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Old 09-27-2007, 06:46 AM   #16
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Hey, not to cause a flame war in here, but the whole world watched the Arabs/Palestinians and the Jews battle it out in 1948 and did not a damned thing either way...just a lot of diplomatic hoo-ha. After the Brits had dropped all the weapons off with the Palestinians and sailed off into the sunset, the two-faced bastards....and a lot of other instances I'm sure.

Bottom line: if your country does not possess that filthy three-letter word, the int'l community really could not give a ****. Everyone was perfectly happy to sit back and watch Bosnia burn from 1991-1995, and Rwanda for 3 months in '94, so why should we be surprised?
It would have been interesting if the Net had been around in China in 1989 though. No Chinese could have blogged (we in the West happy to comply with censorship then as now I'm sure) but the Westerners there would have spread the info flames.)

As for all that crap about "China will never do this or that b/c she's worried about the Olympics"--how can anyone be so naive. Until the West boycotts China economically and pulls its businesses out of there, that'll make her listen..but that'll never happen; she runs the world now, and she knows it.

Still, I will pray (like Bono--he's come out with a statement) and hope for the best. There has to come a time when even those who profit, know what it does to the human spirit. I can't see how desperate they can be..the "Staff" that is.

Which makes you wonder...the Staff all hate the Iraqi war; the Chiefs are all for it. How long can this state of affairs pan out, with America's economic situation? 10 yrs? 20? Vietnam took place with the dollar and the economy high; US oil production was at its peak; and so was American manufacturing and global prestiege, oil was cheap, and she had no competitors economically.....
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:16 AM   #17
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Just read in an MSNBC link to Newsweek that Aung San Suu Kyi has reportely been snatched from her home and whisked off to the notorious Insein prison. This is probably the lovely place she spent so much time in prior to her house arrest, though I don't know. She isn't a young woman any more and couldn't stand any sort of rough treatment. I doubt if they will harm her, but who knows what these people in the junta may threaten to do if the protesters do not back down. I'm sure if this goes on much longer she will be pressured to make some sort of a statement urging her countrymen to cease and desist. If she refuses, which she very likely will, all bets are off.

If this is true, and considering Bono has already made a statement mentioning her yesterday, I suggest we follow his advice and REALLY start praying now....
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:52 PM   #18
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I'm sorry this has turned violent. I saw a story about the protest the other day in the paper.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #19
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The solution to this is easy. The leading countries of the world quit trading and buying products with China.

Of course, just because the solution is easy doesn't mean it will happen. The US would never stop buying from China.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:34 PM   #20
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Burma is not a Chinese puppet; that would be way overstating the degree of alliance.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:42 PM   #21
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I hope for more support to the monks.


Bush remarks and sanctions are up, apparently Americans are not allowed to do business in Burma anymore.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0070927-4.html
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:26 AM   #22
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Bono's poetic liberty medal speech included some words about Burma, afterwards I told him I appreciated that and the torture condemnation. He gave a great statement about America tonight.."for every time I wince or gasp or punch a wall" re: america also.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Deadly Crackdown Intensifies in Burma

By Edward Cody
Washington Post, September 28


Intensifying their crackdown despite pressures from abroad, Burmese security forces raided a half-dozen Buddhist monasteries Thursday and opened fire on pockets of demonstrators who continued to demand an end to military rule. The Burmese government announced that nine people had been killed in the violence, making it the bloodiest day in weeks of escalating protests...The dead included a Japanese journalist, Kenji Nagai, who had been covering the demonstrations, according to his employer, APF News. Another foreigner, reportedly a Caucasian woman, was also seen shot and wounded in the street, according to the exile groups.

...The U.S. Treasury Department designated 14 senior Burmese figures under new sanctions announced by Bush earlier in the week, including Than Shwe; the army commander, Vice Senior Gen. Maung Aye; and the acting prime minister, Lt. Gen. Thein Sein. Any assets they have in U.S. jurisdictions will be frozen, and Americans are now banned from doing business with them. U.S. officials hope to leverage that to influence foreign banks and institutions to follow suit. The European Union also vowed to seek tighter sanctions. The United Nations, meanwhile, has said it will send an envoy to Burma, a move that the Burmese foreign minister said Thursday would be welcomed.

