Michael's Dispatches

Michael's Dispatches

US threatens to cut $10 million aid to Thailand (not a joke)

10310957 10152149086570665 8928350597989348957 nUS Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney

23 May 2014

[Taken from Michael Yon's Facebook page]

This is like threatening to trim a single hair off an elephant. Thailand will not notice that $10m any more than Florida would miss a cloud in the sky.

More important is the silly posturing by the United States Government, threatening Thailand, along with what might be the most idiotic US Ambassador ever, anywhere.

Read more: US threatens to cut $10 million aid to Thailand (not a joke)

Andrew MacGregor Marshall, Former Journalist.

05 May 2014

image011Andrew Marshall.

Over the years an unwelcome retinue of stalkers appeared at my heels.  Only a few stand out.  Just why I suffer from stalkers is a mystery: I am no Brad Pitt or Justin Bieber.

My latest stalker is Mr. Andrew MacGregor Marshall.  This former Reuters bureau chief is infamous in Thailand for maligning the Thai Royal Family, his combative and insulting misconduct on social media, and his infatuation with prostitution.

Writing such a dispatch as this is a displeasurable experience.  It feels like dirty work.  Something that causes one to wash hands and the keyboard after it is finished.  The subject is what it is.

Read more: Andrew MacGregor Marshall, Former Journalist.

ผู้ชุมนุมไทยรุนแรงหรือไม่?

20 April 2014

IMGM4383ผู้ร่วมอยู่ในเหตุการณ์เมื่อวันที่26ธันวาคา2556 ที่ดินแดง กรุงเทพฯ

คำถามนั้นตรงไปตรงมาแต่คำตอบไม่เป็นเช่นนั้นสิ่งแรกเราต้องจำแนกผู้เข้าร่วมหลักๆเสียก่อนในงานเขียนชิ้นนี้เราจะพิจารณาผู้ชุมนุมที่เรียกว่ามวลชนนกหวีดส่วนเสื้อแดงนั้นเราจะวิเคราะห์ในงานอีกชิ้นหนึ่ง

Read more: ผู้ชุมนุมไทยรุนแรงหรือไม่?

Anatomy of Current Thai Protests

27 April 2014

To understand this dispatch in context, please read the previous dispatches:

Are Thai Protestors Violent?

Whistleblowers: A Meta Organization

We begin:

IMG 1867PDRC members after a deadly grenade attack on a PDRC march. The grenade landed near PRDC leader Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban. Security told Mr. Suthep to get in a car to be whisked away, but he refused to leave and continued marching.

A smaller Whistle Blowing ally of PDRC is Kor Por Tor:  KPT is the Student and People Alliance for the Reform of Thailand.  Various groups have both English and Thai names and acronyms.  In English language newspapers, KPT is often called NSPRT.

KPT has separate leadership and methods, but they ally with PDRC.  KPT also allies with aggrieved rice farmers due to their common goals.  KPT is the only pro-reform group willing to wage open battle.

Read more: Anatomy of Current Thai Protests

Whistleblowers: a Meta-Organization

22 April 2014

IMG 1989PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban: PDRC crowds are easy to spot by the whistles and Thai flags.

To understand this dispatch in context, please read the previous dispatch:

Are Thai Protestors Violent?

We begin:

PAD and UDD crowds are easy to spot: PAD = Yellow Shirts.  UDD = Red Shirts.

Yellow is the King’s color.  PAD is strongly pro-Monarchy.  UDD leadership is sharply anti-Monarchy, though many individual Red Shirts do love the Monarchy.

Again, Yellow Shirt and Red Shirt gatherings are easy to spot: large numbers of people wear Yellow or Red shirts.  It can be that simple.

Read more: Whistleblowers: a Meta-Organization

Are Thai Protestors Violent?

20 April 2014

IMGM4383Witness to the 26 December 2013 fighting, Din Daeng, Bangkok

The question is straightforward but the answer is not.  First, we must delineate the main participants. This dispatch will primarily discuss the Thai protestors known as "Whistleblowers."  The Red Shirts will be analyzed in a separate piece.

Read more: Are Thai Protestors Violent?

