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The Thai Caves True Message


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At a time when in Europe and, most particularly in the United States, the drum beat of the Right is that internationalism and immigration are foul, dangerous and outmoded ideas, surely the message emanating, echoing loudly from the caverns of northern Thailand this week is that those fascists percussionist are wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

It was teamwork between Thai Navy Seals and both military and civilian volunteers from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, France, Japan, China, and others which brought out the twelve young football players and their coach from their erstwhile lost and almost hopeless situation. It was a refugee boy, a Burmese child escaping violence in his homeland and welcomed even by the already fairly poor neighbour Thailand, who was the only one able to translate between the English divers and the boys they found. 

What a double whammy of a message for the naysayers, the tribalists. International teams and a refugee child were the heroes of a world-wide outpouring of prayer and simple hope for  these 12 children.

Wherefore arte thou Victor Orban, Giuseppe Conte, Donald Trump?


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The undefended borders of the anarchists playground could never, will never,  produce a squadron of Navy Seals..or any other effective para-military or rescue force. Rather, the rescue of imprisoned innocents and the release of captured populations from the villains of civilization has been a duty shouldered by Navy Seals and their counterparts over these last 300 years;  because of strong and patriotic Nationalism that has always included a compassionate and regulated  admissions policy for newcomers. We are not, and we will not allow a "free-for-all", ie. [ri-ot], noun (a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd). Nice chatting with you.

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Thank you, Adam, for pointing out the international effort that led to the successful rescue of those 13 soccer players plus their coach in Northern Thailand.  Anyone who seriously considers the fact that it took weeks to rescue that group and thinks of people who were worried about their children possibly perishing in that cave would feel the burden of those rescuers.  The rescuers - one of whom died attempting to find a way to rescue the children - an ex-Thai Navy Seal.

Mr./Miss/Mrs./Mz. militarypress - what are you talking about?  Are you suggesting that Thailand does not have Navy Seals?  You must not live in a country that experiences freedoms - such as the United States - because we have News, Internet Access and a wide range of tools to understand that not only Thailand, but many other countries have learned, just as we here in the US have, that special forces in all forms benefit their National Security.  And - you mention that the rescue of "imprisoned innocents" and "release of captured populations" from the villains of civilization  has been a duty shouldered by Navy Seals and their counterparts over "these last 300 years".  Now, I know you are not in the United States of America, because we won our Independence in 1776, which was only 242 years ago.  And - as I live and breathe, Mr./Miss/Mrs./Mz. militarypress, we had no Special Forces/Para-Military groups in 1776 - save those erstwhile daredevils that took it upon themselves or in groups to do something daredevil and outside their direct military direction.

And, as far as "release of captured populations" - that didn't really happen in the United States until the 1860's when we came to our senses (ahead of many other countries in the world) and made it law that no person could be held as chattel.

You should also note that concerning "undefended borders", the United States passed its first immigration act in 1790 - restricting naturalization to 'free white persons of good moral character'.  In 1870,  the Naturalization Law was broadened to include blacks, but forbade the Naturalization of Asian immigrants.  Although those immigration restrictions were restricted to different numbers and changed through the years, it was not until 1952 that all racial distinctions were omitted from legislation.  In all this history, we never attempted to defend our borders - only restrict people of different skin tones from entering.

Only in the last two or three decades have we truly had  full-time 'military' defense of our borders, justified by the political community at first to stop the drug trafficking and now human trafficking as well.

At a time when a large percentage of our adults and a larger percentage of our children have contact with people from many nations on a daily basis, building friendships and relationships that may one day lead to partnerships financial, social and political, we have many people that want to 'Build a Wall' and close our borders.  Do we not have the technology and resources to simply screen those who want to enter our country and sort out those who have a high probability of being a threat?  

Is there a way for us to remember that we are all part of a world community without condemning our neighbors without cause or proof?

We claim to be a Christian nation (which is strange where one of our Constitutional Amendments guarantees freedom of religion) so we should remember:

 ...And they came to Jesus and asked, "What is greatest commandment?"  And he said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you should love one another..."

We make a great "Christian" nation, don't we?  

