Situation may be intensifying. Rhetoric on both sides is getting stronger, while the PM & his Council of Ministers appear to have almost disappeared. Comments from ex-PM & fugitive from justice Thaksin may be more active.
Thaksin’s comments are blatantly hypocritical. His version of “democracy” is merely a corrupt electoral system that he can buy and dominate. Similarly hypocritical are his calls for PAD to follow the rule of law. If he was sincere in this, he would return to Siam and accept the decisions of the Supreme Court. When the system does what he wants he praises it; when people do not do his bidding he lashes out with immature criticisms. If anybody in this has dictatorial instincts and imperial habits, it his him.
Unfortunately, PAD leaders are stubborn tho not as dishonest. And they do not seem intent on grabbing power for themselves. So I think they are much less distasteful than Thaksin and his henchmen. Still, one of Thaksin’s rivals has vowed to ‘fight to the death.’ Such rhetoric is unfortunate and dangerous. And the PAD has strengthened its defenses against the police. Fortunately, the police have not been confrontational. I now hope that the PAD will find an appropriate way to call a truce (before Red Shirts attack).
Thaksin followers are calling Red Shirts to gather in Bangkok to support the police. Of course, there could be other reasons for them to gather. Friends I trust, believe that many of the Red Shirts are paid. Some may be petty criminals. Yet others are sincere. One of the casualties of this situations and others like it, are ordinary people who are drawn in and manipulated by leaders, many of whom are self-serving. I hope they get out of this in good shape and more politically aware. Ethical politics depends on the ethics of society as a whole, which requires a step back from self-interested consumerism.
My best guess is that Thaksin sees this as a must win situation. He seems to see most things in that light, and this one especially. Another court decision is due on Wednesday. It could remove the legitimacy of the governing party and 2 of its allies. If the court rules these parties guilty of electoral fraud, the govt will have to dissolve. Its legitimacy will be even lower, tho the current PM will remain as a caretaker. Opposition wants him out so that a more fair election can take place. I think that would be fair.
If Thaksin loses these battles, his ability to regain power and his massive wealth will shrink considerably. This is what PAD seeks– and end to Thaksinism. And he seems willing to provoke violence to regain his empire.
My own view is that a return of Thaksin would set Siam on a road to a worse dictatorship than it has ever had before. Thaksin seeks complete control, tho with an electoral veneer. He is clever and hugely greedy. He treats the country as his personal property, which is worse than any previous dictator. He does not accept the traditonal restrictions, even respect for the Monarchy, that they at least did. Letting him back into power will be disastrous.
So I continue to pray that moderate activists, honest politicians, decent soldiers, progressive academics, and genuine patriots will find a way to sideline Thaksin for good and begin the difficult path of rebuilding what Thaksinism has broken.
This is not unlike the situation in the USA after the misrule of the Bush years. I don’t believe that Siam needs its own Obama, but it needs something. What is it an where will it come from?