22 February 2014
(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.)
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.
Published: 10 February 2014
This letter rendered in three languages: English, Thai, Dutch.
Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie
Laan Copes van Cattenburch 54
Utrecht, 30 January 2014
Dear Partyleader, Members of VVD and Friends of Thailand,
We write this letter to explain why millions of people take to streets to demand reforms before the next election, as reported daily on the news. However, many western media sources have been misguided and show a lack of understanding of the Thai political crisis.
The peaceful and non-violent protests began in October 2013, whose main goals are the eradication of the Thaksin authoritarian government and the legal and political reform, such as of the election and political party laws, before the free and fair election takes place.
On 9th December, 2013 the government was dissolved and an election was scheduled on 2nd February, 2014. The reason for the people to demand reform before election is because if the election were to take place the corrupt Pheu Thai Party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra who is backed by her brother, former PM Thanksin Shinawatra, would win the election again, largely as a result of vote buying and their populist policies.
9 February 2014
Kachin State, Burma
The Burma Army continues attacks in Nam Lim Pa area in their attempt to drive out the Kachin people and control this part of Kachin State.
The Burma Army continues its attacks with Burma Army Battalions 276 and 601, and other troops from Northern Command attacking between Nam Han, Nam Gau, Nam Lim Pa and Kong Run Villages, south of Bhamo, Kachin State, Burma. The attacks began on the morning of 30 January 2014, when Burma Army troops attacked Nam Gau Village, capturing over 20 villagers, merchants, truck drivers and trucks. They looted the village, destroyed and scattered the families’ belongings, taking captives and 24 trucks with over 100 tons of wood back to the area between Nam Han and Kong Run.
30 January 2014
Burma is in the midst of change and we want to report to you what is happening, both good and bad. We are grateful for those who have brought greater freedoms to Burma. We also want to stand with those who have not yet experienced those freedoms and are still under attack. Thank you for your prayers and support.
A summary of the situation as we see it now in January 2014
Good news and improvement in some areas:
1.Aung San Suu Kyi holds a position in parliament and she, along with others continue to work for more freedom, reforms and justice in Burma.
2.There are some in the government at higher levels who do want to change the constitution and establish reforms before the 2015 elections.
3.Many political prisoners have been released and there is greater political freedom.
4.Censorship and travel restrictions have been eased.
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.
28 January 2014
Published: August 31, 2005
Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.
On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.
Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.