But, before I get too lost in my rantings, let me return to the original thread.  I can't imagine spending two weeks in a dark cave with no way out, hungry, uncomfortable, engulfed in feelings of hopelessness.  And I can't imagine how much joy was felt when those special forces soldiers - from several nations - worked out a way to bring those youths back to sunshine.  Thailand - the Land of Smiles - must certainly have 13 youths and one coach smiling these days!

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Having begun this little debate, Dave and Militarypress, I can only sit back amazed at the direction it has taken.

Of course I stand in awe of Dave's knowledge of the United States' very gradual emergence from a racial, colour-based immigration policy. I was totally unaware of how recently, indeed just 65 years ago, that Asians were admitted freely to the US. As a fourth generation East African white, where, ironically it was the Africans who were last to be fully emancipated, after whites and, later, Asians, I learn something new every day.

What is not new to me, Dave, is my awareness that there are several Americans (here read US, not Canadians) who think they created every good or finest thing on Earth: the Web, television, movies, the automobile, most forms of weaponry including, God save us, the Atomic Bomb, and of course they currently have the best, the finest, the cream of the crop in everything. This has to be because they spend the most. 

Of course none of the above was invented or discovered by Americans, and a survey held AMONG SERVING MEMBERS of Special Forces in 2016, while putting various US forces in three of five top places, did not rate it number One or Three. No, the Thai force came nowhere!

The point I make is that each of us view life through the blinkers of our limited life experience. I have been blessed with being born in Africa and educated in England, Canada and Hong Kong. I've worked a long time in the US and on missions in conflict zones as a surgeon world wide, so my blinkers are loosened a bit. But they are still there. I am prepared to admit it, and to recognise that some of my prejudices are probably subliminal. 

But anyone who could not have felt anything but warmth and joy from the recovery, physically unharmed, of the Wild Boars, and to laud the ingenuity and self-sacrifice of those who came from every corner of the world to help, must be emotionally and spiritually challenged.



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Fascinating debate. Adam, Davein  and Militarypress. First the correct politically way to address someone when you are not aware of their gender or gender identity is Mx. Sorry had to pull the PC Card out. I agree with Davein on so many levels the United States has developed this nationalist holier than thou attitude when it comes to the greater human community. To the point we are terrified Simeon’s might show is a different and perhaps better way of doing things. We always so quick to point out other nations failings but refuse to look at our own. There are very few things the United States is number 1 in. Here are a few. 

The United States has the highest percent of obese people in the world. 

The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world. 

The United States has the highest drug abuse percentage in the world

follow up. Also the highest drug overdose rate jnthe world. 

Most number of rapes 

most murders (not in a war zone or combat action)

highest number of anti depressant proscriptions 

high student loan debts  

highest secondary educating cost to students and families  

shall I keep going.  I think citizens of the USA (I am one) have forgotten the old adage people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks. Perhaps a good look in the mirror is due  





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i know i should stay out of a topic like this, but i simply can't... sorry guys.  lol

There are a few other things the US is number one in.  We have the largest GDP in the world, greater even than that of the EU, and greater than the next 3 countries combined.  We are also the largest giver to charities, and to foreign aid.  There is, of course, more things i could list, but i think my point has been made.

Now please don't think I'm going to go on some ultra nationalistic rant about how the US is the best country in the world.. yadda yadda.  WE have our issues, i don't know of a single nation, state, town, city, whatever, in the world that doesn't.  and i do agree that failing to recognize and confront them, is not a way to make things better.  hell, we can ALWAYS get better.  No one is perfect!  (Except me that is... and Since I'm the Emperor... i can say that! LOL)

All kidding aside, building a wall has been brought up in this post.  i still try to understand why wanting a wall built means that someone is against immigration at all.  That seems to be the thing now.  if you are in favor of the wall, you hate all immigrants.  Well, as one of those who does support a wall, i have not yet met someone who agrees with me that hates immigrants.  What we do want to see stopped is ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.  Is wanting that a bad thing?  I have no issue discussing it, and hell, i could be wrong, and a wall wouldn't help.  but so far i have met and talked to very few who are against the wall who will do anything other than scream about how if you are in favor of it, you hate all immigrants.  

what happened to the ability to discuss an issue?  what happened to being able to sit down with someone you disagree with and have a meaningful DISCUSSION.  what happened to being allowed to disagree.  When we started this site i had one rule... a rule that has been tested several times.  no personal attacks.  period, end of discussion.  Is it that difficult to be allowed to disagree?  Is it so difficult to see someone who disagrees with you and not attack them?  Ken Barber and I disagree about almost everything when it comes to politics... but you know, we're still very close friends.  but i have found that to be the exception not the rule.  

