Looking down from a safe vantage point into the Red Shirt camp, the untrained eye would tell you these are civilian Thais. But look closer and you will see these civilian Thais packing military weapons from rocket propelled grenades to assault rifles and they are not shy to use them on other Thais.
The stage is set and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there will be some widows on both sides when the smoke finally clears. The convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra has learned his lesson well from the 2009 riots that you must fight fire with fire. Clubs, machetes, and makeshift weapons are no match for properly equipped riot control personnel. So instead of backing down, Thaksin has simply armed his rioters with military weapons and cares nothing at all about the accepted international standards of crowd control and nothing about their lives. He will be comfortably sitting in some far off country sipping cappuccino and coldly looking at people dying because of him.
This will be no ordinary riot clash, this will be as real as war can get in a city setting with hand held military weapons being used on both sides. The only good point is it will be localized to a few city blocks and not an entire city. The US government has told Americans just to get out of the way by a few miles and they will be out of harms way.
The unknowns and most certainly a concern is what the Red Shirts will do in rural Thailand. They have already shown that they will challenge the government and any form of authority. So on that note there will likely be clashes at government offices in the north and northeast. For that point 14 degrees north may become Thailand’s Mason Dixon line dividing Thailand as is North Korea is separate from South Korea. However because Connecting the Dots is not sure of the actual strength of the Red Shirts outside of Bangkok, this is just one possible extreme scenario that may play out as it does match Thaksin’s game plan. Needless to say this will drag on for a while.
The bottom line is this is all very sad and is all based on lack of education. There is a very clear line that is about 17 years old. If a Thai’s education continues past that point, they are likely to be anti Thaksin. Most Thais in the north stopped going to school in their early teens, so they lack the crucial judgment and reasoning skills needed to be successful in life and easily fall prey to others that would use them. In this case many will die thinking they are doing the right thing for King and country.