Opinion: Thais have 3 options in their political crisis — It seems to me that Thais have three options with the ongoing political crisis. The first option is by far the worst. The second is by far the best. The third is an option no one dares to mention. It would at least prevent the potential horrors of the first from happening, but I’m sure almost nobody on either side would agree to it. But since many seem to refuse the second option, the third is surely better than the first.
Here are the three options:
1. Continue on the path you’re on. Just keep on with the hate-mongering, extremism, demonizing of your opponents, narrow-minded thinking, refusal to compromise, fanaticism, violence, and all the rest. You can take a look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and numerous other conflicts around the world to see where this path leads. It’s an endless cycle. The violence and hatred never ends. And it’s also possible that it could lead to civil war – probably the worst thing that could happen to any nation.
2. Rise above it. Follow the core teaching of Buddhism (since most of you are Buddhists) and rise above it. Stop choosing to perceive your imagined “enemies” as evil, and make an effort to get along with them. Talk. Negotiate. Be reasonable. Compromise for the good of all. No one is going to get 100% of what they want – that’s what negotiating is all about. Stop being small-minded and petty – and selfish. And so extreme in your views. Someone needs to rise above it all – like Mohandas Ghandi or Martin Luther King, Jr., and lead the pack out of this quagmire.
3. Simple solution, since so many refuse to make the only reasonable choice and try to get along, just divide Thailand into two separate countries. Like they did with India and Pakistan, since they could not stop killing each other over religious differences. The anti-Thaksin, anti-red shirt groups can have Bangkok and everything south. The pro-Thaksin/pro-red shirt factions can have everything north of Bangkok. Or just give them the North and Northeast. Or divide Central Thailand in half. Whatever. Just separate the two groups so they won’t be hurting and killing each other. Then you’ll have two countries, and hopefully you won’t go to war with each other. Oh? You don’t like this solution? THEN GET ALONG!! It’s really very simple.
Those are your only real options. Anyone who thinks in this very complex situation that you’re going to get 100% of everything you want, you’re just fooling yourself. No one will get it all, because the other side won’t allow it. And there’s millions of them. If today’s anti-government protesters somehow got what they wanted, don’t you know the red-shirts would descend on Bangkok and make the 2010 chaos look like a picnic by comparison? Haven’t you even thought about that?
Anyone who thinks one side is 100% “right” and the other is 100% “wrong” either doesn’t understand much about the situation, or they’re just blinded by their own bias. Both sides have some valid points. But both also have some extreme views and rhetoric flying around.
And be assured of this too: as fully convinced as you may be that your group is “right”, the other side is every bit as convinced that they are right and you are wrong. Everyone perceives things like that – and I mean everyone in the world. It’s all about perception. Try to see things the way the other side sees them. It can be a very enlightening thing.
As in all conflicts, whether between two people, two groups, two nations, or two anything, there’s always more than more point of view. More than -one “truth”. Open-minded people try to see the other point of view. Closed-minded people are stuck on a single point of view -their own.
In the seven or eight years this conflict has been going on, just about the only person I can remember coming out and saying the right things, the things that a Ghandi would have said, is Yingluck Shinawatra. I know the other side is immediately going to say she’s just pretending, she’s not sincere, she’s not this and that. How do you know? How could you possibly know what another person’s motives are? Or if they are being genuine and sincere? You cannot. You’re just assuming the worst in your imagined “enemy”. And that’s part of the whole problem. As long as both sides are always assuming the very worst in their opponents, they can never believe anything they say, never believe they are ever sincere, never believe they’re being real and genuine. And as long as you’re assuming that, no wonder you don’t want to talk or negotiate. It’s hard to negotiate with the devil.
The truth is, your imagined “enemy” is a whole lot like you. In fact, your imagined “enemy” is actually YOU in a different form. Doing exactly what you would be doing in their situation – because they are you doing what they’re doing in their situation. I don’t expect many to get what I’m saying here, but if you do, it immediately becomes obvious why fighting and violence and killing is so absurd. You’re only hurting yourself, in a very real sense.
At any rate, even if Yingluck isn’t being sincere, she is at least saying the right things – the way out of this mess. Someone needs to say it, because so many of the leaders on both sides are not.
Another person who has been saying the right things lately, is the army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha. I really believe the military realizes this whole mess is a direct result of the 2006 coup, which they now see as a big mistake. And I also think the last thing they want to do is carry out another coup. They realize it would never work. Most likely it would only lead to even more violence down the road, if not immediately.
Gen Prayuth has been pleading with the two sides to enter into peace talks. To negotiate. The tragedy is, if the two sides continue with violence, the army may have no choice but to carry out a coup just to try and prevent a civil war. A coup would be an absolute last resort, to prevent something even worse from happening.
I also believe that many Thais, probably most, are sick and tired of this whole never-ending political fighting. It’s just not worth it. End it. Stop focusing solely on your little game, and imagining that you MUST win this game, and it’s more important than anything else in life. Most, I think, would say “Get over it. And get a life”.
But as usual, it’s the extremists who get most of the attention. That’s who you see on the news. But they aren’t the majority.
Look at the three choices. It couldn’t be more obvious which one is the best. Choose that one. If you still refuse, then choose number three, because there’s no doubt that number one is the worst.