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

Jo jkirk at spro.net
Mon Nov 28 16:12:16 MST 2011

I noticed some of these issues and should have cut the article off where he
attacks the propaganda about the Buddha bringing Buddhism to Thailand.
That's the part that interested me. 
Chalk the additional rest up to being too tired before posting it. Sorry
about that.

 I also was annoyed by his evident favoring of Cambodia, a country that just
might be even more corrupt than Thailand, but again that's not a
documentable assertion on my time-table.
What is your source for the domino dates?


On Behalf Of Dan Lusthaus
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 10:41 PM


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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