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Thai jingoists: let's seize Angkor Wat

Bangkok media mogul agitates for war with Cambodia
Thai winn sondhi 2011 02 10Enlarge
Sondhi Limthongkul (AFP/GETTY)

Though the Thai-Cambodian border conflict is momentarily cooling, both nations' forces remain entrenched with thousands of machine guns, artillery cannons and RPGs pointed at one another.

Not good enough, says Sondhi Limthongkul, co-leader of a Thai Patriots Network.

In a speech to supporters, he said Thai troops should seize Angkor Wat, Cambodia's most iconic temple, and several surrounding provinces.

Then, with China as a mediator, Thailand would talk Cambodian forces into accepting its terms and fleeing the disputed border, he said.

Now, I'm not a military strategist. But armed invasion and occupation, and the bloodshed that would ensue, seems an awfully high price to pay to regain less than two miles of scrubby land.

Sondhi is a media mogul and owner of ASTV, a satellite news network known for whipping up nationalist causes. Sondhi is also one of the best known leader of the Yellow Shirts, a street faction that seized the prime minister's compound and both Bangkok airports in 2008 to help drive out the government.

The unrest was covered around the clock by -- you guessed it -- ASTV.

This Thai-Cambodia flare-up has been covered around the clock by -- you guessed it -- ASTV.

Reminds me of America's own "yellow journalist," William Randolph Hearst, whose sensationalism was blamed by some for instigating the Spanish-American war.I can't peer into Sondhi's soul. But he's sure keen to egg on conflicts that generate a lot of viewers for his media empire.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/china-and-its-neighbors/thai-jingoists-lets-seize-angkor-wat

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