MORE INSTABILITY AHEAD IN ASIA? King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand Dies at 88; Reigned 70 Years.
UPDATE: An InstaPundit reader who’s an old Bangkok hand emails:
King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1927 when his father was at Harvard and his mother was at Simmons.
Bhumibhol was truly revered by the people. He was a highly respected constitutional monarch who was an important figure of stability through decades of coups and failed governments, helping Thailand prosper despite the political upheaval. His death and the succession is actually is a big problem that’s been looming even since I lived there in the 1970s. Prophecy has it there would only be 9 kings in the Chakri dynasty. The crown prince is seen as a playboy, not highly respected, who is tight with the military. The daughters, one in particular, are more in the old man’s mold. So the dynastic shitstorm is about to unfold. At a bad time, when they have had a lot of political instability. Thailand is one of the more stable, pro-western, prosperous countries, basically the keystone of Southeast Asia. Not good.
Here’s a 2010 Economist article that goes into the succession woes in deep.
Well, luckily we’ve got John Kerry on the job.