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November 2003
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Carry a big Thai stick.

Amnesty denounces ‘murder spree’ in Thai war on drugs.

In a report released today, Amnesty, the human rights group, criticises the lack of a credible investigation into the bloodshed unleashed by this year’s official war on drugs.
At least 2,252 people were killed in a three-month anti-drug campaign, yet Thaksin Shinawatra, prime minister, “appeared to condone such killings” with repeated public statements that death was an appropriate fate for drug dealers.
“The stated policy of the royal Thai government has allowed the killing of more than 2,000 people by unknown assailants with impunity,” the report said.

The U.S. government reacted immediately to the horrifying report by taking two dramatic actions…
1. U.S. to seek free trade agreement with Thailand

President Bush recently announced the United States intends to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Thailand.
Eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers is expected to increase U.S. exports — particularly of agricultural goods…

… but presumably not all agricultural goods.
2. The United States is supplying advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) to Thailand…

“We have no comment on arms deliveries to Thailand,” a tight-lipped US Embassy spokesman said when asked about the air-intercept missiles being delivered.

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