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Afghanistan’s Taliban and the Thai Coup

24/10/2014

Matt.Owens.Rees; Thailand Writer

Just finished reading “An Intimate War” by Mike Martin.

There are some interesting and profound parallels between the western war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the way the political situation in Thailand is influenced by that country’s culture and way of life.

Martin, a career soldier, arrived in Helmand province in 2008, the only officer who spoke Pushtu, the native language. That was two years after the Thai military ousted the elected premier Taksin. The background to that, the cultural background, has not been adequately explained until now. And it is important.

Both countries have cultures and politics that appear strange and complicated to the way we think in the West. Martin gives illustrations that show how the internationally funded command misunderstood and misinterpreted what they were being told by those they had come to help in Afghanistan. Sometimes the western media, and indeed many foreigners living in Thailand…

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