Video images from Burma, also known as Myanmar, showed a preponderance of lay people in the demonstrations on Thursday, most of them of student age. Some news agencies estimated that as many as 70,000 people took to the streets of Rangoon and other cities, despite the soldiers' warnings and the death of at least one protester on Wednesday. Soe Aung, spokesman for the Thailand-based National Council of the Union of Burma, an exile group, said the number was probably much lower, perhaps as low as 10,000, which was sharply down from Wednesday. "This would be mainly because of the raids that took place before dawn in Rangoon," he said.

...Armed security forces burst into at least five monasteries in Rangoon and two others in outlying cities on Thursday, ransacking rooms and arresting and beating monks believed to be protest leaders, Soe Aung and news agency reports said. At least 150 monks were hauled away in one of the raids, they said. Myint Thein, a spokesman for the pro-democracy political party headed by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was also taken into custody during the night, the Associated Press quoted family members as saying. Suu Kyi herself has spent most of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest and has been detained continuously since May 2003. The arrests marked the beginning of what probably will be an extended series of arrests of monks and lay activists who helped promote the protests, said David Mathieson, a Thailand-based Burma specialist with Human Rights Watch. Security services likely had been watching key people for days, monitoring cellphones and noting protest organizers in an effort to identify leaders and mark them for arrest, he said. "You get involved, and you start getting sloppy," he added, "and then they lock you up."

In another sign the government was tightening its grip, exile groups headquartered in neighboring Thailand said communications with their contacts in Rangoon and Burma's other cities were getting more difficult, apparently the result of government efforts to cut cellphone links. Most foreign correspondents were barred from entering the country.
^ That's exactly what the junta did back in '88...bided their time awhile so they could get a fix on who the leaders of the protests were. Although when the crackdown came that time, it killed thousands.
Quote:
Caution by Junta's Asian Neighbors Reflects Their Self-Interest

By Edward Cody
Washington Post, September 28


BANGKOK -- The United States and Europe have fiercely criticized Burma's military rulers for clinging to power during another round of pro-democracy protests, this time led by unarmed monks. But closer to home, the junta's Asian neighbors and trading partners--China chief among them--have walked a distinctly more cautious line, expressing distress over the violence and, after long hesitation, renewing calls for reconciliation and eventual transition to democracy.

The discretion by China and Thailand in particular reflects sensitivity over their own political systems. China has been a one-party dictatorship for more than half a century, and its Communist rulers have given no sign they are willing to change anytime soon. In Thailand, a military coup d'etat gave power a year ago to a uniformed junta with different policies but the same origin--the barracks--as the one putting down marchers in Rangoon. As a result, neither government can afford to be seen applauding as the Burmese monks cry out for an end to dictatorship. Were they to join the United States and Europe in clearly urging Burma's generals to step aside for democratic elections, the question in Beijing and Bangkok would be obvious: Why is democracy not also the right path for China and Thailand?

Partly out of these concerns, the main regional grouping, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, had for two weeks reacted to the crisis by citing its doctrine of noninterference in the affairs of member nations, which include Burma. Like China, ASEAN limited itself to deploring the violence and urging some kind of peaceful settlement. After protracted internal deliberations, the group's foreign ministers issued a harsher statement Thursday at the United Nations, saying they were "appalled to receive reports of automatic weapons being used" against demonstrators and "expressed revulsion" at reports of protests being suppressed with violence. But the ministers refrained from demanding an immediate end to the military junta's half-century of dictatorship, appealing to the generals instead to release political prisoners and carry out long-unfulfilled promises for a program of reforms aimed at movement toward a civilian government. The limp response has generated unease among some in Thailand. Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, published an essay in Friday's Bangkok Post under the headline, 'ASEAN's failure and Thailand's shame'. "Always full of sound and fury, ASEAN has done too little to be taken seriously by the international community," he wrote.

India, Burma's giant neighbor in the other direction, also has avoided taking a hard line against the junta, even though it has a cherished and internationally respected tradition of democratic rule. [As an official said, "India is a democracy and we recommend it as a mode of governance. But we're not in the business of pushing it down others' throats."] The external affairs minister, Pranab Mukherjee, explained that New Delhi regards the monks' uprising as an internal affair in which India's views have no place. "The government of India is concerned at and is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar," his ministry said in a statement Wednesday evening, using the junta's name for Burma. "India has always believed that Myanmar's process of political return and national reconciliation should be more inclusive and broad based."

