It appears both the psychological and tactical pendulums are swinging against Thaksin’s Red Shirt army. The enough is enough feeling about Thaksin that first appeared in January 2006 with the Shin deal seems to be back with a vengeance.
Even to the under educated Thaksin supporters, the sound of 4 against one sounds a bit ominous. The Red Shirts are now up against the Government, the military and police, the Pink Shirts and multi color shirts, and the Yellow Shirts. Just doing the math in the best showing of the Red Shirts that was just over 100,000 people, the Yellow Shirts alone can muster the same numbers. The military and police have about 85,000 and the growing Pink and multi color shirts look to have at least 10,000. So in very round numbers there will be about a quarter of a million people actively involved.
Adding to the psychological side, members of the royal family paying a visit to injured military personnel sends a strong message to rethink about being red as it was not the first time the royal family visited Thaksin opponents.
In the threat of violence and loss of life category, there most certainly looks to be numbers, but getting caught off-guard will not happen again. The military most likely will have anyone with a weapon in their hands in the center of their scopes cross hairs and ready to fire should they look to take aim, and little doubt they will. Essentially the psychological shock will not be there as the military has already announced plenty of live ammunition will be on hand this time should any Red Shirts attempt to take any military equipment or weapons.
Outside of Bangkok there have already been attempted acts of terrorism associated with the Red Shirts as they have unsuccessfully tried to take out Bangkok’s electric power supply. Collectively this all points to Thaksin being involved with terrorism now. With the universal hatred of terrorists at this point in time, dark homes will bring even more out against Thaksin and the Red Shirts. If that is the case the Red Shirt leaders will be lucky to escape alive. If they do take the power out, it will be one of those classic not thought out to conclusion Thai blunders on the part of the Red Shirts.
The Watermelon factor is also coming into play (military and police personnel that side with the Red Shirts). It is a bit of a no brainer that they will be put on the back burner by the military commanders. This is a classic tactic and the Chinese used the same tactic when dealing with the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
The situation does look dire no matter how you look at it. There seems to be a sense this is full throttle for Thaksin and the Red Shirts and there is no more in reserve, so it is do or die. If anything does happen it will be very intense and burn out fairly quickly. Tactically by the Red Shirts consolidating in one place places the Military at advantage.