With the breakup of factions in Thaksin’s Red Shirt army, Thai politics has entered a dangerous new phase. This new phase will be more targeted at politicians with assassinations being the primary tool.
Noting the lack of direction in the March 14 Red Shirt rally, it is clear there was little or no agreement in the direction the rally should take. Many of the people attending the rally felt the Red Shirt leadership was nonexistent. Thaksin was in hiding calling in from an unknown location as well. This gave the general sense he had his tail between his legs. Together with the announced split between the violent and non violent Red Shirt factions, it has opened the doors for the violent factions to go at it alone.
However in general that never stopped the violent factions from being violent in the past, the only change now is they will not have the huge mob to repeat the April 2009 riots. So what that leaves is the cowardly M79 grenade attacks and assassination attempts at members of the government as well as people on Thaksin’s hit list.
The goals remain the same being to unseat the government, and with key figures riding around in bullet proof cars, long range snipers and powerful car bombs seem to be the remaining choices. The snipers would be targeting places where their targets would enter or exit their bullet proof rides. Car bombs would be anyplace along the traveled route with areas around the Government house being the best choice to assure the target passes the bomb.
As for the remaining more peaceful Red Shirts it is uncertain what they will do. Their intentions do not match their resources as many people who have attended the rally simply sensed defeat and would only come to a new rally if there was some monetary gain involved.
The Red Shirts however seemed to have struck on a theme that may get some new followers if they can do so insides the confines of democracy. If they can do this there is the possibility of getting some yellow shirt converts because they will have met their requirements of accepting that a democracy does exist and are using it within the law. There is no doubt there are some yellow shirts who are discontent with the elite class and would be looking to level the playing field for all Thais. The yellow shirts were the best available choice for them at the time, but this new direction by the Red Shirts offers refinement.
But the game is not over and the Red shirts are still in play. The most dangerous time will be before Thaksin’s assets are seized and his permanent ban on politics begins.
Thaksin has also sensed defeat with using rallies after this last showing, so it is very clear knowing his personality he is placing his chips on the assassination spot on the table. He has to be the only remaining choice thus the only man that can. Anyone else who shows a high level of competence will be near the top of his hit list. When he is the only remaining choice he feels he will have leverage and demand his money back and a pardon if the Thais want his help in saving Thailand from the remaining inept who are running the show.