General Saprang on US Foreign Policy

I wonder how the Americans will react… Gen. Saprang in response to rumors of a counter-coup:

แต่ผมคิดว่าการปฏิวัติ​จะ​เกิดขึ้นเสมอ​ ​ถ้า​มี​เหตุ​ให้​เกิด​ ​ประชาธิปไตยที่อเมริกายิ่ง​ใหญ่​ ​แต่ทำ​ไมปล่อยท่านเบอร์ริส​ ​เยลซิน​ ​อดีตประธานาธิบดีรัสเซีย​ ​เอาปืน​ใหญ่​ยิง​ใส่​อาคารรัฐสภา​ ทำ​ไมปล่อยปากีสถานปฏิวัติ​ ​โดย​นายเปเวส​ ​มูชาราฟ​ ​แล้ว​ยัง​มี​ความ​นับถือ​กัน​อยู่​ ​เพราะ​ผลประ​โยชน์ของชาติสำ​คัญกว่า

But I think a coup could always happen, if there’s a [legitimate?] reason for it. Democracy is acclaimed in America, but why did they let Boris Yeltsin storm parliament with artillery? Why let Pervez Musharraf overthrow the government in Pakistan and still be respected? Because national interest is paramount…

Indeed, how could they let the generals in Thailand… oh wait, that’s me!

But seriously, is General Saprang increasingly becoming a liability to the junta? With the controversy arising from his AOT study trip to Europe and his increasingly frequent off-the-cuff public statements, he may have less chance to succeed Gen. Sonthi as commander-in-chief of the army.

I think the problem has a lot to do with the image Saprang seems to be projecting – one of slight arrogance. Our military rulers , perhaps taking their cue from Prem, have tried to project an image of benevolent “good soldiers,” responding to criticism in kindly, civil tones and imploring all to care about Thailand’s unity. From what I’ve read, Saprang has consistently been the combative one in answering criticisms of the junta with barbs of his own. It just doesn’t fit the mold of a senior statesman, General.

Update: In the same interview (well, one of those ambushes that the Thai press, with their mics and voice recorders, make on newsmakers), the general lets it slip what he thinks is the public perception of himself – heroic?:

ชี้​แจง​อยู่​แล้ว​ ​แต่​ไม่​จำ​เป็น​ต้อง​ทำ​เป็น​หนังสือ​ ​เพราะ​ไม่​ใช่​จำ​เลย​ ​เราวีรบุรุษ

Of course I will clarify, but there’s no need to do it in writing. Because [we’re] not the defendant here, we [are] heroes.


10 responses to “General Saprang on US Foreign Policy

  1. He’s not an extremist, he is just outspoken. His trip to England and Germany warrants scrutiny, I will accept that but other hype surrounding him recently is that he’s just been outspoken. I personally have no problem with him beiong critical of Thaksin or suggesting he is a role model for his own kids. I see a lot of people taking his quotes out of context. The simple fact is that it probably needs someone this ruthless to investigate suwanapoom.

  2. He’s crazy because he’s workaholic. You can try to check list of his work. You have to understand this is Thailand , It’s hard to find a smart soldier.

  3. “Indeed, how could they let the generals in Thailand… oh wait, that’s me!”
    I don’t get this… Why did you reiterate his point?
    Well … I can see why he dragged the US into this, justifying a coup. He tried to sell the idea that a coup actually exists in democracy. He used the assumption(whether right or wrong) that the US is democratic and has let several coups, including his, happened in the past, so coups definitely have a place in a democratic society.
    Anyway, I have to say that his hero rhetoric is quite nonsensical. When I first heard this remark, I was like … “Since when?”

    Killer, I don’t think it’s difficult to find “a smart soldier” although it’s indeed difficult to find an academic-like one. You should have a definition of “smart”… I’m sure that you’re underestimating them as there are a lot of highly intelligent soldiers in Thailand. You’ll find that many of them are very deceptive if you get to know them better.

  4. R&W: Hmm… don’t we have the Assets Examination Committee doing the investigation of suwannapoom? I’d rather have due process and some rule of law instead of ruthlessness.

    Leopold: I reiterated that last point with in an attempt to be sarcastic — Saprang was a bit impolitic to list out the exceptions to the US policy of spreading democracy to the world. The policy to Pakistan has been criticized before, so it seems like he’s inviting the same scrutiny for Thailand.

  5. You mean… that was supposed to be a sarcasm? Wow … didn’t see that coming 🙂
    Anyway, you might be right about Saprang. He’s always been like this. I don’t even care what he said, to be honest.

  6. In case of “Smart”, if compare to the standard of Bangkok Governor, I think he is.

    For whom has no idea about that:
    Smart Taxi Parking, Smart Traffic Sign and so other “Smart things” ^^”

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