Poomrattana Thaksadhipongse is a former director of Thailand’s National Intelligence Agency. This is a quote from an article he wrote:
“Now, the Thai people understand. America has chosen a side to support the anti-monarchists, which means to support the abolishment of Section 112, which means to interfere with Thailand’s internal affairs and mess with what is…”
I’ll translate the last word as “sacred.”
In this video, we will discuss how fear and paranoia over “foreign devils” and the “overthrow of the Thai kingdom” have been injected into the narrative of the kingdom’s political conflicts.
You see, the rhetoric “nation-haters” has become outdated. The rhetoric being sold to the Thai people is now “ขายชาติ,” “traitors.”
Those people who sell out Thailand, or betray Thailand, with the purpose of overthrowing the Kingdom of Thailand, in exchange for power and money.
Who are they supposedly selling the kingdom to? The Americans, of course.
You see, a tried and true brainwashing strategy for any government is to appeal to nationalism. Appealing to nationalism is to manipulate fear and paranoia. Manipulating fear and paranoia are to invoke racism and xenophobia.
It is done in other countries, not just in Thailand. After all, in any nation on earth, the most reviled people are those who traitors.
The Prayut Chan-o-cha Regime’s strategy in stomping out the opposition is as follows.
The first phase.
Use the most sensitive topic in the Thai society, the monarchy, to entrap and imprison the leading activists. Hence, no leaders are left in the street.
Then, use violence to strike fear: water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. Hence, many people are too afraid to come out.
With this, the streets have been cleared. The COVID-19 pandemic also helps.
The second phase.
Use cultural fear and paranoia to frame the “foreign devils.” The angle of “ขายชาติ,” selling out one’s country, or betraying one’s country, is highly potent and infectious in arousing anger and hatred.
Hence, pro-government media and influencers attack academic and activist David Streckfuss, branding him a CIA agent embedded to stir up a rebellion to overthrow the kingdom.
They also link him to pro-democracy activist Pai Daodin, accused of Section 112, lese majeste.
Next, go after academic James Buchannon. Branding him another embedded agent and linking him to pro-democracy activist Boonkueanoon “Francis” Paothong, accused of Section 110, crime against Her Majesty the Queen.
As well, go after pro-democracy activist Chonticha “Lukkade” Jaengrew. Link her to a certain Agent H, identified as Henry Rector, formerly the US’s Senior Diplomatic Advisor in Thailand.
They revealed a “leaked Line Chat” implicating both a romantic relationship and an espionage ring financed by the CIA, because, you know, if you’re going to go for it, let’s just go Hollywood with it. People love a riveting story.
Both Lukkade and the US Embassy have denied the story, with Lukkade saying it’s a fake Line Chat.
Furthermore, dig up photos of student activists with foreign diplomats, and paint the picture of the student activists being employed by those countries to overthrow the Thai kingdom.
Nevermind that it’s normal protocol for diplomats to meet with activists, academics, and journalists to understand from different perspectives what’s happening in Thailand. As they also meet with politicians, government and opposition.
I’ve had lunch with many ambassadors, no one ever gave me money to do anything.
In addition, dig up photos of diplomats who showed up to observe the cases against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and the former Future Forward Party.
And likewise, brand them as an international espionage ring to overthrow the Thai kingdom. Because, you know, this is what a CIA-led international espionage ring does, post for news media and social media group photos in broad daylight for everyone to see, click like, and share.
The irony is, since World War 2 and through the Cold War, for better or worse, the Kingdom of Thailand is the Kingdom of Thailand, and not a Soviet or Chinese satellite Republic of Thailand, because of the helping hand of the US of A.
But the point is this:
Now you have the pro-democracy movement linked to an international CIA-led conspiracy. With the dot connecting to the most vocal political threat to the Prayut Regime: Thanathorn, the Progressive Movement, and Move Forward Party.
Et voilà, ขายชาติ, selling out one’s own country, betraying one’s own country. In any nation on earth, the most reviled people are the traitors.
Hence, the people would give the government a freehand in punishing the traitors, turning a blind eye to any human rights abuse and injustice. In fact, many would cheer for human rights abuse and injustice.
The Prayut Regime doesn’t need all Thais, or even the majority, to believe in this narrative. It just needs enough, and so far, truth be told, it has enough.
And that’s why Thailand is in the situation we are in.