Monday, October 22, 2007

National security: be grateful and don't ask questions.

"Keep people scared and they will consume"
Marilyn Manson

Thailand is big on national security. It has been the foundation of pretty much every coup in its history, military raids within its own borders, and of course, humongous spending on the nation's military expansion.

After the coup, the junta cut public health spending by 23% and increased military spending by 30%. This was, of course, to increase "national security" . During a verbal handbag bashing contest with Singapore, General Sonthi suddenly announced that telephone calls in Thailand were being traced to Singapore, without adducing. Just days later, a multi million bhat satellite project was announced to "increase national security".

It seemed that national security and big spending by the military were synonymous. Yet strangely enough, Thailand has had no real military conflicts to speak of since its involvement in the Vietnam War, were they choose the losing side. The only other conflicts have been scuffles with the now defunct Communist Party of Thailand. The term "Communist" is still occasionally thrown around to create fear.

Of course, it's comforting to know we have the military around to take care of our health. You only have to look at how hard these guys work to see how great they are, after all, many of the top brass are self appointed directors of state companies!!!! They actually give themselves extra work? How noble is that?! I'm so impressed, I say they deserve those extra millions they get paid for moonlighting. I'm sure their rifle shooting skills are essential and well utilised in the taxpayer funded TV and telecommunications industries.

And they help fight crime too. Last week, the army - not the police - raided a drugs production factory. The army proudly disabled their capture of the ill gotten gains - 30 million bhat in total - to the public. The next day, an informant explained that actually the bounty should have been seventy million bhat, all stuffed in pipes. He should know, he was a paid informant after all. So what happened to the missing 40 mil?

"The informant made a mistake, he thought all the pipes were the same length but some were smaller, so there was only 30 million not 70 million" said an army spokesmen (perhaps as he drove away in a nice new sports car?). Well I'm convinced, and I bet the police who were told not to do their job because the army suddenly decided they wanted to do this one, were convinced, too.

Anyway, to show just how ungrateful some people are towards those who defend our nation and all the various security threats it faces, I give you Fonzi. Fonzi has pointed out that with the purchase of twelve Swish made Gripen jets. Fonzi works out the cost of one jet at 90 million US dollars for Thailand, whereas wikipedia makes the true cost about 45 million. Thailand's military are so generous they are paying double the cost of each plane!!! And people knock these guys!!!

It doesn't stop there either. The army planned to buy 96 APC from that well known pioneering nation of ultra modern warfare vehicles, the Ukraine when some annoying OAG official had to step in and point out the vehicles were sub standard and that the Ukraine company was not even in the original list of ten bidders for the contract. Some people are just so intrusive. Just think how bad they'll feel if all those Communists come out of the jungle tomorrow.

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