Hate Mail & Other Letters

Unloved? Hilary features in Hate Mail & Other Letters
Unloved? Hilary features in Hate Mail & Other Letters

ASIAWATCH — Hate Mail is an occasional series by AsiaWATCH which publishes letters to the editor and online comment that elucidates and too often says more about the letter writer than what was originally published.

Spectrum magazine, published in the Sunday Bangkok Post witnessed no shortage of comment in response to an article headlined: Deadly Army Discipline which told the tragic story of a raw recruit who entered the Thai military for service and never came home.

The Narathiwat Ratchanakarin army camp, where Songkhla native Wichen Puaksom served time as a conscript, sent soldiers to his funeral, asking if they could cover his coffin with the national flag, but the family refused.

His family says the flag draped over Wichen’s coffin cannot disguise the atrocity which he suffered at the hands of the state. They say Wichen was beaten to death in a form of institutionalized torture condoned by army top brass to drum “discipline” into errant troops. Such treatment is known as repairing.

Gregory M Thomas summed up the feelings when of many when he wrote: “This is an absolutely disgusting story about ‘repairing’ in Thailand”. Mick S added: Army conscript beaten to death. And top brass won’t say how many have already died. Meanwhile Andrew Buncombe added: “Thai army recruit beaten to death by so-called comrades, shocking investigation.”

To read more: Spectrum

In Time Magazine, Helen Clark has written how tensions between Vietnam and China have risen higher than they’ve been in years, due to a series of incidents in the South China Sea, an area believed by both nations to be rich in oil and gas as well as home to important global shipping routes.

The pro-Chinese did not appreciate the story, as one noted: “You foreigners know nothing about China or Chinese people. Can you tell the recent 100 years of Chinese history? Have you ever lived in Chinese for 1 year? If not, shut up! You just make judgment following what the governments or the government-controlling newspapers said. Then you think Chinese people are evil.”

To read more: Time

Similar response were received by The Diplomat which published a piece on the recent Asean summit and lent some rare praise to the United States and their Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for taking a stand on moral issues which other countries had shied away from.

Duke Chan was impressed: “Vietnamese people should thank Hillary for her work against China’s aggression in its east sea. This job is for Vietnamese government but they have been silent since they have been bought by China. Too bad for their country.”

However, Overseas Chinese was less than impressed wrote: “A technically bankrupt nation still manages to muster its remnant energy to seemingly roam the international diplomatic arena trying to talk tough is actually engaging in empty vessel talks. Chinese would be really happy to just sit tight & wear this evil monster out to its eventual economic death. Without a vibrant economy to support its mischief, all those so-called sophisticated military hardware will quickly turn into scrap metal.

“Would love to fathom what would have become of the US, or its string of lap-dogs, when the death knell finally comes knocking? Chinese would again just sit tight & let the Islamist Arabs, the Bolivar revolutionaries in Latin America & all those ill-fated people whom the US/west had done ill in the previous centuries to finally have their feast on the skeletal remains of this failed once hegemon. Bravo to the dawn of a new world order!”

To read more: The Diplomat

Hatemail is happy to accept contributions from journalists or prominent bloggers which is published at our discretion. Please send to [email protected] and include a link to your story. AsiaWATCH will not publish libelous material.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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