[Buddha-l] Article on Thai propaganda version of how Buddhism cameto Thailand

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 27 22:41:12 MST 2011

> http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2010/08/19/cambodia-is-not-a-provin
> ce-of-thailand/

As interesting as this piece of historical revisionism seeking to revise 
prior revisionisms is, it would be a good idea to survey additional sources 
before adopting this version as an accurate narrative. To give only one 

"The original "Domino Theory" was presented in 1952, as a justification for 
the American military to occupy former French Colonies of Indochina as a 
barrier against Chinese Communism: the theory compares Communist influence 
to a game of dominoes, and was used to explain U.S. military involvement in 
Southeast Asia until 1973."

The dates and names make this look like it is presenting solid "facts." In 
1952 the Indo-China war was still entirely between the French and the 
Vietnamese. It was not until 1956 that Pres. Eisenhower sent Pentagon 
analysts (a grand total of four military personel were on the ground there 
in '56) there to write a report on whether it would be feasible for the US 
to pick up where the French left off, after the French withdrew (the 
justification would have been SEATO - Southeast Asian Treaty Organization, 
on the lines of NATO - not domino; domino theory didn't get traction until 
the 1960s, under Kennedy). The generals' report concluded that getting 
involved in Vietnam was not feasible, so, against protests from SEATO 
members, Eisenhower declined to commit combat troops. There were 600 
"advisors" on the ground when he left office in 1960. The buildup was under 
Kennedy (r. 1960-63) and Johnson (63-68), and then Nixon. This might seem a 
trivial objection, but similar "casualness" with facts, dates, etc. are 
found throughout the essay.

Its agenda displays a typical confusion. While blaming imperialism, it also 
shows how nationalistic myths as well as nationalistic consciousness are 
derived from the "imperialists," and then proceeds to chastize Thailand for 
having nationalistic impulses, while doing so in the name of promoting the 
competing nationalistic interests of Cambodians, etc. (decrying their lack 
of nationalistic voice in geo-political decisions). Cake and eat it too 
finger wagging. The world is messy. Pretending it consists of white-hats and 
black-hats obscures the messiness rather than clarifying it. Considering the 
neighborhood, I have trouble seeing Thailand as the main evil menace of the 


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