Insulting the U.S. Ambassador: The Nation apologizes - August 11, 2007
The Nation printed an odd rant about the current and former U.S. ambassadors to Thailand. At the bottom of this page: Apology -
On August 6, we published a letter in the Letters to the Editor section
titled, "US used the coup as an excuse to end talks", which contained an
unjustifiable and totally unfair characterisation of American Ambassador to
Thailand Ralph Boyce and his predecessor, Darryl Norman Johnson. We
apologise for the lapse in editorial oversight that allowed this
inflammatory letter to run. Ambassador Boyce has always been recognised as a
diplomat of the highest professional integrity and a great friend of
Here's the offending letter originally on this page: US used the coup as an excuse to end talks
Re: "Americans stacking the deck led to collapse of Thai-US free-trade talks", Letters, August 1.
Prathip Gidrangsri pointed out that the obnoxious behaviour of two corrupt
American ambassadors to Thailand, Ralph Leo Boyce and Darryl Norman Johnson,
scuttled the proposed US-Thai Free Trade Agreement.In a letter on August 3, "Thais the big losers in trade disputes with US", Major Mark A Smith
(Retired) of Bangkok took issue with Mr Prathip and defended Boyce and
In a long letter, Smith tried to say that the Thais were wrong and the
Americans were right and that Thailand had lost a great opportunity.
The idea behind banning advertising of alcohol and tobacco products is to
protect youths. The Thais, in banning the advertising of alcohol and tobacco
products, are following the example of many other countries and Boyce, in
trying to get the local ban removed or reduced, was definitely going against
Thailand has at least one million people with Aids, close to 2 per cent or
more of the population. Thailand's decision to copy and distribute expensive
American anti-Aids drugs on its own was a natural response to a national
emergency. Johnson's attempt to stop the Thais ran counter to sound health
practice and disease control. Nobody demanded that the millions of tsunami
victims pay for help before they received it.
The ouster of the tyrannical Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup last year did not
inhibit the Japanese from signing a Thai-Japan FTA. Nor did it inhibit
Thailand's trade with China and India. Washington was embarrassed by the
behaviour of Boyce and Johnson. The coup in Thailand offered Washington,
which had very cosy dealings with Thaksin and was upset to see him go, an
excuse to break off FTA talks.
I should point out that the US rushed to sign a nuclear accord with India
recently, a country that never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
There was nothing reasonable in this and, indeed, no good explanation for
this conduct has been offered. One really doesn't need one. Greed and
corruption were the all too obvious motives.
Gen Amos T Halftrack
- The little people are corrupt
- Michael Ball recalls Man City ‘madness’: Thaksin Shinawatra gave us a team talk
- Domino fell the wrong way
- Helping the rice farmers
- Trump in Thai editorial cartoons
- Do you know how to live?
- Thailand caught in the middle
- Help out or win out?
- Words won’t stop the attack
- While keeping a votive tablet in the mouth
- Profiting from being military