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US threatens to cut $10 million aid to Thailand (not a joke)

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US Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney

23 May 2014

[Taken from Michael Yon’s Facebook page]

This is like threatening to trim a single hair off an elephant. Thailand will not notice that $10m any more than Florida would miss a cloud in the sky.

More important is the silly posturing by the United States Government, threatening Thailand, along with what might be the most idiotic US Ambassador ever, anywhere.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney has unilaterally alienated millions of otherwise friendly Thai citizens. She makes us look like buffoons with her daily tweets, childish videos, selfies, and missives with jewels such as describing how she woke up late.

Folks who have followed my work for many years already know that my outlandish claims today end up being truth a few years down the road. Please take this not as a caution, but as a Warning: The United States Government — using Ambassador Kenney as its point-person — is severely damaging relations with Thailand. You might not see it yet, but I surely do. I deal with many of the top people in this country, and spend time every day with average people. They are angry. And they are right.

Please remember when I was writing from Afghanistan in 2006 that the war was being lost and practically nobody believed it — but I saw it clearly from the ground. A good friend at CIA, with much Afghan experience, immediately rebuked me after seeing me on televisions saying we were losing Afghanistan. Even the CIA could not see it for what it was. The Brits and Canadians were no better.

My fingers are on the pulse in Thailand even more than they were in Afghanistan. Thailand is becoming primed to turn its back on the United States.

Thailand is suffering severe internal problems now that the US Government does not understand even in general terms.

A friend of mine — a powerful person in Thailand — met with the senior CIA person at the Embassy, and after the meeting that day, I asked how much she (CIA lady) actually knows about the situation, on a 1-10 scale. My friend said the CIA lady rated about a 5.

Now, keep in mind that just days ago the USG published that it does not expect a coup d’état, and not 48 hours later there was a coup d’état. Yesterday.

Our CIA is clueless. Our Department of State is clueless. Our Ambassador sided with a criminal regime, and behaves like a bimbo whose calling was Hollywood.

But do not take my word for it. Web search for Kristie Kenney Twitter, and Kristie Kenney Instagram, and go to YouTube and web search for US Embassy Thailand videos. You will be appalled at how we are being represented, and how condescending our government is to Thailand.

$10 million. Right. This is a hair on the elephant’s backside, but it angers the elephant when we slap it.

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Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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