Monday 24 February 2014

Terror, Human Shields, Lies and the BBC

Most people who read this blog or follow me on other social media know that I make my sympathy for Thailand's Red Shirt explicit. I believe that the Red Shirts represent, in the broadest terms, a movement committed to democracy and political rights for all Thais.

What I have no sympathy for whatsoever are acts of terrorism - and the attacks on the PDRC rallies which resulted in the deaths of several children can only be defined as such. 

Thai children on the barricades at a PDRC rally
Regardless of their political affiliation I hope the perpetrators of these vicious acts are arrested and thrown into prison for a very very long time. To equivocate about this reveals no commitment to any kind of progressive or democratic values whatsoever. Firing semi-automatic weapons or grenades into areas where there are unarmed civilians is the kind of thing we've come to expect from Abhisit, Suthep and the Thai Army, not the Red Shirts - one reason why my mind is still very much open as to who committed these acts of terror.

After the terrorist attacks at Ratchaprasong yesterday I tweeted that the PDRC have been using children and families as human shields. I re-emphasised this by stating that the PDRC are using children and families as human shields as a systematic policy. I stand by this.

I was very quickly condemned for tweeting these comments and was accused by persons clearly supportive of the PDRC of colluding with the murder of children. 

Yet it is abundantly clear the PDRC have deliberately and systematically used families and children as "cover" for their rallies, creating events that would attract families into these rallies, wherein the PDRC leaders then engage in routine and repeated hate speech and calls to violence. 

Violent often drunk PDRC guards also patrol the barricades and fringes of these rallies and extort, beat, attack and even torture those whom they deem deserve such treatment. 

After engaging in such actions these "guards" then disappear back into the "family friendly" areas, knowing that the authorities will not risk a fire fight near so many unarmed families and children that may result from pursuing the "guards".

There are literally 100s of photos of children at PDRC protests. There have been images of the children adorned in PDRC regalia sat on the barricades, images of children who've obviously been in the frontline of the protests dealing with the after effects of tear gas, images of children seemingly acting as "close protection" for noted Thai fascist, Suthep Thuagsuban and even video clips of very young Thai children dressed in PDRC garb singing fascist fighting songs.

There is no doubt at all that the PDRC have placed children at the centre of their political struggle. Given Suthep's noted recklessness regarding human life - in 2010 he said that children and Red Shirts who died after troops he'd ordered onto Bangkok's street shot them had "run into the bullets" - I think it is reasonable to assume he has no problem with this. After all Suthep can always run back to one of his luxury hotels when the bullets start flying.

Yesterday UNICEF brought a blast of reason into this terrible series of events and demanded that ALL children be forbidden from attending the PDRC rallies. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Violent fascist rallies are no place for kids - only a dangerous and reckless idiot would think otherwise.

And only someone who is as morally and ethically bankrupt as those terrorists who attacked the PDRC would deny that the PDRC are deliberately placing kids and families in harm's way. 

And for some reason the BBC's Jonathan Head decided to propagate a lie yesterday and claimed, completely falsely, that the children killed at Ratchaprasong were not attending the protest. 

Why he did this - why he failed to do even the most basic work of a journalist and report the facts, however uncomfortable those facts may be - is a question I've asked him but he's refused to answer. Head is shaping up to be a perfect President for the obsequious FCCT.

Let's look at the facts. There's no doubt that the children who died at Ratchaprasong were dressed in PDRC garb and were also behind the rally barricades when they died. There are numerous video clips and photographs that proves that beyond all reasonable doubt (sorry, but I'm not sharing clips of dead children here - you can search and find them yourself).

Yes, to some it may be distasteful to point these facts out. Those same people may also question these facts' relevance to a terrorist attack. 

There may be some basis to that distaste - I understand why someone might find it difficult to read such truths after such a tragedy.

But surely knowingly lying about these tragic events is far far worse.

Those commenting on and analysing Thailand's present crisis must aim for truths however uncomfortable they are. 

There is no place for children at the PDRC rallies. They are not "family friendly" places, there are no "family zones" and to claim these vicious, violent rallies are anything other than fascist hate festivals is a disgraceful and disgusting lie. 

It's time to end the falsehoods about the PDRC rallies that are being circulated by Jonathan Head, PDRC supporting-expats and the PDRC leadership themselves.

Like UNICEF have made clear - the PDRC rallies are not child-friendly places.

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