On one side is the ruling class right struggling to remain in power and on the other is the oppressed struggling for liberation. It sounds like central-America between the far right and the left, but in Thailand, it is about the far right against democracy-and what democracy guarantees such as freedom, equality and justice.
Representing the far right ruling class Thai are the military, Democrat Party and its proxy Yellow Shirt, upper-middle class on up, business owners-and maybe what foreign press often writes about. Representing the forces of liberty, are For Thai Party, Red Shirt, lower middle class down to the bottom-and most of the world’s press but not their governments.
Strategy wise, the far right have shown willingness to do anything, including destroying the economy-such as the closure of Thailand’s main airport, to breaking the law on massive scale such as the occupation of government house and attempt to close down parliament. Other than that, it also willing to use violent protest.
For the liberal forces, thus far it had lost power to the far right-as a result of the far right willingness to do anything. However, while the For Thai Party have re-grouped with better internal organization and task specializations that will likely see fierce confrontations in Parliament, the real power of the forces of liberation is the Red Shirt.
The Red Shirt have shown the ability to mobilize anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 protesters. And therefore, it presents a clear and present danger to the forces of the far right-as if the Red Shirt simply copied the tactics of the Yellow Shirt and simply took control of government house and parliament-a new chapter in Thai politics will certainly developed.
If that occurs or not, lies in the ability of the far right to work with the forces of liberty peacefully. If continued on present course, with the far right continuing to attack liberty, the worse could happen, where Thailand plunges into a deeper crisis than when the Yellow Shirts was ruling Thailand destructively with its illegal activities.
The Thaksin question? While Thaksin is certainly a key player in liberating Thailand’s poor before, with his first introduction populus policies in Thailand that resulted in a political awakening in millions of Thais to their right and choices, Thaksin is seen as a critical threat to the far right-because of a mix of Thaksin’s wealth, ability, and widespread accepted belief that he is looking to turn Thailand into a republic-removing the constitution Monarchy system.
Arguably, the real threat Thaksin had and continue to pose on the far right, may have nothing to do with the republic question at all. It may plainly be a fundamental fight in Thailand between competing business interest groups. Indeed, the real fear may be that if Thaksin returns as a key driver of Thai politics, a new and powerful business group may emerged again-as the one Thaksin built up during his PM period, expanded agressively.
Then many long-time political observers in Thailand would say the old superstar “Prem” the privy council wants to keep making music and the only way to stay on top is to scuttle the rising star-meaning Thaksin. The problem with that, isn’t really about wanting to keep making music, Pa certainly has the right, but that the music is out-of-date-in that it is about Nation, Religion, and King-when the modern music is Freedom-Equality-Justice-not just, Country, Religion and King.
The key relationship links are-since the Democrat Party is in control of government, most press and military, it is the key driver of actions that impacts Liberty-and thus For Thai and Red Shirt. How Liberty, For Thai and Red Shirt are impacted, creates their following corresponding actions. And on the other side, Liberty, For Thai and Red Shirt are also advancing their interest, at the defense by the far right. As the link indicates, there is no way out of the vicious circle-since most agencies set up to officiate the competition, are marginalized to the far right.
As far as the Yellow Shirt are concerned, in the end they lack the intercultural and street muscle to compete with the Red Shirt, and the military, while huffing and puffing about using force against the Red Shirt-it is operationally impossible to control a gathering the size of millions or even in the 100,000ss-and therefore will always be marginalized-that is unless it was will to assassinate hundreds of protesters and stage a coup to control it all and cover it all up.
A note however, there is a real threat that the military will send military personnel into guise as Yellow Shirt, thus legitimizing and improving the effectiveness of attacks on the Red Shirt. Yet anticipated foreign journalists at the event may scuttle the likelihood.
Within that dynamic, lies Thaksin. His tools are the For Thai Party-seen as leaning to Thaksin, and the Red Shirt-seen increasing leaning towards pure liberty. And in the final analysis, while the far right controls government, it still remains Thaksin who holds Thailand and its future in his hands.
All of it really depends on at what level will Thaksin take the fight to, and will the far right succeed in assassinating Thaksin, if the situation demands.