Keeping an Eye on Thailand's Press: A Media Column Tracks Coverage and Commentary about the War in Iraq. (Coverage of War)

By Kaopatumtip, Songpol | Nieman Reports, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Keeping an Eye on Thailand's Press: A Media Column Tracks Coverage and Commentary about the War in Iraq. (Coverage of War)


Kaopatumtip, Songpol, Nieman Reports


Songpol Kaopatumtip, a 1987 Nieman Fellow, is editor of the Sunday Perspective section of the Bangkok Post and writes a column called "Eye on the Thai Press" for the Post's Web site. In his column, he tracks commentaries from Thai publications. He notes that "most of the commentaries were anti-American, and l got angry letters for presenting their views." The Thai media relied primarily on CNN and the BBC to follow news of the war, though many in the media complained about the domination of these Western news outlets; they accused CNN of being pro-American, while regarding BBC as more balanced. Some newspapers used Al Jazeera's English-language Web site and other Arab Web pages to offer differing perspectives of the war. All of the leading Thai-language newspapers took editorial positions against the war, as did the most influential columnists. Two of Kaopatumtip's media columns are reprinted below.

This column appeared on April 3, 2003.

"The Operation Iraqi Freedom has now turned into the Holocaust of the 21st Century," says the mass-circulation Thai Rath in its main front-page article this morning.

With fresh reports from Baghdad of the deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of U.S. troops, anti-war--and to some degree anti-American--feeling is growing among leading vernacular dailies. The opinion is reflected in front-page headlines, photos and commentaries by sharp-tongued columnists, many of whom believe the war is waged to allow the United States and United Kingdom to take over vast oil and gas reserves in Iraq.

Both Thai Rath and Matichon carry big photos of a weeping Iraqi man who lost 15 members of his family when his truck was bombed by U.S. helicopters while fleeing a town south of Baghdad on Monday. Matichon describes the scene as "heartbreaking," while Thai Rath proclaims, "This is ethnic cleansing."

In an equally strong editorial, Thai Rath says the United States and United Kingdom are likely to be trapped in a long and violent war, which was launched without the consent of the United Nations and is now condemned by people around the world. Expressing a similar view in Matichon, columnist Chalotorn says the photos of Iraqi children killed in the war have "seared the minds" of all peace-loving people. "Muslim people are now asking: Should we continue to pray while our brothers and sisters are killed?" writes the columnist.

Muslim people in southern Thailand are already boycotting U.S.-made goods, Chalotorn says, adding that Thais in other parts of the country should take action as well. In his opinion, the war will only benefit big U.S. companies with ties to the Bush administration. Lucrative contracts for the reconstruction of post-war Iraq have already been doled out to these firms, says Chalotorn. He specifically mentions an oil well firefighting contract granted to a subsidiary of Halliburton Company, once run by Vice President Dick Cheney. "This only proves that there is no morality in the minds of these profit-seeking people," concludes the columnist.

This column appeared on April 10, 2003.

Some foreign readers wonder why all the columnists, editorial writers, academics and ordinary people featured in this column are all against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. These readers, particularly American, believe the Bush administration is doing Iraqi people a favor by freeing them from the tyranny of President Saddam Hussein. "How can the peacemakers condone what this SOB has done to his people?" a reader wrote me on Tuesday. "He even executed his two sons-in-law." A few others believe Saddam is a threat to world peace. The Iraqi leader has weapons of mass destruction and supports anti-American terrorists, they say.

I respect their opinions. We may live in a globalized world, but there will always be a diversity of opinion. Do we have to hate each other because we do not share the same ideology, beliefs and ways of life?

These thoughts came to my mind as I read another hard-hitting article by popular columnist Plaew Si-ngern, who believes the attack on Iraq is in violation of international law, morally wrong, and serves the expansionist policy of U.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Keeping an Eye on Thailand's Press: A Media Column Tracks Coverage and Commentary about the War in Iraq. (Coverage of War)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.