Thursday, December 08, 2011

Gordon alive, or Adulyadej dead!

Dear God, see what happens when you mothball your battleships? Next thing you know, every tin-penny wog monarch on the planet feels free to imprison Americans for not kissing royal arse.

Is this what we shot all those damned redcoats for? So some foreign king can charge an American citizen with lèse majesté?

Teddy Roosevelt would have landed marines already. That fascist Wilson would have sent Black Jack Pershing at the head of a column of cavalry. (Er, metaphorically, at least, since Thailand's rather a swim, even for a cavalry horse.) Heck, even that yuppie farmer Tommy J would have had the U.S.S. Constitution delivering broadsides in the mouth of the Chao Praya by now.

Laying hands on a sovereign citizen is every bit the act of lèse majesté that calling Rama IX a great big poopy-head is. Americans don't bow to kings. (Ahem! Barry! Stand up straight, dammit!)

78 comments:

Dave said...

Wow, 2 years for a link on his blog. I think it's safe to add Thailand to the list of foreign hellholes not worth visiting.

docjim505 said...

Tsk-tsk-tsk. Such a display of American arrogance! Don't you understand that these are some of the downtrodden people who have suffered under the yoke of American colonialism for centuries? The victims of Wall Street greed and exploitation? THEY ARE THE 99%!!!

And besides, all of our troops are undergoing special sensitivity training to help avoid further workplace violence incidents such as the one at Ft. Hood a couple of years ago.

/sarc

Tam said...

Laying hands on a sovereign citizen is every bit the act of lèse majesté that calling Rama IX a great big poopy-head is.

Tango Juliet said...

You trouble me Mrs. Pedicaris.

Anonymous said...

That'll learn you about returning to your place of origin.

Jim said...

Meanwhile, closer to home, there's attackwatch.com.

So far it doesn't have its own SWAT team, but I suppose it might arrange to borrow one from the Department of Education.

Able said...

Oh come on now, one little mistake and you never let us forget (it was only a little bit of taxation).

As for lèse majesté, it's a national sport here, didn't you know, second only to football - that's soccer to you colonial types - real football means kicking the 'ball' with your 'foot - ducking and covering and I already have my nomex underwear on to prevent any unexpected groin conflagrations ;-)

Still a little 'dollar diplomacy' will have his royal insecureness toeing the line - or there's always the option of one of those nice petite Nimitz class - they scare the c*** out of me

Bubblehead Les. said...

You know, there's some Khmer Rouge still lurking across the Border, and we do owe The ChiComs some money. Perhaps if the King of Siam wants to start singing "Getting to Know You" as those T-62s start moving into BangKok to get some of that Free Land the U.S. said was available....

bedlamite said...

I hate to be the devils advocate here, but if you want to stand on soil controlled by some two-bit dictator, then you are going to have to play by his rules. Like it or not, your rights do not necessarily extend past our borders, and there are limits to what the State Department can and will do for you in some turd world country.

Tam said...

bedlamite,

Out of curiosity, do you get the reference in the post title? I was afraid I might be getting a bit obscure...

acairfearann said...

Not having had coffee today, I will play Devil's Advocate as well. The law is ridiculous, and as an aside raises the issue of whose law is the law of the internet...but. Rule one of living or visiting another country: you obey their laws. Or would we not raise hell if a carrier of a Thailand passport got off on a charge in the US because he wasn't a US citizen?

Now if the guy in question was complaining about his conviction because of the controversy over the law that would be fine, but he doesn't get to complain because he isn't a citizen.
I would call out the troops if Thailand had demanded his extradition because he had published the link while living in the US. Such a request would be an insult to state sovereignity.

Tam said...

acairfearann,

This post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as I hoped the use of the word "wog" would indicate. I fear my sense of humor might be a bit... dry at times.

BobG said...

I imagine the POTUS is having someone write an apology for him to Thailand as we speak.

Ed Rasimus said...

I get the sentiment, but can't help but wonder at the arrogant stupidity of the individual who failed to respect the deeply held custom of the nation. I spent two rather active years in Thailand (long ago, far away), and we were all told that Thais are very serious about respect for the King. They are a democracy, not a dictatorship and they take insults seriously.

A more reasonable place to gripe might have been Teheran '79.

