Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Meanwhile, another Muslim insurgency gets underway...

From The Guardian:
Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was yesterday given approval for the implementation of sweeping emergency powers aimed at controlling the violent rebellion in the south. ...Violence in the predominantly Muslim and ethnic Malay south of Thailand has killed at least 800 people since grievances erupted in January last year. ... [C]riticism of the new powers has been intense. "This is absolutism, which hasn't existed in this country since the overthrow of the absolute monarchy in 1932," said Sunai Phasuk, the Thailand consultant for Human Rights Watch.
This isn't the simple fundamentalist story, but then neither are most of the worldwide conflicts. There are injustices which extremists exploit and repression which creates more grievances. In Thailand, there is grinding poverty in the countryside that drives young girls into prostitution in the cities. Meanwhile, there is rampant governmental corruption. You can find this in a Freedom House report. (Freedom House is widely believed to be CIA funded). Anyway, Muslims are only 4% of the population, so not to worry. The child sex trade catering to wealthy Japanese, Europeans, and Republicans... er, Americans... will probably continue unhindered.
If you want good news, John Quiggin of Crooked Timber draws our attention to the fact that

The Indonesian government has just signed a peace agreement with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).
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