Bangkok Burning


Patrick Winn is there:

Bangkok is 10 weeks and more than 60 deaths into a stand-off between the military-backed government and a faction of self-proclaimed "commoners" -- the Red Shirts -- that insists the ruling party must fall. In recent days, the army has resorted to picking off protesters (the top brass calls them "terrorists") with sniper rifles from afar. But the Red Shirts have defended their encampment: two-square miles of Bangkok's priciest real estate, fortified with concertina wire and bamboo staves.

As Bangkok slips further into chaos, it's unclear if even the Red Shirt guiding statesmen can turn back the legions of Thai men (and some women) wading into near suicidal combat. "We must accept death," said Pichet Taweesin, a 40-year-old day laborer tending a flaming wall of truck tires. Nearby, teenagers snapped cell phone photos of their friends, striking hooligan poses while gripping homemade gas bombs.

Max Fisher provides a useful primer on the politics of the crisis. Photo sent by a Dish reader. The Big Picture has many more.