Thailand on the Brink

The situation has been bad enough in Bangkok for two months. But today, the Thai army started firing into protester encampments. There’s also a lot of criticism from Thais that the protesters, who’ve been far from cooperative and nonviolent, are totally out of hand. The army of a democratic nation is fighting to maintain the democratically elected government that the pro-democracy protesters (who are drawing Hitler mustaches and swastikas on pictures of government officials) are hellbent on overthrowing.

The situation, unfortunately, is poised only to get much worse. One Thai politician is speculating that at least 100 deaths and 1,000 injuries will occur, since the government has decided it’s time to restore order and the Red Shirts are patently refusing to compromise. To wit, check out a piece of this report from a couple of Southeast Asian journalist who embedded with the Red Shirts. It does not bode well for Thailand’s near future.

“This may be central Bangkok, but as soon as we were inside the barricade, we were in a different world. Hundreds of red-shirted people sat around—women, children, the elderly, monks—some chatting, some sleeping, some watching the news on TV.

“We approached a woman who was lying on a bamboo mat with her infant and asked her for an interview. She agreed. She said she had been inside the Redshirt encampment since March 12.

“‘We don’t want to get killed,’ she said. ‘But if the army shoots at us, we are prepared to die here for democracy.'”