The Semantics of Violence in Thailand

One of the best blogs you should be reading this week about the crisis in Thailand is New Mandala.  Below is a snippet of an interesting post about the language we choose to use in describing political violence (please note that the post is couple days old now, and there have been some developments, such as casualties among the military).

The definition of massacre is: “The act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly.” Let’s be clear about what is happening on the streets of Bangkok: this is a massacre. Perhaps not a single act or instance, but when taken as a whole, the military and police operations against the red shirt protesters have killed up to this point more than any crackdown by previous Thai military regimes in the past 50 years. It is a slowly unfurling, staggered massacre that promises to soar. The Thai government has promised to bring an end to the crisis by escalating this slow-motion massacre.

If this is not a massacre, then when will it be? At 80 killings? At 100?