ASEAN Defense: 5) To Coup or Not to Coup “That is the Thai Question”

My Siamese cats like to rock more than couping

By Frank and Stingray, this blog political and national security journalist

Thailand’s army chief is in a tight spot.

The spot is so tight, Thai Rath, Thailand’s mass circulated daily said the military is again thinking about a coup. And in Thailand, for the military to think about a coup, it is not thinking about “Solving the problems of Thailand” but “The repercussions of a coup”

It has now been 2 governments that the military has been propping up in Thailand and as Thai Rath noted, they both have failed. First was the government under the 2006 that failed in performance, and yet again with the Abhisit government, that is as in-effectual.

And yet, as Thai Rath indicated, a third coup government is being planned. So what is the future coup government to be made off. Well the roots follows:

Here is where Anupong currently stand: One one side is Abhisit and his Yellow Shirt ally, and on another is Taksin, the red Shirt and his former senior militarymen allies. And in the middle sits Anupong and his front man in politics, Nevin.

Under that situation, things have gotten so bad for Anupong. First, Nevin’s party that is competing with Taksin in E-Sarn, looks like failure for Nevin. Then, second, the Red Shirt have gained global support, isolating the government that he propped up as an un-reasonably far right creation. Then, third, Abhisit’s government in-effectiveness and corruption is hyping up concern over management capabilities and corruption.

“Don’t be over-confident, take unnecessary risk, and be cautious,” Anupong told his inner circle of royal military friends.

And even with those words, Anupong just can not help pressing Abhisit for about 7 billion baht for a number of wheeled fighting vehicles, to which Abhisit has not responded one way or another. “The army needs these fighting vehicles,” said Anupong.

Then as the rumor of the fighting vehicle leaked, several of Thailand’s media, under the Abhisit roof, began linking the purchase with a 20% under the table cut going to Anupong. Then Nevin’s brain child massive bus rental just got slapped with a corruption noticed by the Thai anti-corruption body, only a day before, an internationals ranking put Thailand’s current corruption index below Taksin’s time.

“The military’s armament program is now a foot ball for the corruption issue,” said Anupong.

Then even major deals has turned soured overnight.

The recent negotiated solution to the top police apparatus, between the military and Abhisit, is now a point of contention all over again, as Anupong told his inner circle: “That important deal has been made, but now that it is over, I suspect it is back to self-interest all over again.” And already, Abhisit assigned a buffer to his inner-circle to isolate Suthep-the go-between between Abhisit and Anupong.

So Anupong is in a tight spot.

But worse, the four pillar house is totally stuck on Kasit, Thailand’s foreign minister, and will not budge on replacing him. Meanwhile Anupong, sees Thailand and Cambodia edge closer to war. “For what is the current conflict, except politics,” Anupong let out in an unusual burst to close friends at a social meeting recently.

But worse yet, the red Shirt and Yellow Shirt are now active again, and Bangkok will be protest filled, needing emergency decrees and military muscle, as the army is re-deploying troops to the Eastern front.

But still worse, Thailand’s economy is weak and a coup could ruin any chance of a recovery, and global outraged will be severe, as the rationale and support is just simply not there like before the 2006 coup that the situation and the economy was ripe and ready. 

In military terms, Anupong told his close friends: “Thailand is weak and divided, war and conflict looms and both internal and external negotiations are locked out of the question.”

 To coup or not to coup, that is the question Anupong is thinking about.

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