America’s “color revolutions” are polished by the Western media to portray opposition as daring heroes. However, the truth is far less flattering, and even compromising.
Had James Buchanan – writing for the Guardian in his article, “‘This country has no freedom!': how Thailand’s punks are railing against the junta” – told the truth about who Kitikea ‘Pure Punk’ Kanpim was and the subculture of substance abuse and woman-beating he represented – the article likely would never have been published.
But telling the truth is not the business the Guardian is in – telling narratives that buttress the US-European corporate-driven agenda is. And the agenda for Thailand is regime change.
Just as the Western media sold the world tales of brutal terrorists representing “freedom” and “democracy” in nations like Libya and Syria in 2011 or right wing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine in 2014 – the Western media is rummaging through the lowest common denominator in Thai society to portray a fringe anti-government movement as a “popular uprising.”To that end, Buchanan’s article portrays drug-addled woman-beaters like Kanpim as disingenuously as he does Thailand’s political crisis.His article claims:
Anger at repression is quelled under the military dictatorship – but the country’s punk scene is turning the protest volume back up again.
The provocative slogan, directed at junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, helped the event’s Facebook page go viral, piquing the interest of pro-democracy activists and putting the small underground scene in the national spotlight.
Despite Prayuth Chan-ocha being Prime Minister of Thailand – the Western media has repeatedly used the slur “junta leader” to depict both the prime minister himself and the nation’s government as a backwards 3rd world dictatorship.
Yet no mention is made of what precipitated the 2014 military coup in Thailand that brought both to power – not by Buchanan in the Guardian – and not anywhere else across the Western media.
Western Media’s Contempt for Context
The previous government was headed by US-backed billionaire ex-prime minister, mass murderer, and now fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra via his own sister who openly ran as his proxy during 2011 elections. After coming to power in 2011, Shinawatra immediately began amending laws to grant himself and his political allies amnesty in a bid to return himself fully to power.
A vote-buying rice subsidy program that played a role in putting Shinawatra’s political party into power also began unraveling. By 2014, nearly 1 million farmers were left unpaid with their rice stolen away to government warehouses. Protests swelled to over 1 million people on key days. In a bid to cling to power, Shinawatra deployed heavily armed militants to attack protesters across the country leaving over 20 dead.
These were the same armed militants who targeted and killed soldiers in 2010 triggering weeks of violence leaving nearly 100 dead in what Buchanan disingenuously called in his article a “military crackdown.”
Shinawatra’s government openly declared it did not recognize the court’s authority. Police – loyal to Shinawatra who himself was a high-level police bureaucrat before becoming prime minister – refused to act. It was left to the military to intervene to restore the rule of law.Up until the week of the coup that finally removed Shinawatra from power – people were dying in the streets and farmers languished unpaid and in crippling poverty induced by the Shinawatra’s corruption.
In this context, the coup would appear justified to most readers – which is precisely why this context is omitted in Buchanan’s article and in articles all across the Western media.
The Woman-Beating “Freedom Fighter”
This brings us back to Buchanan’s article and its attempt to portray Thailand’s “punk scene” as a small but important part of the “widespread opposition” he claims exists.Friends close to Kitikea ‘Pure Punk’ Kanpim – admit that he suffers from a life of substance abuse – ranging from hard drugs and the abuse of prescription psychotropics, to alcohol and butane fumes. He is also prone to fits of abuse and violence – directed generally at his girlfriend. Local news stories have frequently covered his erratic and at times criminal behavior which police believe is associated with mental illness.
In one instance, Kanpim would punch his girlfriend in the face, knocking her to the ground before painfully grinding his Doc Martin boot on her forehead.
In other instances, his abuse has been caught on videos now circulating on social media including one where he is seen violently pulling his girlfriend’s hair and grabbing her by the neck. Those in Kanpim’s circle also regularly assault their girlfriends.
Abuse against women is rampant throughout what Buchanan calls Thailand’s “punk subculture” – but what is actually considered by Thais as “Kaya Sangkom,” or “garbage society” – for obvious reasons.
The only real common thread running through “garbage society” is abuse of oneself and of others and a complete inability to contribute positively to society. While Kanpim dresses in a style the less discerning could superficially consider “punk,” he clearly falls under “Kaya Sangkom.”Yet to write an article exposing vocal supporters of US-backed regime change in Thailand as drug-addled, woman-beating “garbage” would only prove critics of the opposition right – that efforts to rush elections in Thailand are being spearheaded by US-backed billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra, his political machine, US-funded “students” and “NGOs,” and anyone unsavory and undignified enough to join in – including Thai society’s “garbage” for a chance in the Western media’s spotlight.
Just as the Western media allied itself with the worst of Libyan, Syrian, or Ukrainian society – its alliance with the dregs of Thai society will eventually backfire as well.
Such people have proven themselves notoriously unreliable – often overwhelmed by the attention they have desperately craved their entire lives and now suddenly have – exposing their true nature in dramatic and often very public episodes of violence and criminality. So far – the Western media controls the narrative in nations like Thailand which lack their own English-language media to tell the other side of stories people like James Buchanan and the Guardian intentionally omit – awarding dishonesty with impunity in front of international audiences.
Yet just like in Libya, Syria – or more recently in Ukraine regarding the Babchenko hoax – where the West’s lies have mounted and eventually backfired – the clock is ticking for people like James Buchanan and the “heroes” he is manufacturing in Southeast Asia’s Thailand. The winds of truth will eventually blow, and when they do, they will take the credibility of those like Buchanan and their lies away with them.