By now you may know that there has been a coup in Thailand, the 17th since World War II. General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin made his move while Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was out of town, visiting Gotham for one of those occasional UN hootenannies that so effectively maintain idyllic peace and stability in the world (and do an even better job of reducing every thoroughfare east of Seventh Avenue to a state of total vehicular thrombosis for days on end).
Apparently Thaksin might have had it coming. According to Wikipedia (that most democratic of sources, where what’s true is up to you),
…his government has been frequently challenged with allegations of dictatorship, demagogy, corruption, conflicts of interest, human rights offences, acting undiplomatically, the use of legal loopholes and hostility towards a free press. A controversial leader, he has also been the target of numerous allegations of lèse-majesté, treason, usurping religious and royal authority, selling assets to international investors, religious desecration, and siding with gods of darkness.
Well, shucks, we have all that right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. (we even have the “gods of darkness”, in an undisclosed location), but we don’t have to go blundering around in tanks, frightening all the tourists. And even if Thaksin is a tyrannical, corrupt, demagogical, double-dealing, oppressive, tactless, conniving, traitorous, blaspheming, embezzling devil-worshipper, you can’t help feeling a little sorry for the guy. Not only did he have to cancel his speech, but I bet now he can’t even get into any of the good parties, let alone those VIP rooms you hear about, where all the real action is. I’ll bet he can’t even find a parking space.
Fortunately, the disenfranchised despot has a powerful ally – none other than the Secretary General himself, the puissant Kofi Annan, who immediately reassured us all that the majestic power of the United Nations would be brought to bear, as always, to preserve order.
“This is not a practice to be encouraged,” he announced.