Home / EU and US Should Join the Monks of Myanmar

EU and US Should Join the Monks of Myanmar

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

What started out as a peaceful protest movement against the military regime in Myanmar now fearfully reminds many of the violence that stemmed from the region’s failed 1988 uprising of pro-democracy support wherein thousands were killed in short order. It should remind the EU and the US of their own battle plans, both victorious and askew.

The government regime in Myanmar that maintained a shaky distance from the movement’s Buddhist monk leadership has now taken to beating and killing those same monks and their supporters. They had good reason to keep their distance from Buddhist monks; they are the country’s moral center and the most peaceful people on the planet. Tearing into monks was forecasted to incite public outrage. Where is that outrage? The world, especially the US and the EU, should not be sitting on the news of peaceful protest being met with violence and death. Doing so is no different than sanctioning it.

Americans and Europeans should be especially wary of what is happening in Myanmar. There but for a few of your own hard won battles go you. For Americans, the military response to the uprising is not unlike the barbaric response suffered by the Revolutionaries at the hands of the British, but you know your history, yes? The very foundation of American freedom was not fought for and won by Americans alone.

For Europeans, the uphill battle with both violent and peaceful immigrant pressure to change the landscape of the Old World has already been seen and shows no signs of going away. The key word here for Europeans is “union,” which is to say the EU knows a little something about coming together. How will future uprisings be handled? Show the world now and the world won’t wonder later.

For Americans and their Europeans allies, there is also the issue of having violently occupied a violent country for what has come to be an undetermined amount of time, for an undetermined goal. If ever there was a time to show the world how it should have been done, here it is.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime for both the US and the EU. By joining the UN envoy (with action, not just words), leaders of the free world have this chance to rally support, contribute their winning blueprints, exercise their diplomatic muscle, and save face for their own conflicts gone awry.

Peaceful protest is the very foundation of every significant social and political change that has taken place since the beginning of time. It is the only humane and intellectual tool in the belt of civilized human beings. While the people of yet another small country few have heard of suffer, the world stands by with a myriad of excuses for keeping their distance. World leaders of those countries living with freedom and democracy have an ethical obligation to show up, join the pro-democracy movement, and help them secure their win.

Anything less is — and has always been — uncivilized.

Powered by

About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • Ooops, in the shock of discovery I forgot about Nalle’s supposed intimate knowledge of the King of Jordan.

    And when did I claim that, exactly? I may have been in the same room with him a couple of times when I was a kid, but I don’t know him from Adam except what I read about him in the news.

    I know he’s lying,

    It helps when you just make up the things I claim and then tell me they’re lies.


  • Ninja


    “I’d certainly wager on the USA not taking on Iran.”

    That’s what any rational person would conclude. The problem is that rational thought is not what guides the fearless deciderer.

    He has lost big time and his time is running out. What has he got to lose?

    From all appearances the dream continues… “Mission Accomplished”!

    It’s more than likely he will double down.

  • troll

    Dave says – *Actually, King Abdullah of Jordan is a close friend of the US and he is the legitimate hereditary ruler of Mecca and Medina. If we put them in his hands instead of leaving them in the ocntrol of the Saudis we might actually win some friends in the region.*

    the Jordan – US – Iran coalition…..sounds good

    …don’t know about making friends though – disruption of Saudi production would be a bear as would be dealing with the hordes of berserknicks pouring out of angry madrases

  • moonraven

    Nalle, when you show us where I am ON RECORD as opposing democracy,

    and when you answer ALL the questions I posed to you on the Chavex thread,

    I might feel sorry for a poor blind and deaf guy with Alzhemiers and put a link.

    Until then, you can sit on it and twirl.

  • moonraven

    Ooops, in the shock of discovery I forgot about Nalle’s supposed intimate knowledge of the King of Jordan.

    I know he’s lying, and has never even seen the guy, but I HAVE–and I can vouch for his being another guy who wouldn’t be able to find his ass with both hands if he spent this lifetime practicing.

    And the poverty in Jordan is horrendous.

    The government started up a Poverty Elimination Program–with a big, complicated website in 2005.

