This is the so-called slow season in Thailand, heat, monsoon storms and a dearth of tourists. All three are ok especially the last. Not that I have anything special against tourists, but with their declining numbers the prices decline as well. It also appears as though everyone has lost about 100 pounds. I guess it is good for the Thai environment if not so for the economy.
I plan to travel to Bangkok on Sunday to handle some business at the American Embassy and then I am off to Paradise in the Mountains for a few days. It seems as though Hayden is having some minor problems and since SWAC is not there, I will try to help out. I will probably return depressed.
Nothing on the Thai political front of note. Even “Red Shirt Gossip” network has been silent.
Not too far away, it looks like the “Great Game” is afoot again in the too many consonant Stans. For those who have not taken world history in a while, in the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th Centuries, Russia, Great Britain and China engaged in an extended game of “Spy vs. Spy” over control of the passes through the high mountains between north and south Asia, a portion of which was called the Hindu Kush. It seems they are at it again except the US has taken Great Britain’s place at the table.
The latest flare up on the road to Armageddon is in the what I call the lesser Stans, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Tajik ( As opposed to the Greater Stans. Afghan, Pak and Kazakh–I do not know whether Turkmen is a Greater or Lesser Stan).
Old Joe Stalin, the almost forgotten beloved “Uncle Joe,” did not have enough white Russians to resettle on this portion of the Russian Border to protect mother Russia from the Turk or whomever. Remember at this time 20 million or so of them were busy being slaughtered in the most recent Slavic-Teuton struggle over who would have the right to kill the jews in the Pale. So crafty old Uncle Joe took a large fertile valley, the only piece of land in the area worth anything since most of the rest was mountain. and gave it to the Uzbeks, except that the Uzbeks lived on the other-side of the mountains and the only way into the valley was through a very long narrow pass that that scamp Uncle Joe gave to the Tajik and to add to the hilarity of the situation, Joe the Comedian gave the foothills surrounding the valley to the Kyrgyz who although they could look down on the Uzbeks in their happy valley from their towns on the foothills they could not defend those same towns because they also lived on the other-side of the mountains from the valley on the side opposite the Uzbeks .
Now the USA , assuming the role of merry old England in the Greater Stans of Afghan and Pak (The role of winning the battles and ultimately losing the war) decides to put its supply bases in the land of the Kyrgyz over the mountains from Happy Valley and make many of the Kyrgyz rich. The Kyrgyz than take that money and begin a pogrom against the Uzbeks living in the foothills overlooking their brethren working their farms below. The new Kyrgyz government although gaining power through a nationalist revolution claims surprise at the continuing turmoil. They also need help to stop the pogrom before the Uzbeks decide to assist their oppressed cousins across the border.
What to do? What to do? They cannot ask the Americans because the Americans being the new English do not see the Lesser Stans as in their interest and it would piss off the Russians to wake up with the Anglo-americans acting on their turf so to speak, so they have asked the Russians for help. What happens next? Will China, with its already unhappy Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in its western provinces feel threatened? What the hell is everyone fighting for anyway? The great game was about trade routes. Is this all about mineral resources? Is it another man-thing? Stay tuned for as the world turns.
Meanwhile in the Greater Stans the Nato forces are engaged in a war of attrition to punish and retaliate against the ex Afghan government for allowing their country to shelter a tall skinny ex CIA operative lunatic on dialysis while he was plotting to send citizens of an ally of the US using funds obtained from that same ally to launch a terrorist attack on the US for the purpose of creating enough turmoil the US would respond as Russia did in the same area and destroy itself economically by spending too much money on war and the things of war.
Meanwhile,….. is it getting hotter or is it just me?……