French Facing IEDs in Mali, Africa

31 March 2014

This French military document is in French language.  The images are easy enough to understand.

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Military Options for Ukraine

28 March 2014

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The Red Barbarian is massing on the Ukrainian border.  A hundred thousand Russian troops are said to be preparing to invade Ukraine.  Russians can easily prevail against the tiny Ukrainian military if Ukrainians stand their ground.  But a larger guerrilla war can be another story.  We easily beat back the Iraqi Army and masses of Taliban, only to face long, bloody guerrilla wars.

Read more: Military Options for Ukraine

French Facing Improvised Weapons in Mali

28 March 2014

This document is in French, but the photographs are in English, and all languages.

1395863738344-1

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French Army information about Mali suicide attacks

27 March 2014

WARNING: Very graphic.

Text is in French:

1395862806617-2

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ความวุ่นวายในไทย: ข้อสังเกตและความคิดบางประการ

ตอนที่1 จากประมาณ10 ตอน

นำแสดงโดย:อภิสิทธิ์, ท่านพุทธอิสระ, หมอทำนายชาวพม่า, ประชาธิปัตย์, นักข่าวที่ดีและที่ไม่ดี, คปท., ชายชุดดำ, กปปส., พรรคเพื่อไทย, สันติอโศก, สาธิตเซกัล, สุเทพ, กองทัพบกไทย, ตำรวจไทย, เอกอัครราชทูตอเมริกาคริสตี้เคนนี่, เสื้อเหลือง, ยิ่งลักษณ์, คุณ

image001อภิสิทธิ์ ปฏิเสธการนิรโทษกรรม ในขณะที่ต้องหาคดีฆ่า 12 ศพ

อภิสิทธิ์เวชชาชีวะอดีตนายกรัฐมนตรีของไทย

มีความเข้าใจผิดว่าคุณอภิสิทธิ์กับผมเป็นเพื่อนที่เล่นกอล์ฟด้วยกันเพื่อนเก่าที่สนิทกันมานานสิ่งนี้ยังผลให้เกิดข่าวลือความจริงเกี่ยวกับความสัมพันธ์ของเราคือผมใช้เวลาเดินทางกับเขาหนึ่งครั้งจากหาดใหญ่ในปี2553 หลังจากที่การต่อสู้อย่างรุนแรงในกรุงเทพฯเพิ่งเกิดขึ้นหลังจากนั้นเมื่อหนังสือของเขา "The Simple Truth" ได้ตีพิมพ์สองหน้าหลังได้เขียนเกี่ยวกับผมผมได้อนุญาตให้ใช้งานในเฟซบุ๊คผมในหน้าเหล่านั้นเป็นการกล่าวแบบปกติว่าข้อหาฆ่าผู้อื่นที่คุณอภิสิทธิ์และรองนายกฯในขณะนั้น,คุณสุุเทพเทือกสุบรรณ, โดนกล่าวหานั้นไม่เป็นธรรมและไม่ยุติธรรม

ในช่วงสองสามสัปดาห์นี้เราได้คุยกันแบบส่วนตัวเป็นเวลารวมประมาณ3 ชั่วโมง

Read more: ความวุ่นวายในไทย: ข้อสังเกตและความคิดบางประการ

Thai Turmoil: Some observations and thoughts

Part 1 of about 10

20 March 2014

Starring: Abhisit, Buddha Issara, Burmese Fortune Teller, Democrats, Farmers, Journalists good and bad, KPT, Men in Black, PDRC, Puea Thai Party, Santi Asoke, Satish Sehgal Suthep, Thai Army, Thai Police, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney, Yellow Shirts, Yingluck, You

image001Abhisit refused amnesty on 12 murder charges

Abhisit Vejjajiva is a former Prime Minister of Thailand.

There is a misconception that Abhisit and I are golf buddies, old pals who go way back.  This is the result of propaganda.  The truth of our relationship is that I took one trip with him to Hat Yai in 2010, just after the intense fighting in Bangkok.  Later when his book The Simple Truth was published, the final two pages were written by me.  Those pages were taken with my permission from Facebook, simply stating that the murder charges against him and his Deputy Prime Minister at the time, Suthep Thaugsuban, are bogus and unjust.

