As with every situation that has to do with dealing with Thaksin, you must first identify if you are playing in your court or his. In this case looking at the events of this past weekend, it is clear Abhisit thought the game was in his court.
Connecting the Dots does not want to belittle the past as we are very happy to leave that to the multitude of others. But in this case we felt it important to point out some significant dots that can easily get lost in the fog of war.
First off we commend Prime Minister Abhisit and his approach hoping sanity would prevail, however and most unfortunately it did not. But getting back to the basics of what court Abhisit is playing in and the primary differences between the two; In Abhisit’s court there are rules, in Thaksin’s court there are none, it is that simple. If things were in Abhisit’s court this past weekend there would have been only some bruises and no dead or dismembered bodies to be paraded as martyrs.
It is very clear the Tactics used by Abhisit assumed the Red Shirts and or third party supporters would be unarmed, but with Thaksin this would never be the case again. Unarmed was last year and Thaksin simply keeps ramping up pouring more and more violence into the mix. This is a key Thaksin signature that Abhisit clearly overlooked.
The interesting point in all of this tends to point a finger of guilt to Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol. The who, what, where, when description of what happened is way to specific to be a casual innocent bystander. That along with military weapons being used seems to be his developing signature as well.
Quoting the Nation;
Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol said Sunday that the so-called ‘Ronin’ warriors or underground warriors helped red-shirt protesters battle troops on Saturday.
He admitted that the “unknown force” or “Ronin warriors” fired M79 grenades at troops and one M79 grenade landed at the tent of the commander of the operation, causing the troops to have no commander.
“This caused the troops to have no commander and caused them to lose the battle,” Khattiya said.
“The Army commander thought the red shirts were easy to be crushed but there are not,” Khattiya said.
Although Khattiya has parted ways from the Red Shirts, both their goals are the same but with different methods. Because of this alleged involvement with weapons by Khattiya, the level of complicity has just increased by a factor of 10. Self defense for the military becomes an issue at this point and the need to be armed or at least have sniper guardian angels in and about the hot spot to identify and neutralize shooters. The general announcement that the military will shoot armed protestors tends to work well and is more psychologically suggestive. Pick up a gun and you are dead tends to say it all, and if they do not listen then Darwin’s theory will most likely be demonstrated.
Other points there will be no compromise on the Red Shirt position, it will still be all or nothing as Thaksin will not have it any other way.
The silver lining in this if there is any will rely on the proof the casualties from both sides did not come from the government. In turn that may swing a few Thaksin supporters about when they discover the truth. The behavior of the military and its soft approach is consistent with being unarmed so minimal convincing will need to be done providing there are open minds to listen.
The downtown Bangkok Intersection where the Red Shirts are is one of the most monitored in the city as a direct result of the 2006 New Year’s Eve bombings in the area. Because of that the chance of footage of any shooter(s) is a strong possibility.
The other conflict site does not have as many cameras but there are some. The last shots in the murdered journalist’s camera may also provide some clues. An armed protester is always worth a few photos and may have been the cause of the fatal shot. Like most bad guys, they do not like their photo taken in the act of being bad. Chances are nearly 100% that person was wearing red.
If there is a general sense that the government is slipping or is unable to fend off the Red Shirts, there is a very strong possibility the anti Thaksin public will rise up and take on the Red Shirts themselves. At that point all bets are off and Thailand’s darkest day will have arrived as civil war will have erupted. because of this Abhisit must do what he does not want to do and forget that Thailand still has a way to go to be receptive to Mr. Good Guy, because good guys still finish last in Thailand.