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THE BOMB SQUAD


If you thought our recent story on millions of baht worth of brand new bomb detectors being replaced by chopsticks was as ridiculous as it could get, then you just might want to think again. Find out why here...

The Thai government is bracing itself for prolonged rallies by their red-shirted adversaries next week. In the wake of grenade attacks on Bangkok Bank branches following the verdict in the recent Thaksin asset seizure case, security is being stepped up an extra notch.

But this is Thailand, so what does that mean exactly? The GT-200 bomb detectors obviously don’t work, and chopsticks are notoriously ineffective against hand grenades, so the government has brought in the bomb squad.

A front page picture on the Bangkok Post this week showed a large gathering of mo-sai (motorcycle taxi drivers) sitting cross-legged in their waistcoats with an array of cartoonesque bombs laid out in front of them.

So what’s wrong with this picture? Admittedly, the bombs didn’t have the word “bomb” or “acme bomb” painted on the side, but they could easily have fitted into an episode of Roadrunner or Tom and Jerry.

They were bomb-shaped. They looked like bombs.

This was presumably an exercise in training Bangkok’s ubiquitous mo-sai to recognise bombs. Apparently they don’t have access to Cartoon Network.

Enlisting the help of the mo-sai may seem like a good idea: there are thousands of them and they are everywhere. However, for anybody who knows more than how to fiddle their MP expenses, there are three major flaws with this plan.

Firstly, would the red shirts really be using these kinds of bomb? The Bangkok Bank attacks were with hand grenades – only 2 of which actually exploded. Southern insurgents favour home-made bombs packed inside motorcycle petrol tanks.

And therein lays the second flaw. If motorcycles are to be used to carry the bombs, wouldn’t the mo-sai be the ideal agents of death?  

And therein lays the third flaw. Mo-sai are notoriously staunch supporters of Thaksin and the red shirt movement. If motorcycles are to be used to carry the bombs, wouldn’t the mo-sai be the ideal agents of death?    

Of course, there is a more obvious solution that nobody seems to have thought of. Chopsticks anyone?

Paul Snowdon – March 6, 2010

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