Saturday, August 13, 2016

Thailand: Opposition Warned of "War"

August 13, 2016 (ATN) - There have been coordinated attempts among the foreign media and their counterparts in Thailand to dismiss any notion that supporters of ousted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his "red shirt" supporters could be behind the recent string of bombings across Thailand.

Pravit Rojanaphruk of Khaosod English, an openly biased, pro-opposition paper, would write an article titled, "Redshirts Reject Link to Bombings, Hit Back at Prayuth," in which he played his part in bolstering this narrative.

The article would claim:
Leaders of the anti-regime Redshirt movement Saturday flatly denied having anything to do with a series of bombs that killed four people and injured 35 in the west and south of Thailand and lashed out at the junta leader for making a “cheap” bid to frame them. 

A day after authorities including Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha hinted at their involvement in a wave of terror attacks that killed four and wounded dozens, several prominent Redshirts said it was irresponsible to do so.

Pravit never qualifies why it is irresponsible to suspect the only group capable of and motivated to carry out such an attack when and where the bombings took place. Nor does Pravit provide readers with essential background information regarding the serial violence and terrorism the red shirts are documented to having committed over the years.

The article instead focuses on the unqualified denials and lies of, and even mockery from red shirt leaders, including those who have stood on stage while their own followers bayed for blood, threatened violence, and in 2014, celebrated a terrorist attack against their rivals that left innocent people dead including children (video below with subtitles).

Pravit's article stands as an example of extreme bias, with neither it, nor any other article written by him providing readers a background or information regarding red shirt violence.

Should readers know the truth, they would find the claims in Pravit's article dubious at best. At the very least, readers would be allowed to decide for themselves based on all information available - not just baseless denials from a political group well known for violence.

Pravit would likely defend his article, claiming he himself made no claims and was just "reporting" the news. However, honest reporting by necessity requires both sides of any story to be told as well as any story being placed within an honest context. Pravit is clearly telling only one side and with an intention to leave readers with the impression that indeed, claims that the red shirts were behind the bombings were "irresponsible"

Attempting to help violent criminals cover up their involvement in a deadly terrorist attack - essentially aiding and abetting terrorism - is as bad as terrorism itself. In even the most liberal nations on Earth, this qualifies as providing material support to terrorism and is punishable with up to life imprisonment.

This is not the first time Pravit has done this. All during the violence in 2013-2014, he likewise made excuses, spun, distorted, and outright denied the violence the red shirts openly threatened to do, then celebrated after doing it. In this sense Pravit and those parroting this same narrative, are already guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism.

Opposition Warned of "War" 

It should be noted, that the BBC itself - who is now also attempting to portray the red shirts as "innocent" and any suspicion of their involvement being "unreasonable," had helped spread red shirt threats in 2014 of "war" if a coup took place.

The BBC's article, "Thailand crisis: 'Red shirts' warn of civil war threat," would claim:
Leaders of Thailand's pro-government movement have warned that any attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could trigger a civil war. 

They issued the warning at a rally outside Bangkok - the first staged by the "red shirt" movement near the capital since violent clashes broke out in November.

The article would also say of the red shirt's threats of violence:

"It will happen if there is a coup." 
Is the public to believe that as violence now unfolds, just days after a referendum finally sealed the fate of Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters, that they are not the one's behind the bombings - making good on their many vocal threats?

And does the BBC forget these words they published as they now attempt to portray the red shirts as unlikely suspects? Essentially the red shirts are a group who have made threats to kill and destroy, have then killed and destroyed, have bragged about and celebrated their violence, and have again made threats they appear to be once again carrying out.

What is irresponsible is excluding the red shirts as primary suspects and abusing one's journalistic credentials to lend known terrorists the "benefit of the doubt."