Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thailand Looks For New Patrons

Thailand's coup does look like a little success. You have not heard anything from Thailand. The USG's Eye of Sauron has not bothered to shine its fiery gaze on Thailand. Being distracted by efforts in Syria and Ukraine hurt the USG's ability to shake little Thai generals to submission, but for a system launching a pivot to Asia ever 6 months, the USG is not directly meddling with the junta in Southeast Asia. Anti-Thai news reports have been minimal if they exist at all. The Thais are not wasting anytime either. With the USG distracted, they are on a charm offensive for new patrons. The Asian pivot may come too late to keep little Thailand securely in Uncle Sam's camp.

It starst with the big one. Thailand is stepping closer to china. Thailand has something to gain by receiving whatever support it may need from a rival patron to the USG. This could be financial lifelines like Russia needed when the USG system attacked them in December. This could simply be getting on friendlier terms with the one major threat that has Thailand a client of Uncle Sam in the first place. Thailand also has something to offer China. Even if small, it is a propaganda play. Per the article, "China has been looking to opportunistically coddle Thailand’s non-democratic rulers, while Thailand, for its part, has been going out of its way to show Washington and the world that there are partners willing to do business without fretting about regime legitimacy." If Thailand emerges from this coup with either a very limited franchise or continued delays to restarting voting, Uncle Sam may try financial blackmail. This is where deep Chinese pockets come in handy. The USG system's power is through economic control, but the diluting of the dollar has weakened it. Countries now have to play the politician's donor source game. If they make a change in support on an issue, politicians need new donors to stay in power for the next election. This is not too different for regimes changing political systems or asserting control vs. USG.

It is not just China Thailand is cozying up to. Russia is making inroads in Thailand. Thailand is changing internally its orientation to Russia as well. Look past the eye roll inducing leftist boilerplate in that little essay to see the details of a nation's power holders attempting to clean out corrupt elites and make new friends as they push out their old patron. The Russians are aware that the West has not paid attention to Thailand. The Russian-Chinese access sees an opportunity to demonstrate to the little nations around the globe that their alternative to the USG system is not a fraud. Thailand should press to get as much as they can as an early adopter. These moves like airfield changes and small economic deals add up over time. Power projection matters to a global empire based on air and naval supremacy across the oceans. Look at the difficulties America had with securing supply routes into Afghanistan. Logistics matter, ports matter, airfields matter.

How long the door stays open for Thailand to make moves is unclear. America's foreign policy is like a drunken NFL player being told no by a stripper; who knows what will happen next and where it will happen but it will be something violent. Thailand's best hope is to solidify as much as possible with rival patrons while USG is tied doing the bidding of Soros, Nuland, Kagan and the Middle East obsessed power brokers in DC. Thailand is a long time ally of America. Thailand has been a useful ally to America. Thailand is an ally looking for new friends. When smaller nations with decades of American support and deep ties are looking elsewhere, the geopolitical alignment and system is facing a shake up much sooner than the population expects.


Anonymous said...

Also the Thai elite made of Chinese descendants.

Suburban_elk said...

America's foreign policy is like a drunken NFL player being told no by a stripper

Sounds kinda hot. It would be cool to have a better understanding of international politics. Such an understanding would be all about networks, and access to intelligence. I read somewhere that the newspapers (and the mainstream media) no longer can compete with the paid sources available on the internet, in the arenas of financial services news, and also international relations.

I am such a hayseed hick, that if it is going on on the next block, that's kind of a long ways away.

The one observation i can add that seems relevant, is that Thailand, along with Vietnam, and the rest of that part of the world, is more or less exactly halfway on the other side of the globe, and that geographical fact is part of the reason that the influence of American foreign policy (there), is less.

There is an article on Radix about "traveling" and how clueless naive Americans have made the worst of it. That part of the world, Thailand India Vietnam sexy tourism … There is a great documentary that was streaming on netflix called The Search for Michael Rockefeller: "It's not this world mate, it's new guinea." The long and short of it is that Mr Rockefeller went native - cuh cuh cuh cuh cuh cuh crazy! And also in that documentary is a look on the weirdness of cultural anthropology and its place in the 20th Century; it would be worth a book, if i were not such a wastoid i could tell you more. (Hey i heard that they are very sympathetic people down there.)

But the other thing about Vietnam, the one observation that seems topical, and this was part of a conversation with my old man (a point of agreement, … ) was that they beat us back. And so is Thailand, right?

I was thinking about all the clueless Americans traveling in India and Africa - and getting killed there - but they can go to SE Asia and still have their penises suckarood, because the people there don't hate us so much, because they won.

The portrayal of the Vietnamese General, in that Gibson flick (We were soldiers once, and young) goes to the point. Those guys are cool.

Here is a line from a song that i wrote, it might have been in the key of A, i doubt i can play it now,

Young careless and happy
Once too were we

peterike said...

America's foreign policy is like a drunken NFL player being told no by a stripper

Hah! Good line. Only lately, the stripper looks like Hillary Clinton.

Oh wait... I guess we're the NFL player. There goes my joke.

At any rate, it's a good line and encapsulates the emotionalism and flailing nature of our foreign policy. Or maybe it only seems that way if you're trying to figure out how things work in our national interest. If you take the view that our foreign policy is owned lock, stock and barrel by a global elite that seeks to prop up their own power and sexual ideology at the expense of... life, liberty, happiness: anything at all... then it makes a lot more sense. Petro-dollars and perversity, the new American national anthem.

sykes.1 said...

The fact is that American foreign policy is little more than wanton vandalism, killing and destruction for the sheer pleasure of it. And this is not just an Obama problem. Reagan had his little Grenada; Clinton has his Sudan, Somalia, Serbia/Kosovo and Afghanistan; Bush II …

Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin and Medvedev all wanted Russia in NATO and EU, DeGaulle's vision of a united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. It was American foreign policy, its hubric penetration of the Russian heartland that drove Russia away. Now the Russians are busily organizing and Eurasion alliance of some sort. China and Central Asia are already on board, India is leaning, and parts of Southeast Asia may join (not Vietnam). China's recent establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank enrolled severa of America's European allies and Australia.

The 500 year era of Euro/American dominance is ending.

peterike said...

Speaking of Thailand....


Ok, that was random.

guy said...

USG foreign policy is a clusterfuck because the goals of its beauracracies(sp?) are mutually exclusive. Theres the realpolitic goals of the intelligence, corporate, and defense communities attempting to secure patrons and resources going up against the state department and media. Mostly rational, albiet sociopathic self interested parties against the religious believers in democracy, equality, and themselves being the moral elect. I cant see how that situation would ever produce good policy.

5 years ago I would have never guessed that a .blogspot url would contain better geopolitical analysis than the NYT or Stratfor. Nice work SOBL.

Anonymous said...

I took a trip to Phuket in March with the family. Lots of flights from Russia. Lots of Russian tourists and plenty of signs на русском.