White Paper: The Bangkok Massacres - A Call for Accountability - robertamsterdam,com, July 22, 2010
[This is the latest initiative from Thaksin and his lobbyist Robert Amsterdam. It actually is quite well thought out as it seeks to harmonize the issues of Thaksin and his desired pardon with the Red Shirt protests and violence.
The problems inherent in explaining the events of 2010 are, if Thaksin has nothing to do with paying for and controlling the Red Shirt movement, why would he pay for a lawyer to lobby internationally for them? And, how can the plight of Thaksin and the Red Shirts be explained in such a way that it does not look like the Red Shirts are merely acting for the goals of Thaksin?
The way this is reconciled is to position both Thaksin and the Red Shirts as common victims of unfairness. According to the white paper, this unfairness is being perpetrated by the "aristocracy" in the name of protecting the King. However, according to the paper, is really to protect the aristocracies' own interests.
The report is classic lobbying--an attempt to redefine and reposition actors in the situation to the benefit of a client. This is the danger for the government. While Amsterdam is not likely to be able to bring about a government collapse or pardon for Thaksin, he could be successful in painting the government as an unfair "junta" (Amsterdam has been very successful in doing this to Russia).
Considering how tone-deaf Thai governments are to international opinion (not to mention hopeless at explaining themselves) and the real level of extra-judicial violence that undoubtedly did go on, there is a real danger that the Thai image could be negatively impacted by a continued assault.]