Or maybe the exchange students of privilege throwing firebombs at Egyptian police three weeks ago that got arrested...oh, 'nuther bad example. Well how about the innocents who went for a little hike, along the Iraqi-Iranian border...oh, 'nuther stupidity getting it's just deserts.

Aww, hell, let's just get on with kicking somebody's butt while we still can. The list gets pretty short and is destined to get shorter as we move down the current path.

Tolerance for stupidity runs low in my house. And, I like the Thais. They are very good allies in the region.

karrde said...

I think I get your reference, Tam, even if I can't remember the details.

I figure that even though politeness is a virtue in foreign environments, we can at least demand that they deport the guy and tell him to never come back.

If the guy is American, and they don't like what he did, they can assure that he won't come back.

Matt G said...

Tell me about what it used to be like, back in the America That Used To Be.

Tam said...

Ed Rasimus,

Google the terms "wog", "HMS Thunderer", "marines" etc. at this blog for examples of most of what you just referenced.

Also, lighten up, Francis.

Anonymous said...

I guess all of our Marines are busy elsewhere installing child-buggery puppet governments.

"Millions for Defense. Not a Penny for Tribute."

acairfearann said...

Tam,
on rereading I got your humour, I usually do, just didn't today. What is the title reference to BTW? I almost think I can catch it but not quite.

Able said...

I have to say, visiting is always educational - thanks Tango Juliet for the clue (I need an obvious hint to be able to catch these obscure quotes)

Still as Mat G says, I do wonder what it was like when a countries leader would say and do just that for a citizen (admittedly not just) but..

Tam said...

acairfearann,

It's a reference to the Perdicaris Incident, which was more or less completely fictionalized in The Wind and the Lion.

Aaron said...

To be fair, it sounds like Mr. Gordon might be considered to be a Thai citizen by the Thais considering he lived and was born in Thailand for 24 years before moving to the US. If he's considered a dual citizen he's hosed.

Like the State Department says, "Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there."

This may very well be the first time I agree with the US State Department.

Hence, if you go to a country that has citizenship claims on you and you do something stupid that violates its laws, don't expect the cavalry.

Matt G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

BHO was spouting his inner Teddy Rex the other day in speeches.

Just maybe he'll.....never mind.

Gerry

Matt G said...

Being intellectually honest with myself, I can't really get worked up about this case, when I chered on the Singapore government back in 1994. (Of course a lot of that had to do with my wondering why we couldn't be more like them on the punishment issue.)

Ed Rasimus said...

I understand very well what you are talking about, Tam. But we needn't get in a wad about Halls of Montezuma, Shores of Tripoli, Gordon, Sand Pebbles, or even restoring the Guatemalan government through an ambassador with a six-gun marching into the palace on behalf of United Fruit Company. When you fail to respect another nation's customs, either through ignorance or arrogance, you don't get bailed out by a storming of the capitol with a Marine Expeditionary Force. Besides, they'd be stuck in Bangkok traffic until February before they could find anyone to attack.

Tango Juliet said...

Theodore Roosevelt: What do I want? I want respect! Respect for human life and respect for American property! And I'm going to send the Atlantic Squadron to Morocco to get that respect.
John Hay: That's illegal.
Theodore Roosevelt: Why spoil the beauty of the thing with legality?

Tam said...

Ed,

It's. A. Joke.

It's a pretty sad day when I have to start putting sarcasm tags on posts in this blog. That's like erecting "Beware of the corn" signs in Nebraska.

DirtCrashr said...

Joe W. Gordon, whose Thai name is Lerpong Wichaicommart WTF? Joe Shmoe who's real name is Leprechaun Watchamacallit? Since he looks like an aging 99%er all he really needs is a bit of pepper-spray and a doobie and he'll feel all right eating pad-thai out of a metal cup.

harqueb.us said...

"A Thai criminal court has sentenced a Thai-born American to 2 1/2 years in prison for insulting the monarchy, the latest case involving controversial laws for defaming, insulting or threatening the royal family."

Hey, that's pretty darn lax compared to highly oppressive banana republics such as the U.S.!

Around here, offending the Imperial will get you indefinte detainment up to forever, without even a trial or formal charges.

But at least we have cable television!

dave said...

The dual citizenship is one potential problem; the second is where he was located when he committed the offense. I've not been able to pin that down with certainty. He appears to have gone to Thailand last year, and was arrested in May (apparently of this year). If he was arrested for something he did before he went to Thailand, I'd say yes, bring out the battlewagons.

