Philip J Cunningham
Philip J Cunningham is a media researcher covering Asian politics. He is the author of Tiananmen Moon.
The outpouring of popular dissent on Wednesday proved to be a flash in the pan; by dawn the next morning, the sit-in at Government House had been disbanded, rank and file protesters were sent packing and the protest leaders were put under arrest.
A new generation of Thai protesters has broken into the open, and while their defiant self-image as the generation that will finally fix things may be naive, they have already left their mark with the unexpectedly successful demonstration at Sanam Luang in the heart of old Bangkok on Sept 19-20.
In retrospect, China did the right thing by saying "no thank you" to Facebook. When gregarious internet evangelists come bearing gifts, it is probably best not to take their wares or let them in the door. Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile -- and trample on national sovereignty, too, if profits and power are at stake.