Read more: Thai Turmoil: Some observations and thoughts

What’s So Civil About War Anyway

Published: 23 February 2014

208201805-Michael-Yon-Perspective-1

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A Simple Man scores a Major Win

22 February 2014

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(It has been a long day, and tomorrow comes early. I rush to write these words with a single pass and no edit. Please forgive me.)

We begin:

This is a difficult struggle to overthrow an enormously corrupt Thai government. The struggle is marked by a series of independent victories.

This afternoon I spent more than two hours with a well-known retired general discussing the matter, and then I spent more than three hours with farmers. All agree that Yingluck's days are growing shorter.

One farmer is Ravee Roongraung. Khun Ravee is a rice farmer from Petchaburi. Khun Ravee has risen to the occasion to lead farmers from seven provinces to demand payment for their stolen rice.

Read more: A Simple Man scores a Major Win

General Menard in Jail for "Gun Running"

30 January 2014

This is the Canadian Brigadier General that I wrote should be fired for incompetence in Afghanistan. This caused me no end of troubles but was worth it. My work directly resulted in Menard's firing and he departed the Army.

And now he is in jail in Afghanistan. Maybe he has been set up -- I have no idea. But I do hope that he is released from the Afghan jail and sent home in good sorts.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/29/former_canadian_brigadiergeneral_daniel_menard_in_afghan_jail.html

US Embassy Bangkok: US Soldier Running Rogue Operation?

img001CJ Grisham was arrested in Texas a second time this past November for criminal trespass.

18 December 2013

A troubled US Army Soldier claimed to be assigned to the US Embassy in Bangkok for an unknown purpose.

The active duty counterintelligence soldier, who has a Top Secret clearance, is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.  Until recently, when I alerted the Army of a possible rogue operation, the counterintelligence sergeant listed his duty station as the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

The soldier has never been stationed in Thailand.  There is no evidence that he has ever visited Thailand.

Read more: US Embassy Bangkok: US Soldier Running Rogue Operation?

Not a Crosswalk

image001Aleppo, Syria

09 December 2013

The Syrian war is growing.  Growing in size and complexity.

Yet the more one learns about this conflict, the less accurate it becomes to call it “The Syrian War.”  Thousands of foreigners have flooded in.  Some are moving through southern Turkey today.  Just this weekend Jihadist hardliners seized yet another town on the Turkish border, ten minutes drive from a Turkish town.  Barbarians are at the gate, and the gate is wide open.

As these words are written, foreigners are fighting inside and creating international contacts that will transcend this place and time.

Read more: Not a Crosswalk

Afghanistan: Talking Points US Troops

08 December 2013

image001

Many of our Soldiers in Afghanistan are required to carry this paper in a pocket at all times.  Troops are expected to memorize the talking points and cough them up to any journalists coming through.

We decided to help headquarters spread their message.

Many complaints about poor morale are coming from Afghanistan.  Most troops are kept on base, where they undergo mindless inspections and even small ‘parades’, and of course rocket and mortar strikes.

Read more: Afghanistan: Talking Points US Troops

Thailand: Pause on Fighting for King's Birthday

04 December 2013

I am in Turkey to study the Syrian civil war.  Yet this is also a crucial moment in Thailand.  A few words on the Kingdom are due.

December 5 is His Majesty's birthday. As an American, I was raised since birth to reject all kings. That is our upbringing and what we are taught in school, and with good reason.

The King of Thailand is a rare exception.

Read more: Thailand: Pause on Fighting for King's Birthday

Al Qaeda in Syria: A Snapshot

1 December 2013

image001

Given by Kawa Khalil, annotated by Michael Yon

The Syrian rebel Kawa Khalil told me the recent story of the Holy Cross church.

Before the war, the church doubled as a school, attended by Muslims and Christians.  After the destruction of Syria began, classrooms became homes for refugees.

On 27 October, the Holy Cross Armenian Orthodox Church was burned in Tal Abyad, Raqqa, Syria.

Read more: Al Qaeda in Syria: A Snapshot

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