    I guess the website was all there was to the program, as when my graduate students at NYIT Amman started going through the site to write a critical appraisal–from night to morning the site disappeared from the web!

    Only two Iraqui guys were fast enough to get all their homework done before the site was history.

    Interesting the folks that Nalle calls his heroes:

    Bush, Atilla, Abdullah, Mussolini (maybe he could come back and fix that leaky toilet in Nalle’s trailer?)

  • Once again, lack of reading skill sinks moonraven.

    Show me ONE place in the AUMF where spreading democracy and capitalism were listed as reasons for invading Iraq or Afghanistan – or any other official document for that matter.

    The creation of those conditions may have been promoted as a beneficial side-effect of invasion, but they were never put forward as REASONS to invade.

    Not that it matters to you since you’re on record as opposing both democracy and capitalism.


  • moonraven

    Dave now has let the cat out of the bag: HE has Alzhiemers!

    He writes: “I don’t recall any of that stuff being mentioned as reasons for invading anywhere.”

    Apparently he doesn’t watch tv, read the newspapers or listen to radio for any of Bush’s or Rice’s or the rest of the Petrocriminals’ speeches. They have been claiming to bring democracy and freedom to the two currently occupied countries–and they have been claiming that DAILY for years now.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • What was the US national interest in invading Afghanistan and Iraq? It’s debatable that Bin Laden was in the former, more probable that he was in Pakistan, whilst Iraq wasn’t a base for Islamic extremists until after the invasion?

    As I’ve said many times before, the objective was and has always been Iran. We invaded the two countries on either side of Iran to put pressure on Iran because we weren’t confident we could invade it directly.

    If the US position is that it is championing capitalism, democracy and freedom, Burma and Zimbabwe deserve to be at the top of the list.

    I don’t recall any of that stuff being mentioned as reasons for invading anywhere.

    If it is about securing interests,

    Which the administration has repeatedly stated isn’t the reasoning.

    an obvious target would be Saudi Arabia, which has both lots of oil and, as 9/11 showed, a lot of extremists. Of course it also has Mecca, which would create some special difficulties.

    Actually, King Abdullah of Jordan is a close friend of the US and he is the legitimate hereditary ruler of Mecca and Medina. If we put them in his hands instead of leaving them in the ocntrol of the Saudis we might actually win some friends in the region.

    s to Iran, I find it difficult to imagine the US having either the political will or the military and economic resources to take on an even larger target than the first two.

    I think our inability to take on Iran directly was at the heart of the whole mess.


  • moonraven

    The US interests in Afghanistan and Iraq were:

    1. Putting a pipeline for petroleum across Afghanistan from Central Asia to approximately Karachi.

    2. Grabbing the petroleum of Iraq.

    The potential interest in Iran is that it has the planet’s second largest gas reserves plus is a major petroleum producer.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Clavos.

    As to Iran, I guess we’ll see in due course but, if I was a gambler, I’d certainly wager on the USA not taking on Iran.

  • Clavos

    Chris #15,

    Dead-on, excellent comment.

    Up to here:

    “As to Iran, I find it difficult to imagine the US having either the political will or the military and economic resources to take on an even larger target than the first two.”

    If ahmadinejad continues his sabre rattling while trotting around this hemisphere subverting the USA, don’t be so sure.

    The political will will come out of the desire to save face; the resources, we’ll go further into deficit for.

    The excuse will be the nuclear card.

    I’d bet it’s already in the works.

  • What was the US national interest in invading Afghanistan and Iraq? It’s debatable that Bin Laden was in the former, more probable that he was in Pakistan, whilst Iraq wasn’t a base for Islamic extremists until after the invasion?

    If the US position is that it is championing capitalism, democracy and freedom, Burma and Zimbabwe deserve to be at the top of the list.

    If it is about securing interests, an obvious target would be Saudi Arabia, which has both lots of oil and, as 9/11 showed, a lot of extremists. Of course it also has Mecca, which would create some special difficulties.

    Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly seem like easy targets for symbolic if essentially meaningless and inefficient actions, where the unintended consequences appear to have far outweighed any ill-defined benefits.

    As to Iran, I find it difficult to imagine the US having either the political will or the military and economic resources to take on an even larger target than the first two.

  • moonraven

    I never said any such thing. The FARC is a drug cartel, and the US is there to make sure the drugs get through to their market: The USA.

    Chavez has just thrown a hitch into the US’s getalong by requesting that it doits part in the exchange of FARC prisoners for folks they have kidnapped.

    I suport Chavez.

    Neither of us supports the FARC OR the AUC death squads OR the US of fucking A.

    When you are writing about US interests, why not stop and figure out why not a cent of them ever trickles down to YOU.

  • Dr Dreadful

    What’s the American national interest here?

    Inadvertently or not, RJ, you’ve just put your finger on the key.

  • RJ


    Are you telling me that the United States is openly at war with the FARC (who you undoubtedly support)?

    Hell, even Colombia itself isn’t really at “war” with the FARC, or else they’d allow the right-wing militias free reign to slaughter those communist, drug-trafficking scum.

  • moonraven

    Another ignoramus: The US is well-represented militarily in Colombia.

    Got to protect the drug trade.

    Capitalism–and YOUR TAX DOLLARS–in action.

  • RJ

    Sooo…we should invade Burma, at the cost of billions of dollars, and possibly hundreds of American lives, so some Monks will be happy?

    What’s the American national interest here?

    If we do Burma, why not do the Sudan? Or Gaza? Or Colombia?

    Seriously, I think we;ve got our hands full with Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly Iran.

    SE Asia hasn’t been a very fertile ground for us in the past…

  • RJ

    “Peaceful protest is the very foundation of every significant social and political change that has taken place since the beginning of time.”

    I’m sorry, but that is just so factually incorrect, I don’t know where to begin…

  • Silver Surfer

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Snore. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Here we go – another third-world despot and his mates shoot up their own people, and lo and behold (some) Americans are comparing it to what happened to them 200 years ago at the hands of the British. I wondered hpw long it would before someone wheeled out that hoary old chestnut.

    Well, what a load of absolute bollocks.

    We are talking REAL oppression here. Americans weren’t even really that oppressed prior to the revolution. They probably had it better than the average Briton at the time. About half the population stayed loyal early in the piece, which is probably a fair indicator. They certainly had it better in the late 18th century than the Burmese have it today in the 21st. A lot of Burmese would cut their rights arms off to have what Americans had back then, yes even 200 years ago, that’s how bad this place is. Few Americans could comprehend it.

    Comparing that to this is a travesty. Shame on you. No wonder the others among us get the screaming shits sometimes …

  • Clavos


    You could have (and out of courtesy, should have-you used up a lot of expensive bandwidth) just posted a link.

  • Maurice

    Diana – glad to hear you care about Burma. What about Rwanda?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    You know, Marthe, one of the gifts I got from this old Ukrainian communist who had emigrated to the United States in 1913 was a thick book of the proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly at the end of 1947, and the proceedings of the United Nations Security Council during 1948. For all of his being a commie and all, he was damned proud of being alive to see a Jewish nation come into existence in his lifetime, and these huge books documented the UN’s actions with this regard.

    It was filled with the kind of blather that you just presented us with in the comment above. Did this guy from Cuba have a money shot, or did he just shoot himself off? The idiots with plum(b) positions at the UN can talk all they damned please, and the ones from countries like Cuba can create fantasy-lands of the imagination. Even my eyes glaze over reading this shit, and that says a lot. Not a stitch of reality out of this guy – like how the young women of his country have to be prostitutes in order to survive, now that Russia has cut off the tit that Castro sucked on for so long.

    Put simply, did this prick support the junta in Rangoon or did he oppose it?

  • moonraven

    Statement by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque at the 62nd
    Session of the UN General Assembly, September 26th, 2007, New York

    Mr. President: Never before had the real dangers menacing the human species become so evident; never before had the violations of International Law become so evident, as they increasingly jeopardize international peace and security; never before had inequality and exclusion become so evident, as they impact on over two-thirds of the population on our planet.

