What are US marines doing eating scorpions, lizards, frogs and drinking a cobra’s blood? I understand this is part of the jungle survival techniques. They are part of the ‘Cobra Gold 2010’ joint military exercise with Thailand to help keep peace within that country.
Assuming that there is some sort of turmoil or civil unrest, most protest movements prefer to be visible in urban areas where they can reach the authorities. If there are insurgent movements in hiding, then US Marines might not take too long to spot them. They are not likely to have a face-to-face combat.
The presence of these troops came about with Thailand agreeing to fight the US ‘War Against Terror’. The problems Thailand faces are from the South, with the Malay Muslims and from Cambodia. There were earlier some noises about how bandits were being called insurgents. This ‘unrest’ can indeed be problematic, but is it possibly a result of the increasing use of outside forces that act as saviours?
These pictures are, however, disturbing because they create the impression of a society that in all probability indulges in such survival tactics on a regular basis and is therefore backward. Soldiers are rarely in a position where they need to subsist in this manner even when there is an active war on or they are in bunkers. Whatever happened to canned beans?
I am no authority on Thailand, but this much I know is that it is a culturally rich country, a kingdom to be technically correct. Unfortunately, it has been marketed in a different manner, with Bangkok and Phuket seen as sex cities. There is a thriving industry of commercial sex, as there is in any society. There is open display of strip clubs, but then they are there in Amsterdam and Hamburg and anywhere else in the world as well. As for the Thai massage, why does it produce sniggers when the Swiss or Kerala massage does not? Whose fault is it that there is no American or British massage culture?
Perhaps they are so accustomed to being colonisers and pampered that they have not been able to grasp the intricacies of making others feel good.
Oh, yes, there is no Islamic massage either. But no mea culpa from me for that!