Re: "Public input to be welcomed on national reform, Prayuth vows", Politics, June 21.
“Men become myth,” wrote Henry Kissinger, “not for what they are, nor even by what they achieved, but by the task they set upon themselves.” Kissinger was referring to two European statesmen, Prince Metternich of Austria and British foreign secretary Castlereagh. The two men put together a great plan at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1822), whose aim was to extinguish the revolutionary fire that was ravaging all of Europe during the Napoleonic era. The plan worked: another Napoleon did not emerge, Europe was saved from a major war and peace was to last for almost a hundred years.
Apply this situation to present-day Thailand and you will find that the circumstances are quite similar. For more than a decade this country has been torn asunder by just one man, who is now not in Thailand but is pulling the strings from afar. While he was here there was no question that he was the master of them all, like Napoleon before him. He could have been Thailand’s hero for all time. But the never-ending thirst for power got the better of him, and now he has become a fugitive from justice, leaving in his wake a huge debris trail for another man to pick up.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha showed great courage in doing what he did, and time is showing that he did not seek the position he is in now. Prayuth is riding on the back of the tiger and cannot dismount until the tiger is tamed, or he will end up inside it. If he asks for the people’s support we should give it to him because he deserves it. If we want a new Thailand in the way that Metternich and Castlereagh wanted a new Europe, there is no other way but General Prayuth’s way. Whether he becomes mythical or remains merely mortal is yet to be seen. But all of us owe it to him to help make his great task a success.