I see Thaksin’s mouthpiece is currently pleading that his client should be “treated fairly” – given that he did not INCITE the “Red-Shirts” during Thailand’s recent troubles.
This may be true, however it does bring into focus an important issue – FREEDOM.
No matter what the rights and wrongs of Thaksin’s case (and that is a WHOLE different story) no-one would accuse the Thai millionaire businessman/politician of being STUPID.
Therefore, it follows that he MUST have known that by publicly urging the Red-Shirt demonstrators – and given the history of such demonstrations in Thailand in the past – DEATH AND DESTRUCTION would surely follow.
Which brings this writer to the point of this piece: freedom may be important – but it is less important than LIFE.
Let us take a couple of examples. A local council allows a known bigot to spout racist crap from a soap-box, in a predominantly immigrant area.
Now whilst they can defend their decision on the grounds of Free Speech – and claim that any adverse reaction is down to those who carry OUT those reactions – they know that the PRACTICAL result of their policy will result in death and destruction. At the very least, of said bigot.
Or how about this? A local newspaper hears of a demonstration and decides to COVER it. But they KNOW that by doing so, the demonstration will turn into a RIOT.
Of course, were the newspaper banned from covering the demonstration, they would immediately start screaming about PRESS freedom.
However, both of these cases raise an important point. While it is fine for an INDIVIDUAL to lay his life on the line for the principle of Freedom, when an organisation or individual promotes OTHERS to do so – you have a different situation.
The thing is, people are easily incited to violence – and anyone who exploits that is guilty of the losses that result from it.
Oh, perhaps not LEGALLY – but definitely MORALLY.
If I drive drunk and kill someone, I am guilty of manslaughter – even though I did not INTEND to hurt anyone.
If I construct a building with sub-standard materials and it collapses…
There are many other examples – but all of them turn on the same point. I committed an act which I could REASONABLY EXPECT would result in people’s DEATHS. In many instances, this point alone qualifies as LEGAL responsibility.
But ANYONE who does that should at least be held accountable MORALLY – and NOT be able to hide behind the PRINCIPLE of FREEDOM.
With Freedom MUST come Responsibility.
And Thaksin must have KNOWN that – but chose to IGNORE it, favouring his OWN INTERESTS.
Therefore, his lawyer can go F*** himself!