    A key factor to the survival of humankind is to put an end to
    wastefulness and to the unbridled consumerism fostered by the large corporations and the power groups of a handful of developed countries, which squander at the expense of impoverishment and the perpetuation of underdevelopment in a sizable number of poor countries where billions of people scramble to make a living. The high-level meeting of this General Assembly, held only two days ago, emphasized the danger posed by the accelerated global warming that is already affecting us and by its effect on climate change. Action must be taken, and quickly, and the developed countries have the moral duty and the historic responsibility to set the example and spearhead
    the effort.

    On the other hand, several of our countries, always from the South,
    continue to fall prey to unacceptable acts of aggression by the
    ever-powerful – which are essentially driven by the insatiable hunger
    for strategic resources. The wars of conquest and the proclamation and
    implementation of doctrines based on pre-emptive wars, which do not
    exclude the use of nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear States, and the repeated use of pretexts such as the alleged war on terror, the much-trumpeted promotion of democracy or the so-called regime change in countries that are unilaterally labeled as rogue States, are today the greatest and most serious threat to peace and security in the world.

    The aggression and illegal occupation of countries, military interventions against International Law and the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the bombing of civilians and tortures continue to be daily practices. Under the false tirade of freedom and democracy, an attempt is made to write in stone the pillaging of the natural resources in the Third World and control areas of increasing geostrategic importance. That and no other is the imperial domination plan that the mightiest military superpower ever to exist is trying to impose through all means possible.

    Far from behaving in international relations according to the
    principles of solidarity, social and international justice, equality and development for all, there is no prudence at all in employing the practices of certifying countries, of imposing unilateral blockades, of threatening through aggressions, of blackmailing and coercing.

    If a small country defends and upholds its right to independence, it is accused of being a rogue State; if a power launches an attack against a country, it is said that it “liberates” them. A fighter against foreign aggression is a terrorist; an attacking soldier is a “freedom fighter.” That is the media war, the swindle of truths, the tyranny of a one-track mind in a globalized world.

    Instead of moving towards general and complete disarmament, including
    nuclear disarmament, which has been an ongoing demand of the
    Non-Aligned Movement for decades, we bear witness to the promotion of
    the arms race and to the squandering of wealth on new weapons and arms
    systems that deplete the resources required by the world in order to
    mitigate the effects of climate change and address the very serious problems stemming from poverty and marginalization.

    An attempt is made to prevent, in a politicized and selective fashion,
    the implementation of the principle – already contained in the
    Non-Proliferation Treaty – that nations are entitled to the development of nuclear energy with peaceful purposes. Threats are imposed to launch wars against and wreak havoc on some countries, while allowing the aggressive ally to have hundreds of nuclear devices and helping them modernize such artifacts continuously.

    How much more time will it have to elapse and how many new victims will have to die before the hawks of war understand that weapons are useless to resolve the critical problems of humankind?

    On a day like today, it is worth recalling the words uttered by
    President Fidel Castro in this General Assembly in October 1979: “Let us bid farewell to arms and let us concentrate, in a civilized
    manner, on the most pressing problems of our time. That is the responsibility and the most sacred duty of all Statesmen in the world. That is also the indispensable tenet of human survival.”

    Mr. President: There is no progress today towards fulfilling the Millennium Goals and the decisions of the major United Nations conferences held over the last decade.

    Poverty does not decrease. Inequality among and within the countries is on the rise.

    Drinking water is not accessible to 1.1 billion people; 2.6 billion
    lack cleaning services; over 800 million are illiterate and 115 million children do not attend primary school; 850 million starve every day. And 1% of the world’s richest people own 40% of the wealth, while 50% of the world’s population merely has 10%. All this is happening in a world that spends a trillion dollars on weapons and another one on advertising.

    The nearly 1 billion people living in developed countries consume
    approximately half of all the energy, while 2 billion poor people are
    still not acquainted with electricity.

    Is that the world that they want us to accept? Is that, by any chance,
    the future that we should settle for? Are we entitled or not to fight in order to change that state of things? Should we or should we not fight so that a better world can be possible?

