Not too many bloggers have continued to cover Thailand's military coup, probably because it is considered a relatively peaceful done deal.
I will. It's still getting considerable news coverage, and the importance of what is taking place is significant. We can better judge the motives of the coup by the outcome. We're not at that point just yet.
The international significance of Thailand is that it is a key geographic area in southeast Asia, largely encompassing the gulf of Thailand, with access to the Indian Ocean. It also has a small, but significant Muslim population. It neighbors Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Burma. All of which are suffering from a combination of either widespread corruption, instability, military dictatorship, or excessive subordination to the state. It is largely a semi-suppressed, instable and potentially volatile region.
Here's what's happening after the coup, during the supposed interim military rule:
According to an AP story, Thailand military will investigate and possibly seize overthrown Prime Minister Thaksin's fortune. This very well may be a legitimate action, for Thailand has suffered from a lot of corruption, and Thaksin is a billionaire.
Keep in mind that Thailand has also been suffering from a Muslim separatist insurgency which Thaksin had been vigorously trying to end. Guess who leads this military coup. A Muslim General. Some food for thought.
In another AP story, the military rulers criticize foreign reporting about the coup. What are they criticizing? Reportedly, they won't say. But the story suggests it has something to do with the possibility of the monarchs frustration with Thaksin's administration, and that "it is taboo even to suggest that the king - a constitutional monarch with limited powers - might play a role in politics." Why aren't they criticizing the domestic media? Oh yeah it's state controlled.
Do you think the monarch had something to do with the coup? I just don't know what would give you that idea.
But at least the Thailand Coup is a happy coup.
But really, coups are generally bad, and this coup was no exception. Hopefully the end will bring some justification to the means, but I remain skeptical.
*UPDATE* Chatumongol Sonakul is reportedly favored by military rulers to be the interim Prime Minister (Oddly, this story was removed from the Bangkok Post). This is interesting; back in 2001, this guy was fired by Thaksin. Things seem to be pointing toward the idea that this was a monarchial influenced military coup against the will of the people. Thaksin after all, was a very popular democratically elected prime minister, of course the legitimacy of his popular vote is questionable.
More to come.