May 21, 2006 1:07 am


I have blogged quite often about Thailand because it is one of the hottest Islamist battlezones. For example, Asia Times reported on September 24:

BANGKOK - Suspected Islamist insurgents avoided capture after torturing to death two Thai marines by beating and stabbing the bound-and-gagged victims behind a human shield of defiant Muslim women and children, horrifying the government and plunging southern Thailand into a fresh security crisis.

The NYT knows no shame and so refuses to see that there really is an multifront Islamist war that it misleads its readers.

In its report today it emphasized the killing of 5 more soldiers, downplayed the beheading of a villager, ignored both the Islamist ideology and the vicious record of the Thai insurgency putting blame on the Thai government:

The recent troubles began in January 2004 in Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani Provinces, where militants fought a low-level separatist war in the 1970's and 1980's.

The Thai government has flooded the region, where 80 percent of the people are ethnic Malays who are Muslims, with 30,000 troops and police officers. Their presence has angered many residents.

One may think the Thai government woke up one morning and decided to send 30,000 troops to annoy its Muslim citizens. The reality reported my Asia Time is very different:

Scores of Thai Muslim men are believed to have undergone guerrilla training or religious study in Afghanistan before the Taliban's collapse in 2001, and many returned to southern Thailand shunning the region's popular Sunni Islam - demanding instead the austere, retro-justice of Islam's Wahhabi sect, pushed by Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden.

Recent leaflets and word-of-mouth warnings in the south have called for all markets to shut on Fridays, Islam's traditional day of rest, or violators will be beheaded or have their ears chopped off. As a result, many businesses throughout the south have shut during the past several Fridays, either in fear or in sympathy.

A dozen people, mostly Buddhists, have been beheaded in seemingly random attacks in the south in a strategy" copied from the violence in Iraq", according to Thailand's Interior Minister Chidchai Vanasathidya.

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