    Why are such colossal resources squandered on the killing industry and
    not used to save lives? Why are schools not built instead of nuclear
    submarines, and hospitals instead of “smart” bombs? Why are vaccines
    not produced instead of armored vehicles and more food instead of more
    fighter jets? Why is there no momentum given to research to fight off AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis instead of promoting the manufacture of anti-missile shields? Why is there no war waged against poverty instead of against the poor?

    Despite the fact that only US$ 150 billion is needed to meet the
    Millennium Goals, we hear the hypocritical assertion that there is no source from which to obtain the necessary financial resources. That is a lie! There is money in abundance; what is lacking is the political will, ethics and the real commitment of those who have to make a choice.

    If they really want money to appear: Let the commitment of setting aside 0.7% of GDP as Official Development Assistance be fulfilled once and for all. That would mean an additional US$ 141 billion to the current amounts. At the height of deceit, the donor countries are now auditing the cancellations of a debt that they know they will not be able to collect in order to artificially inflate their contributions.

    Let the foreign debt be cancelled, which our countries have already
    paid more than once. That would make it possible to set aside for
    development the over US$ 400 billion currently employed in servicing a debt that does not cease to grow.

    Let the Doha Round for Development come to an end and let the US$ 300
    billion in agricultural subsidies for the developed countries be
    removed. That would make it possible to earmark that money to fight rural poverty and food insecurity and to ensure fair prices for the export products of the underdeveloped countries.

    Let our right to development be recognized. Let our right to have
    access to markets, patents and technologies be guaranteed, for these are now the exclusive monopoly of the powerful. Let our countries be helped in training professionals and scientists and let the brain drain stop.

    The non-aligned countries need no alms; we need and demand justice.

    Let our rights to cultural diversity be respected, as well as our right to the preservation of our heritage, our symbols and our idiosyncrasy. That has been the unanimous demand that the non-aligned countries have just proclaimed in Tehran, at our Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity.

    Mr. President: The non-aligned countries want a more democratic and transparent United Nations, in which the General Assembly, its most representative and democratic body, can really implement the powers vested in it.

    We need a United Nations with a reformed Security Council, acting in
    conformity with the mandate granted to it by the Organization’s
    Charter, without infringing upon the functions and prerogatives of other organs of the system. There must be a Security Council with an expanded membership, in line with the current composition of the United Nations, where the underdeveloped countries are the majority. There must be a Security Council with a radical modification to its working methods in order to allow transparency and the access of all Member States to its deliberations.

    We uphold the idea of having a United Nations where multilateralism and the solutions agreed upon in full compliance with the Charter are the only way to address and resolve the current problems.

    We need a Human Rights Council that prevents the repetition of the
    serious mistakes made by the former Commission on Human Rights. A
    Council that enshrines in its practices the principle that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. A Council to put an end to selectivity and double standards. The non-aligned countries will firmly oppose those devilish schemes by some mighty quarters which, frustrated as they are for failing to achieve their goals, are now attempting to reopen and call into question the agreement reached in the hard and difficult process of institutional building of the Council.

    The non-aligned countries will not give up on our effort to defend the
    precepts that incepted our Movement, similar to those of this
    Organization. Among the nations, we will foster relations of friendship based on the respect for the principles of sovereignty, equality of rights and the self-determination of the peoples.

    We will continue to defend the right of the grief-stricken and heroic
    people of Palestine to have their own State with East Jerusalem as its
    capital. We will continue to condemn the genocide committed against it.

    We will continue to proclaim the right of the people of Puerto Rico to
    sovereignty and to independence.

    The non-aligned countries account for nearly two-thirds of the
    membership of the United Nations. Our demands will not be forgotten, nor our interests ignored. We will remain united and we will find support in the defense of our rights. We will make our voice heard.

    Mr. President: This was supposed to be the end of my statement as Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement. However, the shameless and gross behavior of the US President in this hall, yesterday morning, now forces me to utter a few remarks on Cuba’s behalf.

