When they were used by the police to disperse the violent PAD mob, grenades were ‘war weapons’ with apparently enormous destructive power. Now they appear to be a bit of a joke – the so-called attacks on government offices last night (which were almost certainly faked by these members of the military) seem to have caused no damage at all (perhaps they just threw them at the wall instead of exploding them?). This is of course not the first time that the Abhisit regime has used ‘violence’ to justify its intensely repressive approach to free speech and the pro-democracy demonstrations. This particular incident seems to have been designed to create a pretext for extending the sinister ISA for another week and to keep the jackboots on the streets.
How are these things organised? If the ammat want something to happen, an obviously false judicial verdict, for example, or in this case a faked grenade attack, are phone calls made directly? Do the underlings simply understand what is wanted from them when they are hired? Is there some kind of ammat-facebook social space where they speak freely? Does P*** have his car driven to their houses with a bag of gold? Perhaps it is handled on a case-by-case basis: dodgy judges can probably work out for themselves what they have been paid to do; squaddies may need some direct guidance.
The PAD mob has started to how its true nature – yesterday, heavily armed mobsters launched a wave of violence in Bangkok and is threatening more.
Three police have been shot by PAD mobsters; a dozen more have been hospitalized after a PAD mobster drove a pickup truck into them. Two or three people (the news is still not clear, to me at least) have lost legs, at least one of them because he had a bomb in his pocket. Police have found hand grenades – it is likely that the people who were injured in the initial clearing of the mob from parliament yesterday morning were injured by PAD owned grenades or bombs – there is no proof of this yet, so far as I can see but it seems the most likely explanation. Police continue to maintain they used only tear gas and the events were covered by the international media and I have seen no meaningful suggestion that they acted improperly. This is from the BBC.
The situation seems to be reasonably calm at the moment. There are troops on the street to protect various locations and it is said that 30 companies more are ready to join them. Army chief General Anupong Paojinda is currently supporting the government – and PM Somchai is remaining calm, in public at least. However, the military is riddled with factions and it is not certain that there will not be yet another coup. At least most of the top military leadership now realize after the disastrous Surayud government that they are simply incapable of running a modern economy.
Presumably the PAD will intensify violence later today in the hope of provoking the coup and ending democracy – which is their stated aim. It is a dangerous time. There are many rumours flying about.