Thursday, November 27, 2008

Some advice to Thai army leaders should they decide to pull another late-night coup

It's 16:30 in Bangkok.

Bangkok Pundit
Thai Rath reports that PPP MPs believe there will be a coup tonight and are going to mobolise "red shirts". Also, that all 6 coalition parties agreed to use legal measures against the PAD who have broken the law to try to provoke a coup. PPP MPs have promised to mobolise not less than 20,000 persons per MP.

In Bangkok, MPs from the coalition parties will ask people to bring their cars on the streets or taxis to close roads to prevent a coup. The coalition parties believe a coup will happen tonight..

They are also going to release details of the financial backers of the PAD especially Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn bank.
Bangkok Pundit adds that he is he is hearing of movements by the first army.

Thai Crisis has also blogged about this development, and notes that the Thai Cabinet has been holding a meeting up in the north of the country in the city of Chang Mai.

Fonzi is takes a dark view about the outcome of any impending coup, blogging:
This is probably the worse thing that can happen, because then all bets will be off. I think it will lead to full-blown civil war, because the PPP/Reds won't accept it, and they shouldn't accept it.

And just because there will be a coup doesn't mean the yellows will go home. In fact, this will just empower them more. They will want to dictate the composition of the new government and will make sure that the outcome of a new constitution and new election will be made on their terms.

So you will have the reds fighting the tanks and the yellow and reds going at each other in the streets.

The police are so incompetent and poorly trained that they won't be able to control anything.

Worse, you might have the police and military units fighting each other. I can't see the police backing the military and the PAD after being emasculated and demonized by the Thai media and the PAD after the October 7th incident. . . .
Just now, Bloomberg's Daniel Ten Kate and Rattaphol Onsanit report on the coup development:
Thailand's ruling party called on its supporters to clog Bangkok's streets to prevent a possible coup attempt after Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat rejected army demands that he resign.

``People who have cars and cabbies should drive and block any tanks that may come out if there is a coup,'' Suthin Klangsaeng, a deputy spokesman of the People Power Party, said in comments broadcast on Thai PBS channel. ``Anyone opposing a coup should also take to the streets.''

The government is calling for its supporters to mobilize in the streets to prevent the coup.
I might mention that I toured the streets of Bangkok the night of the last Thai coup Sept. 2006. I saw the coup unfold on the dark streets. Before my eyes tanks and armored vehicles assembled and generals drove by.

My old post gives you an idea of what a (peaceful) late night coup in Bangkok looks like.

As the day winds down in Bangkok, my old advice to the Thai military -- based on my experience live-blogging their last coup -- probably bears repeating:
But just before I headed off a horn sounded. A car swirved at high speed around the tank, narrowly missing it. The tank situated in the very center of the intersection was all but invisible to an unwary driver. (Note to Thai military: distribute reflective plates for your tanks for the next coup).
If you are in Bangkok tonight, play it safe.
Photo: by Jotman shows Bangkok the night of the last coup, September 19, 2006.

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