    With a foul language and an arrogant tone, President Bush insulted and
    threatened some ten countries; he gave orders, in a firm and
    authoritarian fashion, to the General Assembly; and with such bossiness never ever seen in this hall, he dished out terms and judgments on a score of countries.

    It was an embarrassing show. The delirium tremens of the world’s
    policeman. The intoxication of imperial power, sprinkled with the
    mediocrity and the cynicism of those who threaten to launch wars in which they know their life is not at stake.

    The President of the United States has no right at all to pass judgment on any other sovereign nation on this planet. Having powerful nuclear weapons offers no right whatsoever to tread upon the rights of the peoples of the other 191 countries that are represented here.

    And the determination and courage of the peoples should not be
    underestimated when it comes to defending their rights! After all, what prevails is not the power of cannons but the fairness of the ideas that you fight for. The bullish and menacing President should have already learned it by now.

    Sovereign equality of States and not “regime change.” Respect for
    sovereignty and not unilateral certifications of good behavior. Respect for International Law and not illegal blockades and wars.

    President Bush talked about democracy, but we all know that he is
    lying. He came into office through fraud and deceit. We would have been spared his presence yesterday and would have listened to President Al Gore talking about climate change and the risks to our species. We also recall how he brazenly supported the coup d’etat against the President and the Constitution of Venezuela.

    He talked about peace, but we know that he is lying. We remember very
    well when he threatened 60 or more countries, which he called “dark
    corners of the world,” saying that he would wipe them off the face of
    the earth with pre-emptive and surprise attacks. Bush is a strange warrior who, from the rearguard, sends the young people of his country to kill and to die thousands of kilometers away.

    He talked about human rights, but we know that he is lying. He is
    responsible for the death of 600,000 civilians in Iraq; he authorized
    tortures at the Guantánamo Naval Base and at Abu Ghraib, and he is an accessory to the kidnapping and disappearance of people, as well as to the secret flights and the clandestine prisons.

    He talked about the fight against terrorism, but we know that he is
    lying. He has ensured complete impunity for the most hateful terrorist groups which, from Miami, have perpetrated heinous crimes against the Cuban people.

    President Bush attacked the new Human Rights Council. He is bleeding
    through the wound; he is grunting his helplessness. He is haunted by
    the shamefulness that, during his term in office, the United States cannot even look forward to being a member because elections are through secret ballot. Cuba, in turn, was elected as a founding member of the Council with more than two-thirds of the votes.

    He talked about cooperation, development and prosperity for the rest of the world, but we all know that he is lying. He has been the most selfish and reckless politician we have ever seen. In a world that this year will bear witness to the death of 10 million children under the age of 5 through preventable diseases, his self-seeking and empty proposals of yesterday are but a sick joke.

    President Bush has no moral authority or credibility to judge anyone.
    He should be held accountable to the world for his crimes.

    There are boundaries to both arrogance and hypocrisy. There are
    boundaries to lies and blackmail. Cuba rejects and condemns each of the devious words uttered yesterday by the President of the United States.

    Mr. President: Cuba appreciates the solidarity received from this General Assembly in its struggle against the blockade and the aggressions that it has been forced to endure for nearly five decades.

    Cuba thanks all those who have supported its tenacious fight against
    terrorism and have raised their voice in favor of the release of five
    Cuban anti-terrorism fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

    Cuba will fight, along with all the members of the Non-Aligned
    Movement, in order to achieve a more just and democratic international order, in which our peoples can exercise their right to peace and development.

    We may be accused of being dreamers, but we are fighting with the
    conviction that today’s dreams will be tomorrow’s realities.

    We are fighting with the conviction that even when there are men
    without decorum, there are always others who have in themselves the decorum of many men and carry in them a whole nation, as well as human dignity.

    Thank you very much.

  • Dr Dreadful


    This should explain why most of the rest of the world calls it Myanmar but the US and Britain don’t.

    You’re welcome.

  • Why do you folks keep calling Burma ‘Myanmar’?


  • moonraven

    The US should stay the fuck away from ALL other countries on the planet.

    Nine more dead in Myanmar yesterday.

    1.2 MILLION Iraquis dead–and counting.

    Figure it out, fuckheads.