Predicting what will happen is one of the reasons Connecting the Dots is so popular. We look at how people react to situations and apply methods similar to criminal profiling to predict outcomes. But when it comes to Thaksin Shinawatra, it seems now everyone already knows how he will act and what he will do.
It certainly must cause frustration to Thaksin to see his game plans splashed on headlines before he puts them in motion. It certainly must make him feel a bit like a lab rat who predictably rings a bell for a prize of food.
The Thai government has taken to openly doing what Connecting the Dots does and is preparing the public for what to expect. They predict violence from the Red Shirts. Also the Red Shirts have become predictable to some extent. Like with Thaksin, what they say is often opposite of what they plan to do, but not always. In recent weeks the Red Shirts have been attempting to lull people into a complaisant state by saying they will not be violent and then having that be true. But in reality they are looking to land a sucker punch on the Thai government.
News reports of sudden cash inflow to Red Shirt leaders tends to be evidence of a pending hired riot. Unfortunately this fits what Thaksin will likely do and seeing most likely the money came from Thaksin, the added security measures being deployed are justified.
The counter measures from the Red Shirts saying the government is over reacting further suggests violence is pending. If there was no violence planned the added security would simply be transparent to the Red Shirts. Other things like saying they expect 1 million people to attend is way over the top and only meant to thump their chest and incite unrest. The 2009 April riots were preceded by a rally of about 70,000 that were paid to attend. However during the riots the numbers had shrunk to a violent core group of between 15,000 and 25,000.
Apparently the Red Shirt propaganda fire has already been turned up and community radio stations are already seeding people in pro Thaksin country with distortions to get them angry. So in comparison this mirrors the 2 week period prior to the April 2009 riots thus making this predictable as well.
The government countermeasure deployment is meant to control or at least hinder the tactical response of rallies disbursed around Bangkok and provinces. This is nothing less than the textbook divide and conquer tactic on Thaksin’s part. He is forced into this because a single rally can more easily be surrounded and maintained. This tactic has been tested over the past months to see how effective it would be, and apparently with large numbers it stands some chance of success.
On the note of the predictability of Thaksin and what he will do, that predictability tends to be the super glue that is holding the government coalition together. If Thaksin ever got to power again, people Thaksin sees as his enemies would almost immediately start disappearing never to be seen again, and that is far from the democracy Thaksin claims he is fighting for.