And just so everyone doesn't think i believe the right to be perfect, one of the worst offenders of it is the Twit in Chief we have right now.  While i agree with a good bit of what he is doing, i think he is probably the most decisive person with a twitter account right now.  Someone needs to break his damned phone!  

However, with that being said, the Left is worse in a lot of ways, especially if you look at the college campuses.  My father had a saying that really helped shape me into the person i am today.  He was a Vietnam Veteran, 100% disabled, and all that fun jazz.  He would always say.  "I may not agree with everything you says, but by God, I'll die to defend your right to be heard."

Of course, in my rant, i went WAY off topic, but we should all be used to that by now.  I will agree wholeheartedly that I am proud to see those boys and their coach get rescued.  Was i a proud US Citizen, nope.  was a proud anglo, nope.  was i proud military family member.  not at all.  I was a proud HUMAN.  I was proud to see so many different colors of people come together... proud to see so many different men and women come together.  young, old, rich, poor, it didn't matter.  They all came together.  but you know what i will remember most clearly from the day they were rescued.  The streets lined with people as they were led away in ambulances.  The people shown all over the world gathered round their TVs or radios, cheering as another group emerged from the caves.  THAT is what i will remember, and that is also what gives me hope that no matter how much political BS is going on.  No matter how many lies are told by the politicians that are supposed to serve us.  no matter how many times i get called names by people that have no clue who i really am, or why i care about something the way i do.  That hope, that outpouring of love.  That is what allows me to not fall into the blackness of hate.


(Damn... re-reading that, you know.. i really should write something... that was pretty good!)

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I  believe, your Imperial Majesty, You came around in the final sentences of your circumlocuatory address to your subjects to the very nub of what I thought I was saying in the beginning of what has proved to be an entertaining conversation. The Wild Boars Expedition and their evacuation has proved that man works at his finest when colour, race and creed are cast aside.

When that is accepted, of course it doesn't mean nationality no longer exists. People can be proud Americans or Swiss or Burmese or Tanzaneans. But being proud of one's birthright should not make one blind to the needs of others seeking a share of what advantages each of us has. Few in America have great grandparents who were all born in the United States. If the current immigration policies had existed then, only 11.0 per cent of America's current teens would ever have been born. Generations would never have existed to meet and give birth. Of course there have to be controls, but in the high technology age is a brick wall like that China built 2000 years ago the best we can up with as a deterrent to human trafficking? Really!!

I am no socialist. Far from it. Certainly, however, having Canadian great-grandparents and a mother too, I am not a conservative either. I grew up colour blind, up to 7 years having  never seen or been aware there existed another white child in the world. I just thought I was a black kid with a problem! Wouldn't it be great if everyone grew up with children's attitudes to race and colour and what is important. 

As a paediatric surgeon I assure you, inside, every child's intestines look the same. When they're shot, they bleed and hurt and scream the same way. And kids dying are a tragedy whether it's because of a drunk driver in Akron, a Saudi air strike in Aden, an Assad gas barrel bomb, or an abusive dad in Aberdeen.

So, for once we had good news. Our job, as positive rôle models in society, is to create more opportunities for good news to occur. It is a stain on society that this story was such a major one. We should make working together, even risking together, so commonplace, that it's hardly newsworthy at all.

One day.....perhaps the next life, eh!!



PS  Just a Fact Check:  while Roland is correct that US gives most foreign aid in absolute terms, in per capita terms the US comes 16th, after most North Western European nations, Canada, etc. The UK is alone in having enshrined into law that 0.75 per of GDP must go to Foreign Aid as a minimum each year. The US share is 0.34 per cent in 2016. 

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