Thailand: A Whiff of Opium

A Whiff of Opium

When a pro-Western military junta wants to win favor with the U.S., the preferred course includes holding relatively fair elections, then standing on the sidelines as a pliant civilian government is installed. If all goes well, the result may be more money from U.S. aid agencies. That is, unless the proposed new Prime Minister is an alleged drug trafficker.

Then, as Thailand discovered last week, the result can be embarrassment and uncertainty. The designee is Narong Wongwan, 66, a lumber and tobacco millionaire whose pro-military Justice and Unity Party won the most seats in Thailand's first parliamentary elections since a bloodless...

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