If there was any surprise at all in what Thaksin said on the phone, it was his audacity. He did not disappoint either his friends or foes alike, taking swipes at the country's revered institution and the judicial process. Thaksin was his true self, a sinful man who preaches holier-than-thou virtues.
He is still adept in the art of the blame game. It was outrageous when he said the power of the masses and the influence of the revered institution could enable him to come home. That means he must be a free man devoid of guilt or jail sentence.
Thaksin does not fight for justice. He does not need it. What he wants is to shake loose from all charges and conviction, by whatever means possible. That has already included an attempt to bribe court officials, which failed, leaving his three legal cronies locked up in prison.
Still, the smooth spin for the gullible audience will likely put him in deeper trouble, both legally and through increasing animosity on the part of his adversaries. Armed forces chiefs have set up teams to study the nuances and implications of his speech. For those with a reasonable degree of intellect, Thaksin's words were a direct attack on his foes he calls "privileged elites".
Thaksin's woeful story was effective in dividing the nation further - those wearing yellow or red shirts. No more pretentious posturing, social warfare was brought into the open and he designated himself commander in absentia of the "red brigade". If the conflict leads to the spilling of more blood, he is safely away from the battleground.
As a convict fleeing jail and with six outstanding arrest warrants, Thaksin lamented his hard times abroad, even though he has become an honorary citizen of the Bahamas, while at least two African nations are also eager to accord him such status. They want him to become an adviser, teaching them how to resolve poverty problems. Thaksin's money smells good indeed, especially after he let the world know how much he pocketed when he sold Manchester City Football Club to Arab billionaires. The Africans have yet to realise that Thaksin's populist policies for the needy were never paid for out of his own pocket. He spent billions of baht to please the poor, not letting the taxpayers know that a huge chunk of the amount found its way into the coffers of his business empire. His cronies, serving as front men, took care of the kickbacks when sweetheart contracts were doled out under his benevolence.
An unmistakable message during the speech was that he will not give up the fight and take whatever comes his way sitting down, even it if causes further legal troubles and hardships while in exile. Thaksin can travel without fear of arrest. His extensive network of friends and his vast wealth buy convenience and safe passage. That means more unsettling political trouble for the country and the likelihood of violent confrontation between the people in yellow and red shirts. If the crisis worsens, an abrupt change of government could take place, by the military's peace-keeping role, short of a coup, to stop a full-scale civil war.
There is a troubling question: how to deal with the Somchai government now that its lame-duck chief is embroiled in an obvious sex scandal, seen in videotapes viewed by millions. He refuses to comment, far less tell whether the man in the videotape was him or just a lookalike. Somchai believes he can get away with silence. A national leader with some sense of decency and shame, caught in such an uncompromising situation, would immediately resign and apologise to the public. Some optimists might have expected as much from Somchai. Those who are familiar with shameless politicians treat it with a sense of deja vu.
Maybe it's time for Thailand to work out its own solution to resolve this extraordinary political stalemate in which shamelessness prevails in all circumstances, in the belief that the military will not have the nerve to stage a coup for fear of widespread public resistance.
The West's negative attitude towards the undemocratic change of government also serves as a deterrent. Should the people tolerate these politicians until they complete their term in office, sell their votes to put them back in office again, and risk a national collapse?
We know the obvious answer. Whether those who can do it, still have the nerve to do it, for the sake of national security, is another question. Thaksin would not have any second thought if he could do it, with more lives lost as collateral damage and acceptable casualties of war.