Thai generals past and present have joined together to mock US General Mark Milley for apologising to the public for taking part in a photo opportunity with US President Donald Trump and for saying that the military should serve the people.
General Milley appeared in Lafayette Square last week with President Trump for a photo-op at the height of the Black Lives Movement sparking a national conversation in the United States about the role of the military and its relationship with the civilian sector.
“I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” said General Milley in a speech on Thursday. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I’ve learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”
“We who were the cloth of our nation come from the people of our nation. And we must hold dear the principle of an apolitical military that is so deeply rooted in the very essence of our republic.”
General Mark Milley apologizes for taking part in Trump’s Bible photo op outside the White House: “I should not have been there…It was a mistake.” pic.twitter.com/h8PIunEOCP— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 11, 2020
The speech has since gone viral not just in the United States but around the world as an example of accountability and trust for civilian control of the military. In Thailand, the speech has met a decidedly different response.
“What a fucking ridiculous statement,” said Prime Minister, General, Coup-maker, Junta-head, Prayut Chan-ocha. “What a pussy.”
“I don’t understand what he means when he said ‘apolitical military,’ is that really a thing,” said former coup leader, Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
Anupong Paochinda, responsible for a crackdown on civilians that left at least 90 people dead on the streets of Bangkok and now Ministry of the Interior, told reporters that apologizing was a sign of weakness.
“A general never apologise, what weakness is this. We do not owe citizens anything, they owe us,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and General Prawit Wongsuwan could not be contacted, he was probably asleep.