If, however, he was physically in the jurisdiction of another country, and he broke that country's laws at that time, I don't see the problem with holding him accountable under that country's laws. We do it all the time to people here, and many of our citizens have it happen to them--look what happens when people take guns or ammo to Mexico, for instance. I may disagree with Mexican law, but if I'm actually in Mexico, I'm bound to obey it.

Tango Juliet said...

Actually Tam, we have "Beware of The Ninja Cows" signs up now.

Tango Juliet said...

One more time Beware the Ninja Cow

Old NFO said...

To me the 'lesson' here is that people need to realize how lucky they are to live in America; and need to realize that "American" attitudes don't always play well in other countries...

Tam said...

I can't believe that I'm having to explain to people that I am not really suggesting that we shell the Grand Palace over this.

Besides, Der ganze Siam ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen Pennsylvaniaschen Grenadiers wert.

Tam said...

Interesting Trivia Note: While the U.S. citizen in question was born in Thailand, the king of Thailand was born in Massachusetts, which was, at the time, still part of the US.

Tango Juliet said...

Winchester?!?!? Winchester?!?!?!

I have no knowledge of this rifle.

You will.

Anonymous said...

In an emergency meeting today the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps announced their plan to invade Thailand and seize its beaches, brothels, massage parlors and bars.

Operation Hell Yea will begin shortly and will last until Mr. Gordon is freed or until Singha runs out.

Gerry

Justin said...

The Wind and the Lion, for the Win! I love that movie.

Tam said...

Gerry,

"Operation Hell Yea"

Congratulations on winning the internets today. :)

Anonymous said...

"Operation Hell Yea"

Sounds like a hard one to me. Hope the ground troops are up on counter LBFM techniques. It could get sticky.

WV - lecounno - perzactly.

Sigivald said...

I bow to kings all the time.

But they're not real kings, just historical re-enactment kings.

And thus it's not real kowtowing, just playing a game, which is why it's not offensive to my republican sensibilities.

Ed Rasimus said...

Although too old to fight in Operation Hell Yea" I would gladly accompany the troops and provide intel data based on the in-depth (no pun intended) research I did into the massage parlors, bath houses and brothels of the target nation. Also the bars, restaurants and back alley tailor shops. It will be a long war, because the Singha never has run out in the past.

staghounds said...

You beat me to H. M.'s birthplace!

Which of course makes him a U. S. citizen.

I say we hit him with back taxes, interest, and penalties.

Ed Foster said...

Like Tammy says, Gerry wins.

Also, I believe that passing around a copy of The Kind And I or Anna and the King of Siam is still a jailable offense in Thailand.

Does anybody know what happened to the kids the King supposedly had with Mrs. Leonowens?

Gewehr98 said...

Spent much time and money in Thailand, myself. I could be coerced into volunteering my services as scout for the upcoming recovery operation. No LBFMs for me this time, though. Massage w/Happy Ending? I'm ok with that!

LabRat said...

If it cheers you Tam, I had to bite my tongue to keep from bellowing "MILITARY INTERVENTION!!!" at my computer and scaring the hell out of the puppy.

He's still young enough not to just snort at me and go back to sleep when I do things like that, as the others do.

Anonymous said...

And in wierd trivia, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a huge bebop fan
who plays (played?) alto sax ("...Okay, your highness - I cut you
in two stanzas of Billies Bounce, and the guy walks. Deal?..")

Justthisguy said...

Gee, Tam, you sound a lot like that Jubal Harshaw fellow, pining for his country which no longer exists.

When USS Cole got holed, I quoted Daffy Duck. "I suppose you know; this means war." I would not have minded in the least throwing some shells into all of the government buildings in that port.

Matthew said...

...One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your ISP...

Chalkie said...

This guy typed this stuff up while he was living in Colorado. SCREW Thailand.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-thailand-american-20111209,0,607185.story

Don said...

For Anonymous Gerry: Been there, done that, got the (ahem) shots and the tattoo. '78, '80, '82.

Kristopher said...

Tam:

He is being punished for something he said while he was living in the US.

I think that maybe this roach DOES need to be stepped on.

Kristopher said...

Tam: I think the King's US citizenship became void the second he ascended to the throne.

