Thailand’s anti government rally seems to be quickly approaching a catch 22 situation. No matter what the rally partakers do other than pack up and go home is likely to cause them loss of face.
From the outside looking in it appears to be a chess game with tens of thousands of red pawns being manipulated by the red king that is already in check. The red king clearly looks to defeat the white king but each move causes more and more to be lost.
From the news reports it is clear the Red Shirt leaders are using disinformation to anger the troops. However this was totally expected as the real information is no different than what would be seen in a typical western democracy.
At the time of writing this entry the Red Shirts have just encountered their first taste of reality with Prime Minister Abhisit saying no to their demands and he was backed by to coalition parties. All that disinformation being spread by Thaksin’s cronies for the last few months has not so gently been swatted like a fly with one 5 minute live TV broadcast by Abhisit. The Red Shirts responded with the call to march the rally back to the main nest to ponder the next move.
Needless to say the next move will be some form of escalation on the part of the Red Shirts. It is yet to be seen how devoted the Red Shirts are to wander around Bangkok in the blazing summer sun and humidity. There will be virtually no supplies as nearly all businesses will shutter their doors and windows if there is Red Shirt Activity nearby. What stores remain open will have limited supplies and they will quickly be consumed leaving the Red Shirts with few options. A typical 7-11 store could see to a few hundred thirsty and hungry people but not thousands. In this case the Red Shirt’s reputation for violence will most certainly come back to haunt them.
So if the Red Shirts do not get violent, the government will simply wait them out. If they do resort to violence, they will quickly run out of fuel as they meet shuttered shops. If they resort to breaking into shops they will lose face and have a hard time with self denial of the criminal activities they are doing. So it seems this confrontation may all come down to logistics, and no food or water during Bangkok’s summer will have many Red Shirts heading north.