Walden Bello comments on the recent events in Thailand:
The last few weeks have hardened the Bangkok middle class in its view that the Red Shirts are “terrorists” in the pocket of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. At the same time, they have convinced the lower classes that their electoral majority counts for nothing. “Pro-Thaksin” versus “Anti-Thaksin”: This simplified discourse actually veils what is — to borrow Mao’s words — a class war with Thai characteristics.
No doubt there will be stories told about the eight weeks of the “Bangkok Commune.” As in all epic tragedies, truth will be entangled with myth. But one thing will be clear: The government’s decision to order the Thai military against civilian protesters can never be justified. ….
Thailand, it is clear, will never be the same again. A taxi driver summed up where things stand at this point: “The Bangkok rich think we are stupid people, who can’t be trusted with democratic choice. We know what we’re doing. So yes, they say Thaksin is corrupt. But he’s for us and he’s proven it. The Bangkok rich and middle classes see us as their enemy. If they think we’re finished, they should think again. This is not the end but the end of the beginning.”
Waldern Bello is the author of The Food Wars.