I received an interesting email from yet another Huffpo user named Scuter who was banned recently. Like a lot of us Scuter was until recently a loyal Huffpo user who liked the site quite a bit. He posted several comments on the article by Robert Amsterdam titled Thailand Sets a Poor Example to Burma.
The situation in Thailand is complex and even though I've spent a few hours trying to understand it I feel as if I've just scratched the surface. However, what is clear to me is that Scuter's comments were perfectly appropriate. He pointed out a clear bias that Mr. Amsterdam has which was not brought out in the article. He also pointed out errors and bias in Mr. Amsterdam's article and as he makes clear below did so in a way that was clearly in compliance with Huffpo's comment guidelines.
Here is a screen snapshot of one of his comments:
Scuter had 5 comments in a row deleted. Not one of them contained a single untrue word. Some of them contained only links to external news articles that provided a needed contrary perspective to Mr. Amsterdam's article. For example, an Amnesty International report on Thaksin's extra-judicial killings or a link to a NY Times article quoting Human Rights Watch Asia Director saying the 3000 extra-judicial killings under Thaksin were "appalling".
Here are some other links that Scuter tried to include in his comments but were censored. The descriptions for the links come from Scuter:
TIME.com article (05/05/10) which paints a far more accurate picture of the extended crisis, as it unfolded. The protesters were remarkably convincing as hijackers holding Bangkok CBD hostage to their ever-increasingly irrational ransom demands. Over a very long period of time.
TIME.com article (05/14/10) documenting the 'peaceful' protesters (armed with Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and rifles) as they provoked and then attacked the soldiers who were tasked with returning the CBD to Bangkok's 20 million residents, who had long since tired of watching the government agree to the protesters demands, only for the protesters to reject the generous concessions.
Youtube footage of Red Shirt core leaders (the group that Mr. Amsterdam portrayed as peaceful victims of government repression) ordering their followers to resort to violence and terror in chilling speeches filmed months before the 'peaceful' protesters set fire to Bangkok:
(0:48 sec) Red Shirt core leader Arisaman screaming for the tens of thousands of Red Shirts to bring petrol to Bangkok to burn the city down.
(0:31 sec) Red Shirt core leader Nattawut telling the massive crowd to "burn the country down" and he would take full responsibility.
(1:20 min) Arisaman outlining detailed instructions to the Red Shirts heading to Bangkok to each bring 1 litre of gas to "bargain" with, and if the government doesn't listen, to use the petrol to make them "disappear from this world".