During Thailand’s political crisis in 2013-14, US Secretary of State John Kerry was a frequent commentator. After violence occurred in February, Kerry declared: “Violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences. We are also concerned by the employment of other tactics that undermine Thailand’s democratic values and processes.”
In the wake of the 2014 military coup, Kerry again did not mince words. “I am disappointed by the decision of the Thai military to suspend the constitution and take control of the government after a long period of political turmoil,” he said, “and there is no justification for this military coup.”
And so it was with a little surreality to read, a little under seven years later, a tweet (later deleted) from a spokesman at Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “I am saddened by the violence and the fatality that took place on the Capitol Hill today. I expect that law and order will prevail and the democratic transfer of power will proceed as expected.”
Words typically reserved for American diplomats counseling calm in developing countries have had to be used in reference to the United States itself.
That is stunning, to put it lightly.