When it comes to Thaksin Shinawatra, persistence is one thing he is noted for when it comes to getting his way. Because of that he has become very predictable and less shocking.
So here he comes again, trying to overthrow the Thai government and place himself above all others. It is the same old story Thailand has heard for the past several years. This time however he has extra motivation as his fortune is on the line. Because of that The Thai government has simply pointed out to the Thai people what to expect over the next month or so.
The list of get ready for reads like a program guide for a play with each act ramping up to the finally of hopefully getting the pro and anti Thaksin elements of the military fighting and causing a civil war. The plot is exactly the same as the April 2009 riots except the target seems to be the military this time around and not the government.
Under this scenario the military will not be seen as a third party stepping in to quell the unrest, but as a responding opponent thus setting up the good guy bad guy battle Thaksin wants and fuel for his protests. This all becomes a bit complex to predict exactly how he will get to that goal as adjustments will be made on the fly. Even if a battle between Thaksin and the military does not happen, there will be chaos and instability generated and that will work to Thaksin’s favor.
There are counters to this such as Prime Minister Abhisit activating the security laws but Thaksin’s timing must be exact. Thaksin’s Red Shirts must explode into violence and not ramp up into it. Some violent events that draw blood must happen before the security law is active to give Thaksin fuel. For this Abhisit has the upper hand as he can activate the law far in advance but must only do so with good reason.
In general Thaksin has very limited options and his impending violence must be well choreographed to give as much political fuel as possible. That probably means multiple rallies all exploding into violence at exactly the same time on Que. That also means people in Bangkok should have a good supply of Mama noodles on hand at home as going out may be ill advised.
Another scenario that may unfold is when the military eventually comes out to quell the unrest, Thaksin will try to market it as a coup. The success of that will depend entirely on the media. Journalist must use their own eyes and ears and not rely so much on quoting people with a political agenda. If the military is out with weapons that kill then it probably is a coup. If it is just riot control gear, then in is not a coup. So it is a bit ironic that the fate of a country may depend on what journalists write and not the government or the military.
Connecting the Dots does see some potential in this strategy for Thaksin, but pulling it off will be difficult as he is some distance away and real time coordination will be key to success.