Accepting a real patent of nobility ( as opposed to Lord of the Manor nonsense ), a government post, or an officer's commission from a foreign country is one of the few ways you can involuntarily lose your birthright US citizenship.

Drang said...

Who plays Captain Jerome this time?

Alas, our current CinC is the wrong kind of madman...

Anonymous said...

Tam, what have you done for this country that you can make such judgements? You don't even have a job. Oh teh arrogance

Cargosquid said...

Of course we could always tell THEM what we think.


Contact info: http://www.thaiembdc.org/AboutEmb/contact.aspx

1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW # 101 Washington, DC 20007-3681
(202) 944-3600

Justthisguy said...

Drang, my favorite scene in that movie is the assault on the palace. Not only that, but they were thoughtful enough to bring a band, so they could do it to live music. The sailors in the band looked like sailors really did in those days, with no way to press their uniforms. The Marines looked quite sharp, of course.

I am not making this up: WV is bandho. That's Band, Ho!, not band ho, of course. There is no money in being a band ho, of course; most bandsmen are too shy and nerdy to approach a ho.

J.R.Shirley said...

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. I like Thais a lot in general, but damn...

Grayson said...

Tam:
I feel compelled to throw in my 2 cents worth....

1) Here in Canada, the word 'wog' is an acronym (I think acronym is the correct term).
It's short for "With Out Guts". As in, "gutless".

2)If you call a Canadian citizen a wog, be prepared to fight. A lot.

3)I have never once met any Thai citizen (or former Thai) who in any way could be considered a 'wog'; they are universally polite, intelligent, hard working, decent people - who don't start trouble, but don't have a problem with dealing with trouble, either.
(In my experience, anyways.)

4)I, for one, truly appreciate your sense of humour; not to mention your weapons-grade snark. Don't EVER apoligise for it.

5)Do you think that the term, 'wog' could be considered a suitable synonym for 'politically correct arse kisser'?

6)I sometimes have the questionable habit of being tactlessly blunt when dealing with fools and wogs. I have found, however, that there really isn't a good, gentle, tactful way of telling a fool to go and bugger himself to death. I get much worse when under the influence of Guinness truth serum.

And THAT, of course, is why there is no hope whatsoever that I will ever be invited to the White House.

You, however, still have a good chance - because you're such a nice blogger! ;)

Alas, I must depart. Long day tomorrow, then POETS corner at the local watering hole.
Cheers!

Drang said...

Just This Guy: After I hit "Publish Your Comment" I went to YouTube to see about embedding that scene on my own blog. I know I got it there once upon a time--probably posted to AR15.com's WAHTF--but I couldn't find it. This makes me a sad panda. I have often said that the command "Prepare to storm the palace!" should be heard more often, preferably in a Mid-Western accent.

Shortly after Mrs. Drang and I began dating, I discovered that she, inexplicably, purchases the novelizations of movies. Including, you guessed it, The Wind And The Lion, by John Milius. Apparently, the Marines in that scene were played by US Marines in period uniforms, and the sailors were played by Spanish soldiers. Have you ever ehard the claims that all Armies "step off on the left", and always have? Not so, Milius had a hell of a time getting the Spaniards to stop stepping off on the right...

Tam said...

Anon 12:43,

You're funny! :)

Ed Foster said...

Drang, I'd have been tickled pink if Milius had been able to scare up enough Lee Navy Straightpulls to equip the boys, but the Long Tom Krags had a certain charm too.

Tam said...

I think that's next on my Do Want list: a full-length, non-sporterized Krag infantry rifle.

fast richard said...

I could never be a diplomat. The article quotes our counsel general as saying that we respect the laws of Thailand. I know diplomats have to say silly things sometimes, but I don't think I could keep a straight face while claiming to respect the concept of "lese majeste".

Tam said...

If the bit about him not even being in Thailand when the alleged crime occurred, then perhaps my post isn't a joke after all.

Hey, it's not a crime to call ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช a great big poopy head here in America, after all.

staghounds said...

"Yes I shot the bullet that killed him in Chattanooga. But I did it in Georgia, never been to Tennessee in my life."


Actually I assume Thailand asserts the same traditional criminal jurisdiction every U. S. state does- crimes committed here, or acts committed elsewhere which ave the results here.

Able said...

