Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Horrible Truth About Burma

The climax probably won't come until Friday or Saturday. Maybe China can talk some sense into the SLORC or whatever that nasty little junta calls itself these days. But an analyst for the BBC was punditing on a radio show today that the military forces ruling the so-called nation of "Myanmar" have never cared about global public opinion in the past, so anything short of a direct invasion is unlikely to make them blink. So what about standoff air strikes approved by the world community at large? Since the government has abandoned the capital in favor of rural bunkers near the town of Pyinmana, precision weapons could decapitate facilities with very little civilian casualties. But would the people support it, if done in the name of the UN, or would it be as ill-conceived as a U.S. invasion of Iraq? Does the UN have the right to declare a government generally inappropriate for continued existence on this planet, and would it have the right by global consensus to conduct standoff air war on recalcitrants? This subject came up during Bosnia-Croatia-Serbia-Kosovo days, and is unlikely to go away. But without direct action, the Burmese junta is unlikely to go away, either.


Ruth said...

Oh, I hope no one has to bomb anyone, or anything. I do hope this doesn't escalate any further, and especially not to the extent of the '88 one.

It's easy to take our privileges for granted. My friend rauf went to Kerala this week and couldn't get a hotel room in the first 12 hotels he tried because his name is Muslim, and that is a Hindu center. And then, when he finally got a room, it was very expensive.

The simple right to speak out and protest, well, it's met with violence here too historically.

Do you participate in regular war protests? You're part of the peace effort there, yes?

Ruth said...

I know that comment was sort of all over the place. But I was thinking about rights, privileges and taking them for granted. Or not.

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, yeah, I'm on the board of both Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Comm. and ACLU. (Though I'm not a strict pacifist.) We're having a forum this weekend on nonviolence, the media, the police, and the public, looking at lack of support for basic Bill of Rights. I'm chairing a panel with the police chief, an activist, and a reporter. Should be fun. I'm concerned about police violence, but equally concerned about public attitudes like the Gainesville taser incident, where people say, "well, the free speech wasn't polite, so go ahead and beat him up." A very widespread belief, unfortunately.