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The boys are at it again

  • MADMAC

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    #1 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 13:50

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  • slapbreeya

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    haha reminds me of me and my brother when we were younger.

    #2 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 14:11

  • MADMAC

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    On a bigger scale with more permanent effects.

    #3 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 14:19

  • sayadian

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    It's about time Thailand grew up and stopped trying to divert attention from its own internal political divisions by bullying a small, poor nation like Cambodia.Best picture I've seen of this conflict was in Phnom Penh Post showing a couple of kids with ak's holding half a dozen of Thailand's 'elite' Rangers prisoner when they tried to patrol in Cambodian territory.I don't think the Thais have got the balls to take on Cambodia as Vietnam is watching in the background and has a lot of 'interests' in Cambodia.

    #4 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 16:03

  • sayadian

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    and the Thais using cluster bombs in a civilian populated area is reprehensible

    #5 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 16:05

  • Thomas922

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    This will never be resolved without outside pressure and possibly troops. The people of Thailand are convinced that the temple was stolen away from them. Thais/Laotians/Cambodians.........all kissing cousins. Now go tell them that and see what they say haha!

    #6 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 16:30

  • MADMAC

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    Sayadian
    Exactly what kind of munitions do you think would be good to use in populated areas? Cluster munitions are effective anti-personnel munitions. HE is too - and it's hell on buildings as well. Then there's willy pete, but I'm not sure you want them using that in populated areas. Let's face it, fighting in populated areas is ugly business. There is no "responsible way" to do that.

    And don't believe the hype. Good armies come from:

    1. Good training.
    2. Good weaponry.
    3. Adequate resources.

    It's not a magic formula. The Thais have more of all of these things. Obviously Thailand is not going to invade Cambodia and try and occupy it. But as border clashes go, the Thais are holding all the major cards militarily.

    #7 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 18:01

  • sayadian

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    Madmac
    The UK along with 100 other nations has banned the use of cluster bombs.
    They are responsible for a lot of civilian deaths.
    And don't you believe the Thai hype.The old guys up there in Preah Vehar are veterans of the Khmer Rouge and have seen combat, unlike the Thai army which hasn't fought since....
    BTW Seems you guys had the weapons and resources in Vietnam but you still got a beating from a inferior force. I'll leave training out of it because I've yet to be convinced the U.S. is capable of teaching discipline to its forces.

    #8 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 20:29

  • MADMAC

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    Sayadian
    I was a professional soldier for 27 years and served five years in the German Army as well. I also deployed with the US Army eight times. Perhaps I know a little bit about this subject.

    The NVA / VC lost, according to the communist government in Hanoi, some 1,100,000 soldiers killed in action fighting the US Army and the ARVN. The US lost 58,000 KIA. When US units engaged the NVA they invariably administered a severe beating to them. This wasn't because the NVA was a bad army or its soldiers poorly trained. It was a well trained force and reasonably well resourced (by China and the Soviets). But it fielded inferior equipment, had no meaningful air power, and used mortars vice artillery (except in Laos and near the DMZ). We had superior artillery, a large and effective air force, and plenty of resources. The NVA never was able to seize and hold ground. The war wasn't lost militarily. The war was lost because to win it, all the Dong had to do was keep a force in being. They recognized full well they didn't have to win anything and eventually we'd tire of it and quit. This is also how we beat the British in our Revolution. You were always going to be able to send large, superior armies, but eventually you just tired of it all and quit. This is how almost all of the anti-colonial forces were successful.

    As for discipline - have you ever served in the US Army? Maybe the Army you were in was different from the one I was in, but the one I served in was an exceptionally disciplined force, like just about all other professional armies are. Don't be influenced by hollywood so much. And keep in mind, a lot of these guys are still young kids. Doesn't mean they're not disciplined, but occasionally you do get a **** up.

    "The UK along with 100 other nations has banned the use of cluster bombs."

    Yeah, they use high explosive instead. Ever seen what a 155mm HE shell does to a house? Is that preferable to you? Kills the kids now instead of latter I guess.

    "And don't you believe the Thai hype.The old guys up there in Preah Vehar are veterans of the Khmer Rouge and have seen combat, unlike the Thai army which hasn't fought since...."

    Since the Vietnam war when large numbers of Thais fought in Laos. And Khmer Rouge sucked. The NVA went through them like they weren't even there.

    Do you think the Khmer are somehow racially better fighters than the Thai? Please tell me you don't buy into that nonsense.

    #9 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 21:34

  • sayadian

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    Discipline-Unfortunately most Americans and others (I know of one Columbian guy) join the U.S. forces for the wrong motives.
    They want college,medical benefits etc. Brits join the Infantry/Marines etc because they want to fight. IMO that makes a big difference.In particular, you sent a conscript army to Vietnam (mostly your poor blacks) and they had no heart for the fight.
    Yes, I've heard the argument that America didn't lose but withdrew and that the NVA and Cong were willing to lose more men but the bottom line is Vietnam has never lost a war-seen off France,China, and U.S.
    You might note that the only regular army to beat a guerilla/irregular force were the British in Malaysia.
    The Thais who fought in Laos fought for the communist cause,I don't think they were welcomed back!
    'Yeah, they use high explosive instead.' and the U.S. doesn't!?
    The Khmer are fighting for their country and it's a bigger motivation than fighting for some ill-defined political goal as the Thais are.
    Do they really believe that Thais built this Temple?
    I think to the contrary, Hun Sen and Cambodia hold all the cards.If the Thais invade, doubtful I know but if they did they would not get the sympathy vote and would lose their tourist industry and their financial interests in Cambodia.They won't give up that land I can assure you, I speak to Khmer everyday.
    So what is Thailand going to do? Keep up this absurd claim and ruin the livelihoods of the people on both sides of the border, who, by the way, are all ethnic Khmer regardless of the fact that some live in Thailand.
    Thailand is going down a dangerous path.This period of ultra-nationalism can only harm their standing and economy in the world today.

    #10 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 22:24

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Sayadian
    Don't take this the wrong way, but you're just talking out of your ass now.

    How do you know why American soldiers join? You never served. I served with thousands for years, and now you are going to tell me what's what when you never served a day? WTF? American infantrymen, almost to a man, join the infantry because they want that experience. You CHOOSE your branch when you enlist. American infantry are very well trained, very well equipped and very well led. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain ignorant. There's not even room for discussion.

    The reason the British won in Malaysia is because the Malay, the majority population there, didn't support the Chinese based insurgency. Do your homework man. The British Army is quite capable (also quite small, and now facing some equipment shortage issues). I served with a number of Brits, and they are a small, professional force. Very comparable to the Americans in terms of training - but the US Army has superior equipement.

    And they are the only ones to win a counter-insurgency? Did you notice Iraq 2003 - 2009? Or did you miss that one?

    "The Thais who fought in Laos fought for the communist cause,I don't think they were welcomed back!"

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Thai ARMY, it's regular ARMY, fought in support of the Laos Royal Army and the Hmong against the Pathet Laos, the Neutralists (sometimes) and the NVA. The units were reflagged. I know two guys here in Mukdahan who fought there. Jesus do your homework man!

    "I think to the contrary, Hun Sen and Cambodia hold all the cards.If the Thais invade, doubtful I know but if they did they would not get the sympathy vote and would lose their tourist industry and their financial interests in Cambodia.They won't give up that land I can assure you, I speak to Khmer everyday."

    The Thai's hold the military cards, the Cambodians hold the political ones since both sides agreed to binding arbitration and when the Thais lost they backed out. Just like Ethiopia over Badme.

    "So what is Thailand going to do? Keep up this absurd claim and ruin the livelihoods of the people on both sides of the border, who, by the way, are all ethnic Khmer regardless of the fact that some live in Thailand."

    Doubtful, nor will they cede it. Not politically tenable anymore. I think there will be some sort of compromise solution where both sides can save face.

    "Thailand is going down a dangerous path.This period of ultra-nationalism can only harm their standing and economy in the world today."

    Thailand is going down a dangerous path, but that has nothing to do with Preah Vihar which is a side show. Thailand's danger lies in it's current political divide and the immaturity of its democractic processes. It's transition has been difficult and I anticipate more conflict after the next election.

    #11 Posted: 22/4/2011 - 23:26

  • MADMAC

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    SBE
    Who is "we" kemosabe. Unless you have recently joined the Thai armed forces or have recently become a Thai national, there isn't any "we" here. As far as I am concerned, "we" don't have a dog in this fight.

    #12 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 00:23

  • SBE

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    Exactly what kind of munitions do you think would be good to use in populated areas?

    I think we need a bit of shock and awe for effect ...to make them respect us as a superior force. Nukes would be my arms of choice but looking at the population map and the nuclear installation map I see you can almost superimpose them. Nukes unfortunately are out....too much risk of fallout crossing oceans and affecting civilised nations. Cluster bombs it is then.

    I think we need to do it simultaneously and take the whole country by surprise though. No point in just carpet bombing major targets, like New York, Washington DC and the Pentagon. Best to wipe them all out or at least cripple the whole nation so badly they can never rise again and threaten the rest of the world with their bombs and terror. Put them back in dark ages for a few decades. Oh and we're under no obligation to clear the UXOs afterwards. I remember MM told us that about Laos a while back. Some international military rules or something.

    #13 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 00:27

  • MADMAC

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    How did my post, which came after SBEs, end up before SBEs???

    #14 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 00:34

  • SBE

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    Pre-emptive strike MM? :-)

    This thread should be called deja vu, here he goes again.

    #15 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 00:36

  • MADMAC

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    You know it's never me who draws first blood. I never mentioned the US forces, or any other than those in the conflict. He brought all the rest into it - and he doesn't know what he's talking about on top of it.

    But at least no one can accuse me of trashing the thread. It's my thread!

    #16 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 00:52

  • sayadian

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    So if the Thai military have got the upper hand what're they going to do to gain advantage? Invade? or sit on their butts popping the odd round.This one is a side show, part of the Thai political crisis because it's designed to take the pressure of the situation by creating a common enemy.I'd love to know what advantage you feel they've got. They could use their aircraft carrier I suppose or their submarine.

    Sure, I haven't taken a straw poll of the U.S. army but the guys I've met have joined to escape the grinding poverty and lack of opportunites the poor uneducated have.I doubt they got much choice of unit other than infantry because of their background.
    Sure they we're well led in Vietnam, just think of My Lai and Lt Calley.

    Try reading about the 'hearts and minds' strategy in Malaysia.
    BTW the Malays are roughly half the population not the majority and they took no part one way or the other. Actually if you read about the stategy it was pretty clever and it worked
    .So the Iraq insurgency is over-great I'll book a vacation there now it's so safe.

    #17 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 01:10

  • exacto

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    Interesting discussion.

    For MADMAC: With this new edit feature on posts, if someone chooses to edit their post, the forum will deposit the edited post at the end of the thread with a new time stamp. That is likely how your post got moved in front of SBE's, or more accurately, how her's wound up after your response.

    For Sayadian: I don't doubt that you've met lots of folks who joined the US military for the reasons you've mentioned, but I think you are over-extrapolating that data sample into a false general conclusion. Although I've never served in a military role, I've worked side-by-side as a civilian with US military counterparts for many years. They are generally a good, quality, well-trained and highly-motivated bunch. The people I knew and still know joined because they love their country and see it as a way to serve.

    For SBE: How's it going girl?

    Cheers.

    #18 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 01:46

  • MADMAC

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    "So if the Thai military have got the upper hand what're they going to do to gain advantage? Invade? or sit on their butts popping the odd round.This one is a side show, part of the Thai political crisis because it's designed to take the pressure of the situation by creating a common enemy.I'd love to know what advantage you feel they've got. They could use their aircraft carrier I suppose or their submarine."
    Sayadian, you are not paying attention. You seem to have vested some emotion into this with the idea that Thai's are bad and Khmer are good. I did not say that the Thais will be able to leverage their military superiority to attain a solution. I merely pointed out they are superior. Their primary advantage is in air power. But that is an advantage they are unlikely to use. And this conflict started long before the current political crisis. Let's not jump to conclusions about the motives. That is one possible motive, but having two armed camps that are mutually suspicious of each other in close proximity is a recipe for trouble that requires no calculated malfeseance.
    I do not think this conflict lends itself to a military solution. There are limits to what can be achieved with military power.

    "Sure, I haven't taken a straw poll of the U.S. army but the guys I've met have joined to escape the grinding poverty and lack of opportunites the poor uneducated have.I doubt they got much choice of unit other than infantry because of their background.
    Sure they we're well led in Vietnam, just think of My Lai and Lt Calley."
    Again, I served in the US Army for over two decades. Maybe, it's just possible I have a touch more insight on this one. Ya think?

    Ever heard of Hugh Thompson? Calley was a poor officer. They exist in every Army. Thomspon, on the other hand, was the principal who stopped the slaughter. You might want to check out how he did it.

    Did you ever research the attrocities committed by the Viet Cong and the NVA against South Vietnamese during the war? You won't hear anything about them, of course, from the scum that run the country today (or ran it when the war ended). But why do you think hundreds of thousands of people risked their necks to get out on boats in the years following the war? Yet to say that because the NVA and VC had murderous dogs in their officer ranks is not to say it was not a disciplined or capable Army. You write as if you've never been in combat. A veteran would know better. Hell, the SS committed all sorts of horrible attrocities during WW II, but nobody who has studied the war is going to tell you they weren't disciplined or competent.

    "Try reading about the 'hearts and minds' strategy in Malaysia.
    BTW the Malays are roughly half the population not the majority and they took no part one way or the other. Actually if you read about the stategy it was pretty clever and it worked"
    The Malays are roughly 60% of the population, but the Chinese who actively supported the insurgency, were only 10% (the total number is about 25%). The reason the strategy worked is because demograghics were working for you, geograghy was working for you, and you had already decided to leave - placating the primary anti-imperialist demand. Contrast that with South Vietnam. An extended and porous land border through which the enemy could and did funnel supplies and units ceaselessly. A political objective which could not be placated (the subordination of South Vietnam). And a very large, well trained and competently equipped Army which was ready to bleed to death to sustain the conflict. I have studied the Malay conflict, as we looked at how it's lessons may or may not be applied to the Ogaden (they are not very useful - again, very different conflicts). By the way, Thailand had a very active communist insurgency which the Thai Army defeated. I studied that one too. The reason it failed - the Chinese cut off support as part of a larger political deal. There was a lot of blood letting right here where I live today. It's interesting talking to some of the old veterans on the communist side (they were given amnesty).
    "So the Iraq insurgency is over-great I'll book a vacation there now it's so safe."
    We got a better outcome than the British did when they had their turn the 20s. Personally I opposed the Iraq war, but again, when conducting analysis I remove that from the equation. The issue isn't whether I think a given conflict is a good idea or not, but rather what I think the probable outcomes are.

    #19 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 02:05

  • SBE

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    I've cracked the smileys problem too now. :-)

    #20 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 02:35

  • SBE

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    How did my post, which came after SBEs, end up before SBEs???

    I did it. Quantum physics... was just doing some small experiments to pass the time. The timing is quite tricky but you're very predicable so that makes it a lot easier.

    And now back to the future..... twice. Two steps forward

    #21 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 02:36

  • SBE

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    You're a real spoilsport exacto! ;-)


    And fast forward again ... :-)

    This is fun.

    I'm fine thanks exacto... still bouncing about. Do you think I could do a 4th dimension without breaking the forum?

    #22 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 02:41

  • sayadian

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    Madmac says;
    'but the Chinese who actively supported the insurgency, were only 10% (the total number is about 25%)'

    'At the outset of the Emergency in 1948, ethnic Chinese constituted 39 percent of the Malay population, while the remainder of the population consisted of 49 percent Malays and 10 percent Indians and Ceylonese.
    from:'Lessons from the past; succccessful British counterinsurgency operations in Malaya 1948-1960- First Lieutenant Thomas E. Willis 11.'
    Very educational and will explain in detail the Briggs and Templar strategies.

    You say:
    'Did you ever research the attrocities committed by the Viet Cong and the NVA against South Vietnamese during the war?'
    I've searched the above but fail to find where I have been an apologist for the Vietnamese or the Communist government there.So nothing to add there.

    You say:
    'geograghy was working for you'
    interesting point from a military man.Most of mainland Malaya was/is thick jungle.How did this give the British the advantage? I understand the point about porous borders in Vietnam but this still doesn't explain your point about geography favouring the British in malaya.

    BTW Is the Ogadon dense jungle?

    You say:
    'and you had already decided to leave'
    This wasn't only about anti-imperialsim, it was a communist insurgency hence the acronym CT (communist terrorists)we used for the Chinese
    How did this make winning easier? I would have thought it would have given the enemy a filip and encouraged them to push harder if they thought we were leaving.

    Iraq-now we are in a pissing contest.Iraq is not finished, America created the mess and it's ongoing.You more or less gave Al Qiada an open invite by toppling Saddam.

    As far as insight into the U.S. Army I can only go on the talk of the boots I've met. If they don't represent the majority-so what? That's what I hear.Especially from the black guys.Do you make a point of asking every soldier why he joined up?

    You say:
    'You seem to have vested some emotion into this with the idea that Thai's are bad and Khmer are good.'
    No, not Thais but the present Thai government and its nationalistic agenda.
    My quote must have told you already how i feel about this.
    'It's about time Thailand grew up and stopped trying to divert attention from its own internal political divisions by bullying a small, poor nation .' and that's what I believe.

    The whole thing is engineered by a Bangkok elite and means nothing to the people who actually live in the south of Isan who have live harmoniously for decades.It's a few square kilometres of scrub for god's sake.

    #23 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 04:17

  • MADMAC

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    "'At the outset of the Emergency in 1948, ethnic Chinese constituted 39 percent of the Malay population, while the remainder of the population consisted of 49 percent Malays and 10 percent Indians and Ceylonese."

    Only a small percentage of that 39% supported the insurgency Sayadian. I've studied this. Again, do your homework. The population base supporting the insurgency was about 500,000 people. That's not 500,000 under arms. That's the popular support. Meanwhile the British were leveraging the economic base of Great Britain... The NVA on the other hand could tap into North Vietnam for manpower, but tapped into China and the Soviet Union for weapons and supplies. The Malay insurrectionists had nothing remotely comparable to this.

    "from:'Lessons from the past; succccessful British counterinsurgency operations in Malaya 1948-1960- First Lieutenant Thomas E. Willis 11.'
    Very educational and will explain in detail the Briggs and Templar strategies."

    In US Army Intelligence manuals it states "In Low Intensity warfare (LIC - also knwon as COIN or counter-insurgency warfare and other laborious acronyms) population is the key terrain. Do you think we're stupid? We know how to read.

    "'Did you ever research the attrocities committed by the Viet Cong and the NVA against South Vietnamese during the war?'
    I've searched the above but fail to find where I have been an apologist for the Vietnamese or the Communist government there.So nothing to add there."

    I did not say you were an apologist. Again, you got to pay attention to the line of reasoning here. You cited Mai Lai as an indicator of poor American military leadership, I cited the equivelent from the NVA and the Viet Cong. Yet you also indicated that the NVA were a good, disciplined Army (they were). Well, they had their share of attrocity committers. They had Lt Calley's too. But they were well led and no serious historian would argue they weren't.

    "Iraq-now we are in a pissing contest.Iraq is not finished, America created the mess and it's ongoing.You more or less gave Al Qiada an open invite by toppling Saddam."

    Iraq looks like it's coming to a successful conclusion (in the context of Arabian politics). I think you and I would agree invading in the first place was stupid. But that's outside the scope of this discussion.

    "As far as insight into the U.S. Army I can only go on the talk of the boots I've met. If they don't represent the majority-so what? That's what I hear.Especially from the black guys.Do you make a point of asking every soldier why he joined up?"

    Well every soldier in my unit - yes. That's because we are required to do re-enlistment interviews with every soldier. And yes, we discuss why the soldier enlisted and why the soldier should or should not reamin in service. Like every professional Army in the world, soldiers enlist for a variety of reasons. Unless the British are not human, I would suspect that they exhibit the same human traits as the rest of us.

    "The whole thing is engineered by a Bangkok elite and means nothing to the people who actually live in the south of Isan who have live harmoniously for decades.It's a few square kilometres of scrub for god's sake."

    The origins of the conflict weren't engineered by elites in Bangkok. This is an old and on-going dispute. If it were just worthless territory then the Cambodians would be saying "screw it, let 'em have it". It has value, especially emotional value, to both sides. If Hun Sen backed off now, it would cost him serious political capital. It's not just about who's right or wrong. Thailand is the more powerful of the two nations, but it clearly has a weaker claim here. I think those two will ultimately balance out and a compromise solution will eventually be achieved (although it could take a while). Meanwhile, though, I would not assume that every time there's a flair up it's been contrived in Bangkok. As I said before, two conflicting military parties in close proximity with each other on a daily basis, is a recipe for potential disaster that does not require interference from higher. I'm not discounting that possibility, but it's also not a foregone conclusion.

    #24 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 11:09

  • eastwest

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    Well, that made for some interesting reading about something I'm not really interested in.
    I won't mix in the military argument but do want to correct Mac on the temple subject.

    3 years ago (i'm not exact on the date but certain it was just before the political problems started in Thailand) there was an agreement between both countries. The temple itself is, and has never been, in dispute. It is a Khmer temple on Khmer soil and that is not the real dispute.

    The land with shrubbery is land needed to make a decent access road to the temple and this is the disputed land. It holds no value whatsoever and as a token of friendship the Thai government withdrew their claim to that piece of land. And so it was settled before UNESCO. However, recognizing the temple as a Cambodian temple would also mean to ratify the UNESCO agreement which assigns the temple & shrubbery to Cambodia. So therefor the Thai government, which was well in political trouble, was/is making false claims about the temple to deflect interest from interrnal interest. Ask any Thai, who isn't too hotheaded or indoctrinated, about this temple and all will say it is a Khmer temple on Khmer soil.

    Due to the political problems in Thailand these feelings of "giving away land" were encouraged to distract Thais from the local issues and subsequently claims were made on the temple again. It was however never an age-old problem and sayadian is mostly right in this respect. The Thai government, and to a lesser extend the Cambodian government, has used this little conflict for political reasons and none other.

    Obviously I won't go into the military argument.

    #25 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 15:09

  • SBE

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    BTW Is the Ogadon dense jungle?

    Christ, not the Ogaden again. It's like listening to a stuck record of a cuckoo clock around here sometimes.

    Could we have a hands up of those people who have been to Preah Vihear and actually know what it's like THERE (as opposed to somewhere else completely different in Africa)

    #26 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 16:45

  • sayadian

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    Well, I was epecting a verbal beating up this morning but I got a smile from SBE's reply.
    I can't agree with Madmac over Malaya but I think the subject is irrelevant to the context of this thread and if I brought it up I apologise.
    Madmac
    When talking about the Chinese you did say;
    '(the total number is about 25%).'
    and then you agree with me in your above post that the real figure is 39%.Unlike you,I won't sling insults as we're all human and you made a mistake.
    You also say:
    'In US Army Intelligence manuals it states "In Low Intensity warfare (LIC - also knwon as COIN or counter-insurgency warfare and other laborious acronyms) population is the key terrain.'
    Wow,do these guys dream these terms up on LSD or something.I always associated terrain with land but according to the American army terrain is population???
    It must be quite confusing at briefings.

    EastWest
    You say:
    'The land with shrubbery is land needed to make a decent access road to the temple.' and this is the disputed land.'
    The Temple has a good access road from the Thai side already so I presume you mean the Khmer want to buid an access road, so why is Thailand involved? Sorry totally confused on that one.
    ...and yes SBE I've been to Preah Vihar. From the Thai side, as it's much easier to reach.
    Of course the Thais rip you off to get there because it goes through one of their national parks and you still have to pay the grossly inflated farang price even though you never leave the road.
    It's a stunningly beautiful Temple and location.The Thai road winds up the mountain.Preah Vihar is actually a complex of temples each one bigger than the next as you walk up the old Khmer built walkway. At the top of the escarpment is the largest with an incredible view across Cambodia.

    #27 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 17:14

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    SBE
    "BTW Is the Ogadon dense jungle?

    Christ, not the Ogaden again. It's like listening to a stuck record of a cuckoo clock around here sometimes."

    Nothing like first hand experience in an environment. Besides, I was alluding to the point that we did reference the Malay conflict and draw lessons from it. You have something against the Ogaden?

    Note this conflict in particular and the greater conflict between the two ethnic groups is nothing new. The reasons for this most recent flair up (starting in 2008) are internal political reason to be sure, although the latest fighting might well be incidental contact. None of us are in a position to judge that at this time. The following link outlines things pretty well:

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/preah-vihear-the-thai-cambodia-temple-dispute

    Sayadian
    The demographics of Malaysia are represented by the multiple ethnic groups that exist in this country. Malaysia's population, as of July 2010[update], is estimated to be 28,250,500, which makes it the 44th most populated country in the world.[1] Of these, 5.72 million Malaysians live in East Malaysia and 22.5 million live in Peninsular Malaysia.[2] The Malaysian population continues to grow at a rate of 2.4% per annum; about 34% of the population is under the age of 15. Malays and other Bumiputera groups make up 65% of the population, Chinese 26%, Indians 7.1% and other unlisted ethnic groups 1%.[3]

    The critical component to this isn't, however, whether it's in the 30 percentile or 20 percentile. The critical component was that about 10% of the population supported the insurrection. As Mao said, the population is the sea in which the guerilla swims. If the sea is not supporting the guerilla, he has a fundamental problem from the beginning.

    "'In US Army Intelligence manuals it states "In Low Intensity warfare (LIC - also knwon as COIN or counter-insurgency warfare and other laborious acronyms) population is the key terrain.'
    Wow,do these guys dream these terms up on LSD or something.I always associated terrain with land but according to the American army terrain is population???
    It must be quite confusing at briefings."

    The British Army has the same doctrine by the way. And yes, it can confuse those who have difficulty with complex concepts or are overly pedantic. Coneptually it means that terrain counts for less than population centers do. However, and this is a big however, it's important to understand that in the Vietnam conflict, the US Army was fighting both a counter-insurgency (against the Vietcong) and a conventional conflict (against the NVA). The NVA was a uniformed Army fighting in conveitonal units with conventional doctrine. The VC was an animal more like the Malay guerillas.

    #28 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 17:45

  • sayadian

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    Please don't lecture me about Malaysia.I lived there for 3 years.

    Terrain is people! No,mate.We got a polite way to rate that bulls****

    I thought this forum was about travel and I would say the unrest in PV is relevant but as for the rest.I really don't want to go to Sandehurst.

    I think my old man used to smoke Ogadon in his pipe.

    I've never read such condescending tripe in my life.That's the last word from me on it so witter on to yout hearts delight.

    #29 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 18:57

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
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    Where is swag? He's badly needed here

    #30 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 19:01

  • SBE

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    yes SBE I've been to Preah Vihar.

    Thank you sayadian. So happens I couldn't see any obvious link between a few Thai and Cambodian soldiers taking pot shots at Preah Vihar yesterday and
    counter insurgency operations in Malaysia 1948-1960 either.

    However I didn't think it my place to air opinions on the topic. I've never been to Preah Vihar so it would soon have become apparent I was just talking out of my ass and just reiterating what it says in wikipedia. Besides it seemed like an incredibly boring waste of both my and everyone elses time. You'd have to have a pretty weird personality disorder to find doing stuff like that fun. Bouncing on the other hand... but I see we're all invisible today. I think Somtam immediately realised the potential for thread jacking too... either that or I inadvertently did something unexpected...happens a lot on my own computer too. I inadvertently renamed all my photos the other day so now I have pictures of a beach saying it's a giant leech vendor and a hornbill that claims to be a goat taxi.

    Anyway, mustn't drift off topic. I'm glad my gut feeling that places like Malaysia, Iraq, Mukdahan, India, America, Laos, Vietnam, Ceylon. America...and the bloody Ogaden of course... have nothing whatsoever to do with the current situation Preah Vihar was correct

    Has anyone else been there?

    #31 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 20:58

  • SBE

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    Nothing like first hand experience in an environment.

    Ah.. so you have been to Preah Vihar MM?

    When? How long for?

    #32 Posted: 23/4/2011 - 21:44

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    SBE
    "Ah.. so you have been to Preah Vihar MM?"

    Hell no. Khmer ruins interest me about zero percent.

    "Thank you sayadian. So happens I couldn't see any obvious link between a few Thai and Cambodian soldiers taking pot shots at Preah Vihar yesterday and
    counter insurgency operations in Malaysia 1948-1960 either."

    Perhaps you missed it, but it was Sayadian who made that connection. Not me. I didn't bring up Malaysia, I didn't bring up US forces discipline, and I didn't bring up Vietnam. Sayadian was the one who brought up each and every one of those subjects.

    "Anyway, mustn't drift off topic. I'm glad my gut feeling that places like Malaysia, Iraq, Mukdahan, India, America, Laos, Vietnam, Ceylon. America...and the bloody Ogaden of course... have nothing whatsoever to do with the current situation Preah Vihar was correct"

    There could be a connection. Although one isn't readily apparent to me.

    #33 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 00:43

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "Please don't lecture me about Malaysia.I lived there for 3 years."

    I wasn't lecturing you about Malaysia. I was lecturing you about discipline and capacity of the US Armed forces and the lack of validity of your comparison between the Malay "emergency" and the war in Vietnam. I've never even been to Malaysia. The only thing I ever did with Malaysians was fight side by side with them on 3 October 1993 in Mogadischu.

    "Terrain is people! No,mate.We got a polite way to rate that bulls****"

    You can use whatever arguement you want. I'm just telling you what British and US Army doctrine say. You don't like it, join one of the forces and re-write the doctrine. The doctrine is sound though.

    "I thought this forum was about travel and I would say the unrest in PV is relevant but as for the rest.I really don't want to go to Sandehurst."

    You're the one who brought it up man. Not me.

    "I've never read such condescending tripe in my life.That's the last word from me on it so witter on to yout hearts delight."

    Hey you asked for it when you started disparaging the US Armed forces. If you're going to do that, have your facts in order.

    #34 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 00:48

  • SBE

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    Khmer ruins interest me about zero percent.

    In other words you're just trolling and the only reason you started this thread was to get a pissing contest going.

    I think you lost (again) little big man. Go and do some combat training on TT why don't you.



    #35 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 02:34

  • SBE

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    OR

    You could try and behave like everyone else on this site and respect all the hard work and effort Somtam has put into making it.

    This is not your personal playground and I can assure you that your attempts to make people regard you in awe are not working.

    *wai*

    #36 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 03:33

  • exacto

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    I've been! It was New Year's Day 1999. I went with a Scottish friend of mine, and spent most of the day holding the cameras of flocks of flirty Thai girls who wanted their picture taken with him.
    Anyway, we drove there, since I was living in BKK at the time and had a car. We had to pass through a Thai Tahan Phran checkpoint and surrender our passports as collateral to be let through.

    The site itself is stunning, running along the length of a hill that heads up to a precipice right before it drops straight off into the rest of the Cambodian saucer. It wasn't clear how one would get to it from Cambodia other than by helicopter at that time. Perhaps there is an overland route now.

    I remember that we were lucky to even be there. It was during one of the brief thaws in relations over that particular piece of ground when visitors were allowed. Even so, we had to pass through the checkpoint as I mentioned, and the grounds were heavily patrolled by Cambodian troops. Think 12-year-old boys with AK-47 rifles. A bit odd. The site also hadn't been completely cleared of landmines, so it was critical to stay on the paths and not wander off while touring the site.

    Even at that time, there was talk about the significance of the site that had been going on for many years, and hurt feelings or worse on both sides about how the issue was handled. If memory serves, both Laos and Cambodia, as former French colonies, gained disputed territory from Thailand due to international court decisions and I'm not sure the Thais ever really felt comfortable with this. I can't say for sure if Khao Pravihan (the Thai name for the temple) was included in these specific decisions or not, but I do think that the issues there far predate the current governments of either nation.

    I never managed to make it back, even though I wanted to, because the site was always closed when I was in the area and/or had the time to get back by there. Like I mentioned, the conflict over this ground has been going on for a long time.

    Also, even though I've been to Malaysia twice, I'd be comfortable if anyone wanted to lecture me about it. I'm sure I could always learn more!

    Finally, I have to admit that I was uncomfortable with the disparaging comments about the US military too. Everyone gets their opinion, but disagreeing doesn't require being disagreeable, and if you pee in another's cornflakes, one cannot be surprised when they pee back. Fair enough?

    p.s. sorry. i didn't mean to be a spoilsport :-)

    #37 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 04:08

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "In other words you're just trolling and the only reason you started this thread was to get a pissing contest going."

    SBE
    Stop being a buckwheat. I posted a simple thread that mentioned the conflict turned hot again. That was it. Then Sayadian came on and started dragging all this extraneous stuff into it. If anyone was trolling, it was him. And now you.

    #38 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 09:51

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Exacto, greetings, you said:
    'I have to admit that I was uncomfortable with the disparaging comments about the US military too.'
    I was searching for those remarks you presumably mean I made.
    All I could find was this-
    'I'll leave training out of it because I've yet to be convinced the U.S. is capable of teaching discipline to its forces.'
    How does Abu ghraib grab you.
    That's the sort of thing I was referring to.
    I don't want to resurrect this debate but I have to put my remark in some context.
    If you want more examples feel free to ask.

    #39 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 20:49

  • MADMAC

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    Sayadian
    First of all, I have to ask you - why would you make that comment when we were talking about a conflict between the Thais and Cambodians? Exactly how does the discipline of the US forces relate to that subject? You were deliberately trying to provoke me.

    Secondly, you are picking a few selected incidents, the like of which occur in every conflict, and then extrapolating from them a ridiculous conclusion. The of the attrocities committed by the Wehrmacht in WW II. Or the Imperial Japanese Army? Are you saying these were not disciplined forces? Think of the Baralong incident in WW I. Does that mean the British Navy of WW I was not a disciplined force? Think of the British Army treatment of the Mau Mau and members of the kikuyu ethnic groups during the Mau May insurection in Kenya. Does this mean that the same British Army which defeated the Malay insurrection were not a disciplined military force? How about Corporal Paynes treatment of prisoners in Basra? Does this mean the modern British Army is not a disciplined force.

    First of all, your arguement is without substance. And secondly, it in no way related to the topic at hand. You were trolling and being deliberately provocative. You got beat down because you don't know your facts, and you deserved a beat down.

    #40 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 21:57

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Read it again and you will see that my remarks were for the attention of Exacto and as I said I have no intention of resurrecting the subject or arguing with you.The example was merely to give some background to why I made the earlier comment which upset Exacto.

    1) I made a criticism of Thailand using cluster bombs
    2) You openned up the argument by referring to what makes a good army and that the Thais have superior firepower
    3)I countered by saying that more firepower doesn't always win and give the example of Vietnam.
    I'm now giving example to my comment that sometimes the U.S. Army lacks discipline and good leadership.
    The rest is just you telling us all about your soldiering experiences.
    The thread has run its course.

    The Thais are using gas now they tell me, unverified but they refuse to have independent observers so we will have to come to our own conclusions.
    This whole thing is being engineered by a few politicians and Thai generals who want to shape a certain future for Thailand. I can't say anymore for obvious reasons.Subjects which are outside the scope and remit of this board.

    The shame is the area around Preah Vihar is one of the most beautiful and historical areas for the tourist to visit.
    If this keeps up there may not be a temple to visit in future.

    #41 Posted: 24/4/2011 - 23:45

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "I'll leave training out of it because I've yet to be convinced the U.S. is capable of teaching discipline to its forces."

    Sayadian, you are being disingeneous. you threw this out there for no reason. It was not related at all to what we had been discussing, and you know it. Had you said "... I've yet to be convinced that Thailand is capable of teaching discipline to its forces" that would have been relevent. But the US wasn't in the discussion even a little bit until you threw that out there. And discipline and firepower are not the same thing, as you full well know.

    As for the rest, of course the conflict is at its core foolish, and the Thais are doing themselves no favors here. I don't disagree with that.

    I am sure the Thais are not using poison gas. I doubt it's in their inventory and it's not effective anyway. CS is possible, but I don't see where the tactical value is in this application.

    #42 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 00:07

  • sayadian

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    Training.weaponry,adequate resources-your words.
    My example of a superior army defeated was The U.S. in Vietnam.
    Whether you agree or not, Vietnam is a much smaller and poorer country than U.S. It still won.You were superior in two of those categories IMO but I feel that in that conflict the training and leadership were poor and hence the discipline
    'For some reason it then got tugged into a general argument about U.S. Army discipline
    'I've yet to be convinced the U.S. is capable of teaching discipline to its forces'.
    Perhaps I should have inserted the past tense there and we might not have got into this.The basically conscript army in Vietnam was poorly trained and poorly led.
    You start defending your army's record and I'll keep on giving examples of their lack of discipline.Up to you. I got a whole list compiled by the International Red Cross.But what's the point.This is all about Preah Vihar not the U.S. Army.or for that matter the German,Japanese,British or Australian armies.
    Don't get me wrong I've met a lot of your guys and they all come over as a good bunch.
    Unless I start a thesis here it's pointless continuing. Just don't tell me you made a success of Iraq and don't get me started on the pointless bombing of Serbia.Though at least you can blame that on the politicians and the Air boys.Hell,this could branch off into the history of the world so I'll call it a day.Nothing personal meant.Just an opinion.

    #43 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 00:33

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    BTW we'll be on opposite sides of the border next week so watch out I'll be carrying my old Dragonov.
    ;-)

    #44 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 00:35

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    That's a damn good rifle. If you really had one here, I'd buy it off you. I test fired one in Bosnia, and for a sniper rifle it's not all that, but for practical application in the field, it was nice shooting. Remarkably light.

    You can take my word for it or not, but the US Army has it's **** together. There isn't an Army in the world that would want to tangle with it.

    #45 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 01:00

  • exacto

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    For sayadian: hi and thanks for the note. much appreciated. sorry we can't have this discussion over an ice cold Beer Lao, or at least via private message, but those aren't options today.

    in any case, the comments that caught my eye were as you said - the idea that the US military cannot teach discipline to its forces and the idea that troops only enlist because of poor economic choices and not out of any love of country. while i don't disagree that those ideas are true some of the time and perhaps even more often than they should be, my own experience is that those types of things are much less common than you suggested.

    how to i feel about Abu Ghraib? it makes me very angry and i wish the turds who committed those crimes were in prison where they belong. it made me and many of my colleagues, including US military troops, much less safe when we were overseas than we otherwise would have been, but more importantly it gave a black eye to my country's honor.

    as i said, we can agree to disagree. plus, as i've also said, it seems like our own personal experiences are at different ends of the spectrum. i imagine the truth will be somewhere in the middle. best wishes and have a good time next week, but be sure to keep the safety on that Dragunov. cheers.

    #46 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 01:00

  • SBE

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    Can I ask a really dumb question.

    Why are they fighting at Ta Moan and Ta Krabey? Those temples are 150km from Preah Vihear.


    Is the whole border demarcation under dispute or just where the temples are?

    #47 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 03:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    I believe it's three small areas, with Preah Vihear being the most signficant name wise.

    #48 Posted: 25/4/2011 - 11:04

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    Interesting thread on Khmer440 site which has a link to an interview with an unfortunate widow of a soldier killed in the latest fighting in which she lets slip that her husband phoned her before they went into action admitting that the Thai army was about to attack Cambodia. The Thais have protested that Cambodia attacked them.If you understand Thai you can clearly hear her say this.

    http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17666&start=45[url=hhttp://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17666&start=45ttp://]
    [/url]

    #49 Posted: 26/4/2011 - 20:03

  • MADMAC

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    If the Thai's launched an unprovoked attack for political purposes, and told their soldiers in adavance about it, and they were not compelled to secrecy (such a mission should have been reserved fro spec ops - which understands OPSEC) then that is incredibly sloppy. That's like Naujocks calling his wife and saying there will be some action around Gleiwitz tomorrow. I had a friend who's worked for a long time in the spec ops community and we were talking in general terms about operations and I asked him, based on something he said, where that operation took place (it had been over a decade previously). He responded: "Can't talk about it". Now I was a LTC in the Army with a TS security clearance. Normally professional soldiers take that seriously, and amateurs are not involved in such operations.

    #50 Posted: 29/4/2011 - 08:32

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Madmac
    with respect you can't speak for the Thai army.The unfortunate soldier who died was phoning his wife because he was going into action-he knew in advance there was going to be contact so he wanted a last word with his wife in case...
    The widow let that slip out on camera.
    We have similar deal in UK as U.S. As they say in the movies. 'If I told you what I'd done I'd have to kill you.' :-)
    Yes even ops going back 20 odd years can't be mentioned that's why I'm always sceptical about guys in bars telling of their experiences in this or that campaign etc.

    It's for individuals to judge whether this is evidence that the Thais are orchestrating this little sideshow.
    IMO. Yes, they are using it as a distraction with elections coming up.
    Let's see what happens to the elections first before making further judgement.
    Ther are factions in the Thai army without a doubt and sooner or later someone will
    make a play. Though I think we all know when that play will take place.
    I feel sorry for the Thai people they deserve better.
    BTW if you want a good laugh look at this video of the Russian AA-12.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOoUVeyaY_8

    #51 Posted: 29/4/2011 - 14:15

  • MADMAC

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    "Yes even ops going back 20 odd years can't be mentioned that's why I'm always sceptical about guys in bars telling of their experiences in this or that campaign etc."

    I met a guy in a bar in Bangkok, years ago, who claimed to be a Vietnam veteran. I was a little sceptical, because he didn't express himself using Army terminology. But, I figured, maybe it was a different era, etc. Then he tells me he was with Delta Force in Vietnam. Delta Force wasn't established until after the war was over. I knew then this guy was just telling a story.

    How do you know the difference between a fairy tale and a war story? One begins "once upon a time..." and the other begins "There I was..."

    #52 Posted: 29/4/2011 - 16:24

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