|Celebrating A Killing|
|MAN is shot in the head, and
joyous celebrations break
out 7,000 miles A away.
Although Americans are in
full agreement that the
demise of Osama bin Laden is a good
thing, many are disturbed by the revelry.
We should seek justice, not
vengeance, they urge. Doesn´t this lower
us to "their" level? Didn´t the Rev Dr
Martin Luther King Jr say, "I will
mourn the loss of thousands of precious
lives, but I will not rejoice in the death
of one, not even an enemy"? (No, he did
not, but the Twitter users who popularised
that misattributed quotation last
week found it inspiring nonetheless.)
Why are so many Americans...|
|THE FORCE OF
|WATCHING the talk
shows, thinking about
the tumultuous last
reflecting on the death
of Osama bin Laden, I feel grateful
for many things but not least this:
the invisibility of the heroes.
For once it is the deed itself that
speaks. The deed, so often lost in
this age of celebrities and reality
shows and Donald Trump´s monumental
ego, stands unadorned. In
its daring, its professionalism and
its effectiveness, the deed is there,
making words look cheap.
The deed was that of the 79 US
commandos, who have met with
President Obama, and who are
known to one another, but are
unknown to us. For secrecy is their
Dispatched from Jalalabad,
Opposition leader attacked in Thailand
BANGKOK A THAI opposition politician close to fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra was shot in an attack that the government said on Wednesday appeared to be politically-motivated with an election looming.
Pracha Prasopdee, a lawmaker with the opposition Puea Thai party until the lower house was dissolved this week, was hospitalised after being shot in the back late Tuesday in Samut Prakan in the outskirts of Bangkok.
The attack came as Thailand gears up for what is expected to be a closely fought general election set for July 3, the first since political violence erupted in Bangkok last year, leaving about 90 people dead.
“Pracha is convinced that there is a political motive behind the attack,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters after visiting the wounded politician in hospital.
Abhisit said he had instructed the national police chief to ensure the security of all parliamentary candidates.
His deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban said he assumed the attack was linked to politics.
Police said Pracha was shot by a gunman on a motorcycle while driving his car.
His injury was not thought to be life-threatening.
Thailand’s election commission expressed concern about safety after the latest attack.
“We have drawn up strict security measures and will take precautions, especially for political candidates,” its secretary-general Sutthipol Thaweechaikan said at the signing of a code of conduct by political parties.
Puea Thai spokesman Jirayu Houngsub said that Pracha had intended to run for re-election in the upcoming vote.
The politician is a staunch supporter of Thaksin and has visited the telecoms tycoon-turned-premier overseas where he lives in self-imposed exile.
The polls are expected to be a close race between Abhisit’s elite-backed Democrats and allies of Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail term for graft but is seen as the de facto opposition leader.
Abhisit’s party is Thailand’s oldest with a support base in Bangkok and the south, but it has not won a general election in nearly two decades.
Thai society remains deeply split a year after mass demonstrations by the opposition “Red Shirt” protest movement sparked a series of clashes between protesters and armed troops in the heart of Bangkok a year ago.
It was the worst political violence in decades, and the International Crisis Group think-tank warned last month that the election could bring fresh violence.
One local politician was killed and two others seriously injured in three separate attacks on March 2, 2011.
Puea Thai, which is particularly strong in the rural north and northeast, has not yet announced its candidate for prime minister, although Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra has been considered a top contender.
Parties linked to Thaksin have won the most seats in the past four elections, but the former tycoon was toppled in a 2006 coup and court rulings reversed the results of the last two polls.
Abhisit took office in a 2008 parliamentary vote after a court threw out the previous administration, and he is accused by his foes of being an unelected puppet of the military and the establishment.