..."What has sealed our lips?" Karan Thapar, a noted television commentator, asked on the editorial page of Thursday's Hindustan Times. "The fact that the Burmese junta may cease to curb the activities of Indian militants and secessionists from Burmese soil. I don't deny that is an important concern. But surely the government could have found a forum of words to support the cause of democracy without breaking the pact with the generals. Our pact with them is Faustian and we need to break free of it."

China has been cited most frequently over the last week as a logical source of influence over Senior Gen. Than Shwe and his fellow generals on the State Peace and Development Council. Some reports from Beijing suggested that, behind the scenes, Chinese diplomats are urging restraint and reform on the generals. But in public, President Hu Jintao's government has limited its comments to calls for stability and reconciliation. On Thursday, President Bush met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to press Beijing to do more to rein in the junta...Like India, China has strategic and economic interests in Burma, which lies just to its south. Burmese gas reserves, estimated at 19 trillion cubic feet, have not escaped the notice of energy-hungry Chinese officials. Teak logging has long been a big business in the border area--some of it legal, some of it not. In all, China's trade with Burma amounted to more than $2 billion last year, making China the biggest commercial partner of Burma.

Thailand's interests in Burma also have grown in recent years with an increase in cross-border trade. Much of that was natural gas and teak imported into Thailand. More broadly, it has long had an interest in stability because an estimated 3 million Burmese refugees have crossed the border looking for safety from the country's recurrent turmoil...
"Thailand's response has always been a mixture of commercial self-interest and the impact military rule in Burma has on Thailand, with the refugees and all that," said David Mathieson, a Thailand-based Burma specialist with Human Rights Watch.
The French oil company Total, French telecom Alcatel, Daewoo (S. Korea), Suzuki, and Chevron (as a subsidiary of Total's projects) all also have operations in Burma, Total's being the largest of those apparently, though I'm not sure they have "investments" in the country per se, which seems to be what the sanctions are aimed at.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:53 AM   #24
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Here's some interesting items of news: http://www.mizzima.com/MizzimaNews/N...p-%202007.html

Two main points:
1. Troops from middle Burma are marching on Rangoon, but whose side they're on is currently anyone's guess. Apparently an air force division has also been scrambled and there is commotion of an unknown nature at a couple of barracks. (Not that I'm particularly optimistic the military's coming to support the monks, but the next point indicates maybe there's a rift ...)
2. Junta ruler Than Shwe's second-in-command, Maung Aye apparently does not approve of the brutal violence used in clamping down on the protests. The Irrawady is also reporting this (as unconfirmed, naturally), and cites diplomatic sources that claim Maung Aye is going to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out. I'm not getting my hopes up, but ... come on. The junta cannot last forever.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:54 PM   #25
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Kenji Nagai of Japan, a journalist with APF News, tried to take photographs as he lay injured after security forces fired and charged a crowd of protesters yesterday in Rangoon, Burma. He later died, adding to the casualties in the bloodiest day in weeks of escalating protests against the ruling military junta.


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Old 09-28-2007, 01:24 PM   #26
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what a sad photo...

i just cannot understand this senseless killing. Wow do they think by shooting rounds into the crowd that everyone will just forget the whole thing? Well..maybe they do?

just completely fucked.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:20 AM   #27
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Riddle me this, folks. What do we think of the possibility of a "Berlin Air Lift"? Anyone else think a gesture along those lines might be startling enough to stop the violence? Not to mention, feed some folks?

Meantime
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:27 PM   #28
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Aid is not the sort of intervention Burma needs, while in poverty in comparison to the West, I don't believe there is any problem food wise.

Political intervention is what is actually needed.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:40 PM   #29
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The military would pretty quickly swoop and seize all aid for itself anyway.

I'm just hoping that a serious rift develops high in the junta's hierarchy. If Maung Aye and his supporters won't violently suppress the protests, Than Shwe's position will look more shaky. But the most recent news I've heard from Burma are not inspiring any sense of optimism.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:32 PM   #30
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"Burmese monks to be sent away" per the BBC.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7022437.stm

This cannot possibly be good. And I heard on NPR tonight that Burmese human rights diaspora suspects the monks are probably being shot in prison.
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