a Someone should care, maybe not you....: April 2010 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

20 April 2010

Curious differences.

There is an interesting difference in countries. And it is a difference that is hard to see from the outside. Something internal. The stress faults that run through a nation and a people are so very different. Let’s compare three countries.
Country Number 1. Kyrgyzstan. In this former Soviet republic two day of relatively low key protests and the government collapses. The army isn’t called out, No mass movements through the streets, hell, hardly anyone dies. It was just yell, yell, yell and boom, a new president is in.

Country Number Two. Iran. Thousands of people gather in the streets of most of the major cities. They initiate protests that last for days. The police crush them and they reform, mass arrests are made and they reform. Major figures in the political hierarchy support them yet despite all of this the government of Iran is no closer to collapse now than it was the day the protests started.

Country Number Three. Thailand. Here in a truly bizarre game of public demagoguery the government has been switching sided every couple of years. One side win an election. Millions of protestors wearing identical t shirts calmly walk out into the streets and block everything up and in a couple of months the government folds and the T-shirt wearing hordes select a new government. Wash, rinse, and repeat. The most amazing thing about this is that it has all been relatively peaceful. Not a lot of stone throwing, firebombs, or troops spraying crowds with automatic weapons. Now there are some signs that the current government may have gotten tired of the game and since the Military command structure supports them it may be about to get ugly there. But this stuff has happened two or three times already without mass destruction which is amazing.

So what makes them different? Why does Kyrgyzstan collapse while Iran remains solid? Why does Iran resort to mass arrests and shootings while Thailand just works around the protestors? Sorry but I really don’t have any great answers. The Iranian suppression of dissent is not at all surprising. There is a grand history running back thousands of years of nations in that area doing the same things. I rather suspect the only thing that will get rid of the current Iranian governmental structure is the same thing that established it. Bloody revolution. But hey, Southeast Asia has a pretty long history of less than peaceful governmental changes. Just look around the neighborhood, Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, heck, China. None of these countries has ever responded in a retrained peaceful manner when mass protesters hit the streets. So what has made Thailand suddenly different?

Kyrgyzstan almost makes sense. Their indigenous political structure was so thoroughly crushed by the Soviet Union that maybe the new guys in town just don’t feel that solidly emplaced yet. Although, Chechnya had also been pretty thoroughly suppressed too and they have done nothing but fight since the Soviets went away. In the neighboring former Soviet ‘Stans the current Thug in Chief seems to have no real problems staying in charge. So what went wrong in Kyrgyzstan? I somehow tend to suspect that it may have something to do with Russia. But that is just a supposition.

At any rate, the varying response to pressure does make you wonder.