and, at a time when any local squirmish could turn into an international incident (Thailand and elsewhere).
Don’t you think that common sense would dictate that military spending should increase? Should some of this economic stimulus go into the military industrial complex? That would create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs. Not the piddly few that the current stimulus plan is going to create.
Maybe, the cuts in the military budget will also increase the unemployment rate? One of the cuts to military spending that already went into effect is the elimination of re-enlistment bonuses. This is unprecedented. I guess President Obama has decided that it is more beneficial to the national defense to have a newly untrained military rather than an experienced fighting force. And, isn’t this counterproductive as well? Doesn’t it cost more to train a new soldier than to re-enlist an older one? Also, couldn’t the older one end up on unemployment when he/she chooses not to reenlist because it is not worth risking your life for people that do not appreciate it?
Last week I attended a Republican luncheon and was appalled at the comments being made about the attitudes towards military personnel that come from the liberal elite. Liberals actually believe it is shameful to a parent to have a child enlist. If I had a child, I would be proud that he/she was willing to risk his/her life for this country. At times, I am ashamed of myself for not doing that when I could have. But, to have a Liberal tell a parent, “Are you all right with that?” when they tell their liberal friend that their son has joined the military is a disgrace.
It is my opinion that we are on the wrong track on foreign affairs and the military. But, I am sure that you are all beginning to think that I am a broken record in this sense. We should not be apologizing for being American. We should be proud of what we do. We would not be policing the world or helping every problem in the world if some other country would take that responsibility away from us.
And, in these times of economic and worldwide political turmoil, we should not be lowering the defense budget.
I received this anecdote from a reader in Missouri. I think it is very apropos for this current era of big government and socialism:
Catching Wild Pigs
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence up on one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and y
ou put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time. One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself. Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government ‘help’ is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America; you might want to send this on to your friends. Keep your eyes on the newly elected politicians who are about to slam the gate on America.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson
You should all read a column published on April 10, 2009 by Jack Hunter entitled “States Rights and the Left.” It is an interesting insight into the current state of US Economic Policy and creates and interesting analogy between the current political climate and that of the pre-Civil War period. It was sent to me by Robert Spaeth, a reader from Scottsdale, Arizona. You can find it at: http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=44.
In closing I would like to add that I pray vehemently for the civil violence in Bangkok to end. The Thai people have always been a peaceful people. I have many friends there and I don’t want to worry about their health or well being. Until, next time!
©2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to copy excerpts will be freely granted upon request.