July 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Repairing the Damage Done: A Unique Perspective

The Honorable Kantathi Suphamongkhon

Our international reputation is not what it used to be. With a few exceptions, the world sees the US as a bully, a warmonger and a cultural and political imperialist. Is there anything the next president can do, quickly and effectively, to turn that perception around?

The Honorable Kantathi Suphamongkhon thinks it’s going to be an uphill climb. “The ability to understand the psychology of your adversary is vital,†he said in a conversation at his Bel-Air home. “Personally, I am allergic to terms like, ‘you are with us or you are against us.’ The world isn’t black and white.†  Name-calling and using terms like “axis of evil†and “rogue states†does little to help, he says.  

Kantathi Suphamongkhon with Prince Charles in 2005

What’s more, the use of force to impose democracy, he notes, contradicts the very idea of democracy. “Up until the Iraq invasion, diplomacy coupled with the credible threat of force, was working,†said Dr. Suphamongkhon. Many believed that giving George W. Bush the authority to attack could actually avert war by demonstrating our willingness to confront Saddam over his UN obligations.

At the ASEAN conference with Condoleeza Rice

Since then, the actual invasion and occupation have evolved into a multidimensional disaster. Still, Dr. Suphamongkhon is hopeful that the next president will be able to turn opinion around. “The US has many friends,†he said. “But friendships must be cultivated. For example, many of us in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) often feel that we are not on your radar screen.†This is not to be taken lightly.  Just after 9/11, Washington declared that Southeast Asia was the second front in the global effort against terrorism, and ASEAN member countries are vital to US security. As one of America’s oldest friends, recently celebrating 175 years of diplomatic relations, Thailand has a strong interest in US participation in annual ASEAN conferences.  “Russia, China, India, Japan and the European Union are all eager to interact with us. If the US stays away, after a while it won’t be missed. That would not be good for either of us.â€

All is by no means lost, however. “This election is an opportunity for the US to send a message that it wants to help create a more peaceful world.â€

Dr. Suphamongkhon relocated to Bel-Air last September with his wife, Soparvan. “We love it here,†he said, “it reminds us of the South of France.†The son of a Thai ambassador, Dr. Suphamongkhon was raised in the world of international diplomacy, living in various countries before joining the Thai government. But in September 2006, the government was overthrown in a bloodless military coup. “I didn’t have any political enemies, so I could have stayed,†he said. But just then, his alma mater, UCLA, asked him to return and teach international diplomacy. “The timing was right,†he said. As someone who has been in the diplomatic service, in government and now a professor in West LA, he says, “I’m enjoying this new chapter of my life enormously.â€

in News
Related Posts

Summer at Annenberg:Swim Daily and Watch the Sunset

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

By Susan Payne A unique, inclusive community destination along the Pacific Coast Highway of Santa Monica is inviting you to...

(Video) Two Different Angles of a Firecracker Being Tossed Into a Garage in Brentwood

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

A series of incidents where teens threw firecrackers have been happening in Brentwood since April. In this case, the firework...

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Daughter Advocates for Long Covid Awareness and Safety Measures

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Brentwood Resident Speaks Out Opposing Mask Bans, Calling for Covid Protections in County Facilities Violet Affleck, daughter of actors Ben...

Enjoy Weekly Concerts Every Thursday Evening Until August 29 at The Culver Steps

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Culver City Free Summer Music Series Returns for the Summer The City of Culver City will host a free summer...

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Have Formally Listed Their $68 Million Beverly Hills Mansion For Sale

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Amid Rumors, the Actors Have Placed Their Family Home on the Market Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have officially put...

Kroger and Albertsons Reveal List of Stores to be Divested in $25 Billion Merger

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Eleven Stores in West Los Angeles Among Locations to be Sold  The Kroger Company and Albertsons Companies Inc. have announced...

(Video) Renowned Soprano Singer to Make L.A. Homecoming at Broad Stage

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Golda is scheduled to perform on July 13 at 8 p.m. @culvercitywlanews This Saprano singer is set to take the...

UCLA Student Housing Break-In Leads to Sexual Assault Charges

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Suspect Faces Up to 25 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced...

Culver City Police Arrest Two Suspects in Late Night Armed ATM Robbery

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Suspects Identified and Apprehended Following Investigation Two suspects have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery that occurred on...

Dine LA Restaurant Week Returns to Celebrate Culinary Diversity With Amazing Deals

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Special Menus at Hundreds of Local Restaurants from July 12 to July 26 Dine LA Restaurant Week will be returning...

Viral Tweet Spurs Screening of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice at the Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Independent Theater to Showcase 2006 Film on July 13 Following Online Debate By Dolores Quintana Following an unexpected turn of...

LAPD and LASD Collaborate to Nab Group Responsible for Over 30 Residential Burglaries

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

“Reflector Vest Crew” Burglary Suspects Arrested in Los Angeles In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes...

Santa Monica Artist Dave Quick’s “Return from the Burn” Exhibition to Open at Bergamot’s Lois Lambert Gallery

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Pre-Burning Man Showcase Features Kinetic Art and Sculptures Coated with Playa Dust, Opens July 13 With upwards of 80,000 attendees,...

(Video) Newly Rebranded Santa Monica Hotel Shines a New Light on the Neighborhood

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

The Revitalized Business is Also Available For Events @culvercitywlanews The newly rebranded Santa Monica Hotel casts a new light on...

Award-Winning Soprano Makes Broad Stage Debut

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

Golda Zahra to Perform in LA July 13 By Susan Payne Renowned Soprano Golda Zahra is making her homecoming back...