Red Shirts: Wake up, Thais to oppose the coup

From Truth Today, January 29-February 2, 2010
The headline reads: Wake up, Thais to oppose the coup
Title at the top reads: Do not fear the coup - Soldiers of the people will betray the aristocrat

[This refers to the rumors floated by both the Red Shirts and picked up by the media that a coup is in the works. The coup would allegedly be accompanied by some sort of revolt by minor army members against their superiors. Both of these scenarios seem unlikely.

A coup would be a major victory for Thaksin. His movement has been agitating for this for years as a way to legitimize more violent rebellion and thus demand pardons for all and create a national reconciliation government. Best of all for him it would taint or forestall the upcoming verdict on his assets. This alone makes it unlikely (or unwise) that the military would wish to hand Thaksin what he wants the most. The military would also be loathe to undertake a coup during the Cobra Gold exercises.

The February 26 assets ruling has been awaited as an event the establishment hopes will finally close the book on Thaksin influence. Considering recent events--Pheu Thai interest in the next elections (instead of a Thaksin revolution), Red Shirt pre-announcing tactics for protests that never happen, and extremely small Red Shirt protests that do occur (20-200 people)--there should be every reason for the military to be hopeful and not spoil the moment by playing into Thaksin's hands.

However, the Red Shirts have finally hit upon a good villain in the military after many fruitless months of trying to provoke the Democrats, the Privy Council, and the monarchy. The clumsy attempts of the military to demonstrate support for the Commander-in-Chief while being unable to tamp down coup rumors has shown them to be as politically inept as ever with even mainstream newspapers questioning the army's stance towards a coup.

If no actual coup or violence takes place, it is likely that the Red Shirts will simply find a reason to declare such a takeover has taken place in the background and try to turn people out on the streets to halt the ruling on Thaksin assets. Of course, there are sure to be several more surprises and misdirection before February 26.]

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