It's Business As Usual in Thailand

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Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2001 | Violence and intimidation are as integral to Thai politics as buying votes and looting the public purse. But at 2.40 p.m. on March 3, a new low was reached when a bomb ripped through a Thai Airways 737-400 just moments before the 149 passengers were set to board.

As the purple and white jetliner burst into flames, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra stared in horror from the plush VIP lounge of Bangkok's Don Muang Airport. In his quest to lead Thailand, Thaksin had been aiming for...