In What is turning out to be a bit of a balancing act for Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit, he clearly looks to not give political fuel to Thaksin and his Red Shirts. Although the strategy is sound, the people in Bangkok may not be patient enough to wait.
For all of 2009 and up to today, Abhisit has offered no political fuel for Thaksin and his Red Shirt army. This has forced them to march on issues that most would not even get out of bed for, even if they were sleeping alone. It is the lack of fuel that is destroying credibility in the Red Shirts. But now that the Red Shirts are attacking all of the people in Bangkok be rich, poor or non Thai, they are depleting themselves in many ways.
First off and also pointed out by some of the local media, the Red Shirts are desperately looking for a reason and direction. It is very clear all their actions are not thought out and what they do produce is both childish and immature.
The fact that they respond so well to child psychology is actually helping Abhisit. By banning certain areas knowing full well The Red Shirts would bite down on the bait, it sets up legal precedence to move in as well as clearly showing the Red Shirts are causing hardship and fully disrespecting everyone who lives in Bangkok no matter what their social status is. That violates the law so any countermeasures are already legitimate according to the Constitution.
Abhisit also was seeking for the court to step in provided both political cover and legitimacy for countermeasures to be deployed. But the court responded that Abhisit is already empowered under the constitution.
However it may become a game of ‘Chicken’ with the Red Shirts holding on long enough to cause a problem, but depart before the last straw is pulled but once that point has been passed the game will be on no mater what banned place. No need to repeat the ramp up.
Abhisit is clearly leading the Red Shirts to step far enough over the line so when physical counter measures are deployed, there will be no doubt they were necessary. With Abhisit clearly announcing any countermeasures will be strictly to international standards, there will be no international fuel offered. Add to that the crowd dispersion is likely to be one of the most documented events in the history of man. There are already hundreds if not thousands of cameras deployed from previous events after Thaksin’s departure. With tall buildings all around, it will be like an arena event for the media with their 300mm lenses getting closeup shots covering every square meter.
Even the sun is in Abhisit’s court. With this being the middle of summer and Bangkok being the hottest city in the world, many Red Shirts would give up and go home. The down side is the Red Shirt mob seems to be younger men and are likely the same core group that were involved in the riots 1 year earlier. This suggests the older Red Shirts have already gone home.
It is very obvious the Red Shirts have already lit their own fuse and are on a one way mission with no return. They are actually losing support by pissing people off. Last year Thais watched the riots unfold on their televisions with total disgust. This year it is all about being in your face with marches and rallies all over the city. Unfortunately for the Red Shirts they must forcefully overthrow the government or they are destine to lose. The path of annoyance they are on just lacks the octane to pull it off. Also if you had not noticed, this is a classic Thaksin signature, not care about anyone and piss everyone off.