The last 6 months in Thailand have been interesting at the least and tragic at the worst. But based on the events of the last several weeks it seems an outboard motor is being used as a blender to properly mix things up.
It seems the time has come once again for Connecting the Dots to sort out the latest political status of Thailand, or who is doing what to who in more poetic terms. There are at least two significant driving forces at work, and ironically they both are related to time. One is time left and the other is doing time.
To start things off it is perhaps best to start with troublemaker and chief Thaksin Shinawatra. It would appear that simple math may be making him take a new approach. But as with all things with Thaksin, it is advised never to take what he says or seems to do at face value. So to best sort out what is going on we must look at what he sees and identify what his most likely actions will be.
Looking back at history, it seems it takes about a year or so for Thaksin to get back up to steam. All things considered that will put the next planned elections only a few months away and not really worth the time and effort. However that does not stop Thaksin from seeking photo opportunities and tainting other people’s image for his own personal gain.
Point in note is being in contact with a Japanese MP to give the impression he cares about other people. Publically he wants to condemn the shooting of a Japanese journalist who was covering the Red Shirt occupation. But behind the scenes he is doing his best to kill all and any investigations as he probably already knows the trail is likely to come back to him one way or another. But for now it is a good photo opportunity and publicity at least until the shooter is identified.
The next consideration is the fact that the Red Shirt leaders are in jail and there is a good chance they will stay there until their trial comes up. Based on the recorded evidence, being found guilty of something is almost a slam dunk. Whether the terrorist charges will stick is yet to be seen. So quick translation they are out of the game probably for good. That certainly changes things on a psychological level in that the game is now being played on a new level called sudden death. It was the Red Shirts and Thaksin that took it to that level and not the Thai government. So finding people willing to throw their lives away for Thaksin is getting hard, but that does not stop the covert activities of bombs and other anger driven actions.
Seeing that an anti personnel bomb was used at a bus stop at the Red Shirt rally site killing at least 1 person on July 25, 2010, and that being timed with the loss of a by-election in Bangkok that involved a jailed Red Shirt leader as a candidate, it seems the violence is only going to heat up again. The psychological value of that election will be felt all across Thailand saying that people object to the Red Shirts and their violence.
There is also some indication that Thaksin supporters are shunning the Red Shirts. They still like and support Thaksin but have concluded that the Red Shirts are not the way to go. All things considered there may be a transfer of Thaksin’s flag as well to a new group that does not have a violent history like the Red Shirts. This is a strong possibility as anything associated with the Red Shirts will likely be quickly extinguished one way or the other. The other reason is Thaksin is on the run and association with a violent group makes it that much harder to stay ahead of the law.
The Pheu Thai Party may also have to distance itself from the Red Shirts as there is an increasing possibility they could have a negative effect on the next elections.
Connecting the Dots feels the Red Shirts will be discarded by all as they have become a liability on all fronts. This is unfortunate for the Red Shirt leadership but it is part of how Thaksin operates. Connecting the Dots frequently refers to this as a dance with the devil as Thaksin cares about nobody but himself.