by Stingray, this blog national security journalist
A lot of people are planning to crush the Red Shirt. The Thai Internal Security Operation Command plans to do it. And the Thai military also is planning to do it. Both are going about buying the latest crowd control equipment, to throw at the big Red Shirt gathering.
What can the Red Shirt do? And how desperate is their situation? Remember, at the last Red Shirt gathering, the Thai military shot live bullets, that is on record with “Bullets Wheezing Above” Red Shirt heads. Off-record, many suspect a few got killed.
One thing is for certain, what ever the Thai Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) will be doing with the brand new crowd control equipment to crush the expected major Red Shirt gathering in the near future, Taksin will know of those ISOC actions, just at about the same time whatever those action decision are being made.
Another thing for certain, is that Taksin will be fully prepared and anticipate what ever move ISOC are planning to do in preparation for that Red Shirt gathering.
There is just simply no way to keep anything a secret, with Panlop, a former senior officer of ISOC, a bunch of other senior Thai intelligence officials, and other very senior special warfare soldiers, now fully entrenched with Taksin.
In fact, Panlop was such a key figure at the ISOC, he was responsible for laying down most of the strategic direction of ISOC, and was in charged of the actual implementation at actionable level, of much of the ISOC work, for decades.
In fact, loads and loads of people at ISOC and in the entire Thai intelligence apparatus, straight up to the Thai National Security Council, that is chaired by the Thai prime minister, Abhisit who sees the Red Shirt and Taksin as arch enemies, are former colleges of Panlop.
While as expected, much of that net-work of Panlop, probably have evaporated away. But Abhisit’s own control of the ISOC is not that solid either. In fact, repeatedly, Abhisit have criticized the ISOC and the entire Thai intelligence apparatus for being not effective in carrying out his orders.
The bottom-line is that the ISOC and tha Thai intelligence apparatus are the true elite of Thailand-operating half of the time with a directorate type of decisions that transcend even the highest level of Thai politics.
Panlop himself, when at ISOC, ordered the military to attack a group of surrounded terrorist that resulted in a mass death of about 30 terrorist trapped in a Mosque in Thailand’s Deep South. The order, by Panlop, went directly against Taksin’s and Chaovalit orders, in power then, to just surround the Mosque.
What is dengerous, is off course, that all the military and security people who have joined Taksin, have been installing military tactics into the strategy of the Red Shirt gathering. While the red Shirt still maintain that their movement will be peaceful, but highly disruptive, that military strategy is expected to increase the Red Shirt protest effectiveness many times over. That effectiveness, will obviously leave little room for any side of the equation to make a mistake.
On top of it all, in Thailand’s political history, the workings of the “Third Column” can never be discounted out. Add to that the level of directorate type of decision the entire Thai national security apparatus operate under, and one can not discount out “Rouge” actions.
The 200 million baht budget that the ISOC just requested and got from the Thai government to purchase equipment to prepare for the Red Shirt gathering, apart from the fact that it could just be the cover for a secret slush fund for personals, there are little crowd control equipment out there that can contain the thousands upon thousands of the Red Shirt that are expected to participate.
The key to who comes out ahead in the protest, will be the video surveillance technology, on the side of the ISOC-for containment force projection as the Red Shirt scatters across Bangkok. On the side of the Red Shirt, it will be exactly the same, with protest strategist, watching everything the ISOC does, as far as ISOC force projection is concerned.
Apart from that, secure communication, by both sides, will also be key. And as always, the ISOC have sent spies into every Red Shirt protest gatherings.