In part 1 we outlined some of the parameters that must be considered in predicting Thaksin Shinawatra’s next moves. In part 2 we explore some of the resources he has at his disposal and how likely he will use them.
Thaksin sees people as disposable tools, so he does not much care about what happens to them. But at this point the people he uses have a bunch of red and yellow warning flags waving in their faces if they blindly do Thaksin’s bidding. The chances of a long jail term are genuine and the ability to flee from Thailand is a gamble at best. So significant hesitation is the reaction at best.
The people Thaksin has to rely on now are just the most radical of Red Shirts. So to say Thaksin has violence on his agenda is a given. History records that about 90 days after the 2006 Coup, a series of bombs exploded in and around tourist and shopping areas in Bangkok. They were eventually found to be politically motivated. The reason for the delay was it took Thaksin that long to get a good feel for his resources. So our first prediction is violence and most likely bombs will happen in the first 4 months after the Coup.
The reason for this is to de-stabilize the new Government. It will take about that long for a functional Government to be installed and develop some policies and direction. Bombs before the new Government if formed will be just to cause trouble and most likely come from Red Shirts without specific targets in mind and be mostly opportunistic attacks. Those attacks will be more from anger and less from targeting a specific goal.
At this point Thaksin’s age must be considered, and the saying ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ does somewhat apply. Thaksin is a creature of habit, so new things would only be used if none of his regular behaviors seem to fit the need. The game plan of the Junta seems remarkably similar being to dismantle Thaksin’s influence and lay in new reform laws that are focused at keeping Thaksin’s influence at impotent levels. That means Thaksin’s only resource is hefty bribes.
However bribes will not be effective if the Junta sees new reform measures as being impotent. The Junta will simply say ‘Try again.’ So with that thought, some people stand to make a lot of money and say to Thaksin, sorry I tried my best. That should shortly be followed by more bombs as Thaksin expresses his displeasure in how things are proceeding.
Also about this time Thaksin will have started to appear more and more in the news granting interviews with friendly media. Needless to say he will not be appearing on the US news program “Sixty Minutes”. The nature of those interviews will likely be anti Coup-and pro-Democracy spun to his needs with a level of distortion that implies his innocence. So simply he will have started his international propaganda machine. The one problem he will have a hard time addressing that nearly all media will want to ask, is how he got on to the very short list of being removed more than once with a Coup and their motivation to do so.
Next Part 3 of 3