Not really applicable is it Staghounds? Murder in Georgia is still murder in Tennessee - illegal in both jurisdictions. Here what was an entirely legal act in the jurisdiction it occurred in, free speech, is being punished in another where it isn't. It's more equivalent to you being arrested on stepping off the plane at Heathrow for owning a handgun. Not acceptable in that case, is it?

Gewehr98 said...

"I think that's next on my Do Want list: a full-length, non-sporterized Krag infantry rifle."

Just finishing up a full restoration of an 1896 Krag infantry rifle here in Cheeseland. Pics will be up on my website eventually, but I'll set the Dirt Nap Property Distribution App to send it your way since there's no room for it when my ashes/Soylent Green get flung/consumed. ;-)

Sigivald said...

Kristopher: I wouldn't be so sure of that.

However, if he wanted to renounce his American citizenship as part of performing the duties of any office [...] under the government of a foreign state", he could.

It is not, however, automatic - it has to be matched with at least stated intent. Which he could state, and have accepted, the moment it was useful.

Nothing in the United States Code or the Constitution says that a foreign monarch can't also be an American citizen.

(It does say that officers of the US can't take noble titles, and that the US and states can't grant them, though.)

Kristopher said...

Sigivald: Exactly my point.

If you voluntarily take a commission or office from a foreign government ( that includes any noble title with actual government responsibilities, as opposed to name only titles ), the State Department will assume you have voluntarily renounced your citizenship.

The first paragraph makes it clear you have to voluntarily perform the act.

If the current King of Thailand had not voluntarily ascended the throne, he would still be a US citizen, regardless of being next in line by accident of birth.


That amendment in 1810 was promoted to beat on idiots that paid good money to get legal fiction noble titles.

STxRynn said...

This is like.... Free College! I learn so much hanging around the pickle barrel here.

staghounds said...

Able, no, you err. Firing a gun is a lawful act in georgia. That's all I did in Georgia, fired a gun. Sue- I meant to kill my enemy over the state line- but the impact and death happened in Tennessee.

Legal act in one jurisdiction, prohibited act in another. If Tennessee can get you, they will try you.

Justthisguy said...

Stag, I bet something like that has happened in Texarkana at least once. I wonder how they handled it there.

Grayson, there is a tactful way of telling a fool to go bugger himself, at least here in the South.

One says, "Why, bless your (his) heart!" Being a fool, he probably won't catch on until later, when it is explained to him. With any luck, you and he will be far apart from each other by then.

Able said...

Staghounds Hmm, I understand the allegory, and perhaps you're right, but it only goes so far. This isn't murder, this is someone taking offence. If what I say in a jurisdiction, where it is legal and acceptable to criticize those in authority, offends someone elsewhere, where such a statement is illegal and I can then be prosecuted for it - that way lies madness. Think of some of the regimes around the world and the laws they put in place to protect their delicate sensibilities. Justifying this case would justify preventing any criticism of such regimes (in case you ever get within their grasp, anyway).

staghounds said...

I'm not justifying the law.

I'm replying to the people who say that the fact that he made his illegal-in-Thailand post while in America should somehow exempt him from prosecution in Thailand.

Criminal jurisdiction exercised by the place where the harm is suffered is typical in the Anglo-American justice system.

The law may be one we dislike, but his prosecution for violating it should surprise no one.

Able said...

I concede that point, but (sorry there's always a but) it would appear (in my layman's opinion) that such reciprocity (for that is what does exist in the Anglo-American world) is based mostly (?) on the common cultural and legal framework. It would not be exercised in a situation where an action is illegal in one jurisdiction but not in another (at least I am not aware of such an instance).

This is particular relevance here in Britain with the still proposed 'European Arrest warrant' which would open citizens of one country to prosecution for crimes, just such as this, not committed in another country, but with the 'harm' allegedly occurring in that country.

Your (probably more informed) opinion?

TOR said...

The guy wasn't some stupid kid who accidentally said the wrong thing. He is a Thai naitive who knew full well what he was doing and made a choice, probably halfway looking for this to happen to drum up press.

If he was getting rail roaded on "espionage" charges by Iran or North Korea after they kidnapped him from a 3rd nation that would be another matter.
This is Thailand where you can do about whatever you want, except criticise the Monarchy.

Every 6 months some stupid hippy college student or christian missionary gets theirself in trouble in the middle east or Africa for breaking local laws. Americans need to realize other countries are not free and awesome like ours. If you plan to go to a 3rd world country then learn their rules and follow them.