Unfortunate as it is, Connecting the Dots got the call right on both location and events with Thaksin Shinawatra and his Red Shirt army. So although we do not write much about real time events, dozens of e-mails have prompted us to call the next play of this sad day for Thailand.
So here we go and as a bit of a disclaimer please note this is being composed several hours before it is published.
So starting off with the facts and understanding their importance of predicting what is next. The Red Shirts were playing up to the camera when they were acting peaceful. They wanted plenty of documentation that depicted happy Thais. But once they turned violent anyone with a camera not wearing red was a target. The reason for this is simply they knew they were breaking the law and some would most certainly face treason charges that have the death penalty if they were not successful.
The second fact the Red Shirts were in possession of military weapons, and this is simply Thaksin’s signature in continuing to ramp up as the 2009 riots fell way short because they misjudged Prime Minister Abhisit. Because Abhisit does not flaunt his aggressive Alpha male side, it is there and he draws his strength from morals and ethics that are clearly seasoned with western spices.
So as to what will happen next comes down to one simple factor, and the Red Shirts have simply given them the name ‘Watermelons’. That refers to someone in the military who is following orders and engaging the Red Shirts but is a Red Shirt at heart. So depending on what side they are on will be the trump card.
When you strip away emotion and simply look at tactical ability, Abhisit still has the upper hand as well as the unpublished backing of many if not all western governments. Other governments are not blind and they see that Abhisit is clearly working for the good of Thailand in a democratic way. Any resistance Abhisit may get from other Thais is clearly linked to being self serving and not necessarily in the best interest of Thailand as a whole.
So as for what will happen next is both complex and simple. This may be the opening salvos of a civil war and it has been in the planning ever since the April 2009 riots. Red shirt country is not as read as the red shirts would have you think. In fact it has become very porous with plenty of yellow. It is just the Red Shirts are more vocal so it lends to the illusion all red.
Bangkok will be free of the Red Shirts and for the Red Shirt leaders that are not arrested, many will flee Thailand. The ones that are arrested are already in violation of court orders from the 2009 riots and will likely be incarcerated until their 2009 trials come up. Seeing that they were doing their best to delay those trials, it may be a fair chunk of time at the Bangkok Hilton before they see daylight if at all. This will have the effect of severing the head of the beast, but it still may grow back with fresh DNA from other donors.
As for life up country there clearly will be some changes and that is a bit hard to predict. The Thais who are sitting on the fence uncertain whether to support red or yellow will be a key factor. As we do not have access to those numbers it becomes impossible to accurately predict. However that will become more obvious in the coming weeks.
The north will become a bit of a no mans land for the government and the Red Shirts will no longer seek to annoy, they will have blood in their eyes. If any member of the government ventures there they will be risking their lives for at least the short term.
This is as far as we dare predict at this time as there are way too many variables to consider. However the next 2 to 4 days will show what path Thailand is starting to take and when it is safe to venture about.