Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Glimpse of the Future?

I was struck reading the New Zealand Herald's top story on the coup in Thailand ("Thailand still safe to visit, say NZ officials") by the breezy, insouciant tone. Worse than that is the quote offered by the Kiwi ambassador to Thailand:

"This is a caretaker government which is more than 200 days old now and people, institutions -- including the army -- have become impatient I think," Mr Barrington said. "You also have a situation where a number of groups from the universities to the medical profession have come out quite strongly in the last couple of weeks saying that it is time for Thaksin to stand down."

A democratically elected government (albeit a Thai government) has been toppled by a cabal of army officers, and the best the official representative of New Zealand can offer is the observation that doctors and university professors wanted Thaksin gone. I hold no brief for Thaksin, but the notion that political legitimacy is determined by the attitudes of certain credentialed elite groups is a bone-chilling one to hear mouthed by any Anglosphere government.

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