SIAM: Return of Phibun

The Defense Ministry last week drew 8,000,000 baht (about $800,000) from the National Bank of Siam. In orderly Western fashion, the Ministry accounted for the expenditure: "to pay coup expenses." Tango Interrupted. The coup itself had been orderly (one of the plotters described it as "very straightforward and very kind-hearted") but a little hard for Westerners to understand. The first point to get straight is that all Siamese politics turns around the rivalry between royalist Field Marshal Phibun (pronounced "fee bun") Songgram and republican Pridi Banomyong, who both went to school...

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