Monday, November 19, 2012

Pres. Obama gets cozy with dictators

A. Nguyen, Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly (ANALYSIS)
(Wisdom Quarterly/
Unlike the Lady, the dictator (
RANGOON, Burma (Naypyidaw, Myanmar) - While Pres. Obama tours Buddhist Southeast Asia, he is seeing some of the worst atrocities wrought since Hitler, Bush, and Idi Amin ruled parts of the world. Today he is in Cambodia where in the US War on Vietnam-era, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge unleashed violence on innocent Buddhists on a scale we can hardly imagine. Not since the US war machine mercilessly and maliciously (not to mention secretly and illegally) bombed Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and anywhere else US munitions could be expended to justify buying more in the self-sufficient industrial-war machine we call the MIC. ("Never again," we said, but we weren't looking ahead to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and take your pick: Somalia, Yemen, Libya...).
Who heads up the military junta the Burmese president belongs to?

Burma or Bust
Matt Spetalnick and Jeff Mason,

Aging Lady Aung San Suu Kyi, jailed and under house arrest for 15 years after her election and the subsequent coup, is kissed by future world leader B.S. Obama (
YANGON - Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Burma on Monday [local time], using a six-hour trip to balance U.S. praise for the [military-dictatorship's puppet] government's progress in shaking off [obvious signs of ongoing] military rule with pressure to complete the process of [an appearance of full] democratic reform.
Obama, greeted by enthusiastic crowds in the former capital, Yangon [Rangoon], met President Thein Sein [who is the face of Gen. Than Shwe's military junta now holed up in the new capital Naypyidaw]. [Pres. Thein Sein is] a former junta member who has spearheaded [read whitewashed] reforms since taking office in March 2011. [Obama also met with] opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [, whom he hosted in September in Washington, DC when he awarded her a medal].
"I shared with President Thein Sein our belief that the process of reform that he is taking is one that will move this country forward," Obama told reporters, with Thein Sein at his side.
"I recognize that this is just the first steps on what will be a long journey, but we think that a process of democratic reform and economic reform here in Myanmar... can lead to incredible development opportunities here," Obama said, using the country name preferred by the government and former junta, rather than Burma, which is used in the United States. More

Burma's military junta still in power after coup that followed democratic elections (AFP)
Why? (
Why is Obama bothering with one of the world's poorest and most totalitarian countries in the world? Money. The military-industrial complex needs resources, and it also needs to keep them from China. China has been propping up Burma (which the dictatorship renamed Myanmar) and promoting its human rights abuses as a means of ruling. China bought raw resources and offered political protection to the military junta, which is led with an iron fist by General Than Shwe who has a highly placed Chinese relative.

But isn't this good news -- first the Lady Suu Kyi is released from jail, then she is elected to a minor office, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits, and now the leader of the free (market) world comes to give his blessing on the proceedings? No, it is not good news. Nothing is changing; it is only going underground. The country will still be ruled by a small super-rich military junta. But now their will is transmitted and legitimized through the artifice of a "democratic process." It's just like America!

Previously, the people knew things were rotten and authoritarian. Now they can drink and distract themselves into accepting the comforting belief that they elect their leaders, that the leaders do the will of the people or at least what's best for the people, and that all is well. What should one prefer, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or George Orwell's nightmare premonition of a New World Order led by a brutal oligarchy?

Hooray that Aung San Suu Kyi is free! We've been keeping her in our hearts for years constantly calling attention to her plight when readers really couldn't be bothered. She is perhaps the second most prominent Buddhist in the world. She is our heroine. That does not save the ethnic minorities in Burma, the Muslim Rohingya, the shaman Karen, the rebels, the National League for Democracy, and anyone labelled a "dissident" for any reason at all.


No comments: