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Old 10-01-2007, 08:34 PM   #31
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They have killed thousands already, according to the Daily Mail.

I hate to say it, but the only language a fascist regime understands is violence. That is why the monks' revolution was doomed to failure.

Look at the history of revolutionary movements in France, Ireland, the US - revolution by force of arms and by killing the oppressor is much more likely to achieve success than peaceful marches, e.g., Michael Collins in 1921 didn't achieve freedom for Ireland by waving the white flag, he won it by going out and shooting a bunch of Brits, pure and simple. And when they didn't like it, he went out and he shot a few more, and soon enough they realized that Collins and his people were serious.

The monks will get their freedom right enough, but they will need guns to do it.


Bono needs to read more of his own country's history before he starts preaching pacificism. Preaching pacifiscm can be incredibly dangerous, IMO.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:41 PM   #32
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Originally posted by financeguy
They have killed thousands already, according to the Daily Mail.

I hate to say it, but the only language a fascist regime understands is violence. That is why the monks' revolution was doomed to failure.

Look at the history of revolutionary movements in France, Ireland, the US - revolution by force of arms and by killing the oppressor is much more likely to achieve success than peaceful marches, e.g., Michael Collins in 1921 didn't achieve freedom for Ireland by waving the white flag, he won it by going out and shooting a bunch of Brits, pure and simple. And when they didn't like it, he went out and he shot a few more, and soon enough they realized that Collins and his people were serious.


Bono needs to read more of his own country's history before he starts preaching pacificism. Preaching pacifiscm can be incredibly dangerous, IMO.
It is an unfortunate truth.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:12 PM   #33
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:40 PM   #34
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:35 AM   #35
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Lessons from the Burmese uprising

By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website

The military crackdown in Burma is a reminder that street demonstrations do not necessarily lead to success for popular uprisings. The key factor is the destabilisation of the existing regime and if protests cannot bring that about, they become vulnerable to the kind of repression the Burmese authorities have imposed. So far, the Burmese military has held together. The campaign for democracy in Burma still hopes for rapid success but fears that the project will be more long-term. In our day, we have perhaps become so used to seeing pro-democracy protestors toppling authoritarian governments that the difficulties involved can be underestimated.

A handbook for overthrowing such governments would have to include the following factors:

#
Widespread public protests, bringing in many different social and economic groups

#

An opposition leadership with clear ideas around which people can rally

#
The ability to use the media in some form to get a message across

#
A mechanism for undermining the existing regime - whether by internal coup in the case of a military junta, the emergence of reformers, or the simple exhaustion of an existing government leading to its collapse

#

External pressure from key countries able to exert influence.

Experience has shown that a combination of the above is usually necessary for success.

Examples

In Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, for example, several factors came into play. There were the protests, the communist governments were exhausted, reformers came to the fore, the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew its support and the local security forces switched sides. However, in Uzbekistan in 2005, protests in the city of Andijan were swiftly repressed because they did not lead to wider influences being brought to bear. And in China in 1989, the democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square were eventually dispersed by force because the Chinese government cracked down instead of cracking up.

In Burma, the protesters have been faced with an implacable military government. Maybe elements of the armed forces will rebel and overthrow the old guard. But this has not happened yet. In the meantime, the regime has blocked off the media, including the new phenomenon of the internet, which proved instrumental in helping to mobilise opinion abroad. External pressure, in the form of international condemnation and talk of sanctions, has not been strong enough to be decisive.

The China connection

I watched the unfolding events while on a visit to China, and it was interesting to note the approach to events in Burma there. On satellite television, one could see the concern growing in Europe and the United States. This emphasised the way in which the foreign policies of Western governments are influenced by non-governmental organisations, human rights groups and also celebrities. On French television, the actress Jane Birkin was interviewed at length about Burma and the next day led a delegation to see President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In China there was none of that. The media almost ignored the crisis in Burma. The first 10 minutes of the nightly news concentrated, as it always does, on the comings and goings of the senior Chinese leadership, which seemed to consist mostly of making speeches. The government in Beijing is not susceptible to influence on human rights grounds. It has a policy of pursuing its own interests world wide (which require the acquisition of large amounts of natural resources) while keeping out of world crises as far as possible. There is only one point of pressure on China - the Olympic Games being held in Beijing next year.

The Chinese government is desperate that there should be no boycott. The Olympics are presented as the symbol of China's "peaceful rise", as it is called. So China has to pay some attention to world opinion. That has led to it calling for restraint in Burma, but not much more.

The prospect in Burma now is for another lengthy campaign for democracy of the kind that has had to be waged since the last major crackdown in 1988. There will always remain the hope among activists, though, that one of the other decisive factors can suddenly turn things around.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/h...ic/7021567.stm
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:30 AM   #36
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Originally posted by financeguy
I hate to say it, but the only language a fascist regime understands is violence. That is why the monks' revolution was doomed to failure.

Look at the history of revolutionary movements in France, Ireland, the US - revolution by force of arms and by killing the oppressor is much more likely to achieve success than peaceful marches, e.g., Michael Collins in 1921 didn't achieve freedom for Ireland by waving the white flag, he won it by going out and shooting a bunch of Brits, pure and simple. And when they didn't like it, he went out and he shot a few more, and soon enough they realized that Collins and his people were serious.

The monks will get their freedom right enough, but they will need guns to do it.


Bono needs to read more of his own country's history before he starts preaching pacificism. Preaching pacifiscm can be incredibly dangerous, IMO.
Frankly, I think this is total rot. For every violent revolution you can name that has succeeded, there's another that has failed abysmally and led to the worst atrocities and extreme bloodshed. There are also plenty of examples of successful peaceful revolutions. Were you asleep during 1989? Sure, not all of those were peaceful, but plenty were.

In my opinion, pacifism is the opposite of dangerous: it is the only genuine hope for the future. The sooner people abandon your weak "violence is sad but necessary" argument, the better this place will be.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:39 AM   #37
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Originally posted by Axver

The sooner people abandon your weak "violence is sad but necessary" argument, the better this place will be.


i had been thinking, earlier, that the situation in Burma is why guns are legal in many countries. without weapons, how do you overthrow a government? and don't think your government couldn't be taken over by a tyrannical junta, it could.

but then i realized that handguns are no match for the government, and the possession of them is really only going to get you killed by superior firepower. look at Iraq. they don't use guns to attack US troops nor as part of the civil war. they use IEDs which enable the individual to retain some sort of anonymity. if they were to fight back, with guns, they'd be eviscerated by modern military firepower. it isn't 1776 anymore, nor is it 1921.

they need organization.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:49 AM   #38
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This whole situation is weighing heavily on my mind. China has a great deal to do with the situation.

The monks are being killed and forced out of their temples.

Children are being orphaned or lost in transitions and are in orphanages until someone comes to claim them.

People are in refugee camps. Those two words make me wince. There should be no refugee camps in this world.

People are being killed for speaking their mind.

When I first started reading up on the situation, I found this article I thought was interesting which included China as a silent backer of whats happening there.

Chinese dilemma over Burma protests
By Michael Bristow
BBC News, Beijing



China has kept its distance from the unfolding events in Burma
China, which has become one of Burma's main supporters over recent years, has remained largely silent about the current protests.

Beijing is traditionally reluctant to speak publicly about the internal affairs of other countries.

But, despite this, there are signs that Chinese politicians are anxious to help stabilise the political situation in Burma.

They perhaps do not want to tarnish China's image ahead of next year's Beijing Olympics by appearing to support any military crackdown in Burma.

Officially, China is playing down its ability to influence events in Burma.

"China always adopts a policy of non-interference," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a regular press briefing.

It is in China's long-term business interests to make sure its neighbour is stable


"As Myanmar's (Burma's) neighbour, China hopes to see stability and economic development in Myanmar," she added.

"The stability of Myanmar serves the interest of Myanmar itself and the interests of the international community."

But China's ties with the military junta ruling Burma go deep, and include expanding trade links, the sale of military hardware and diplomatic support.

Energy corridor

"In the last decade or two, with the improving economic situation in China and the increasing isolation of Burma, China has become increasingly important to the regime," said a spokesman for the Asian Human Rights Commission, based in Hong Kong.

The relationship between Burma and China is mainly based on trade. Burma, which has very little industry itself, imports manufactured goods from China.

"If you walk around the streets in Burma, particularly in the north, the overwhelming majority of manufactured goods are Chinese made," said the commission spokesman, who regularly visits Burma.

That trade is reflected in official Chinese figures, which show that exports from China to Burma were up by 50% in the first seven months of this year. They were worth $964m (£479m).


Beijing does not want to be associated with any crackdown

Burma mainly exports raw materials, such as timber and gems, to China.

According to research published a few days ago by EarthRights International, 26 Chinese multinational firms were involved in 62 major projects in Burma over the last decade.

These include the construction of oil and gas pipelines stretching 2,380km (1,479 miles) from Burma's Arakan coast to China's Yunnan Province.

The rights group, based in the United States and South East Asia, says this is to help China import oil and gas from the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Official Chinese figures say total imports from Burma amounted to just $146m in the first seven months of this year.

But others doubt the accuracy of these figures. Rights group Global Witness estimated timber exports to China alone were worth $350m in 2005 - most of it illegally exported.

China also sells Burma military hardware, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

And Beijing used its veto in the United Nations' Security Council in January to block criticism of Burma's military junta.

'Restore stability'

But despite these deep links, China has shown signs of promoting reform in Burma over recent months.


Earlier this month China urged Burma to maintain stability

In June this year it hosted low-profile talks in Beijing between representatives from the US and Burma.

And earlier this month, senior Chinese diplomat Tang Jiaxuan had some advice for visiting Burmese Foreign Minister U Nyan Win.

"China whole-heartedly hopes that Myanmar (Burma) will push forward a democracy process that is appropriate for the country," he said, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

Tang, who acts as a foreign policy adviser, said China "hoped Myanmar would restore internal stability as soon as possible, properly handle issues and actively promote national reconciliation".

China is perhaps wary of backing a regime that might order a violent crackdown of protesters ahead of next year's Beijing Olympics.

Beijing is extremely sensitive to criticism about any of its foreign policies before the event is held. They do not want anything to spoil the games.

Chinese officials have already tried to limit criticism of Beijing's support for Sudan by backing a UN plan that aims to bring peace to the African country's troubled Darfur region.

And, as the Asian Human Rights Commission spokesman said, it is in China's long-term business interests to make sure its neighbour is stable.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:04 AM   #39
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If anyone would like to help, all they are asking for is a voice.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/mmr-011007-news-eng#demo
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:24 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver


Frankly, I think this is total rot. For every violent revolution you can name that has succeeded, there's another that has failed abysmally and led to the worst atrocities and extreme bloodshed. There are also plenty of examples of successful peaceful revolutions. Were you asleep during 1989? Sure, not all of those were peaceful, but plenty were.

In my opinion, pacifism is the opposite of dangerous: it is the only genuine hope for the future. The sooner people abandon your weak "violence is sad but necessary" argument, the better this place will be.
That is conditional upon having a moral opponent, pacifism is weak against a party with no qualms about killing innocent people. Violence will always be a means to an end, and even if you are moral enough to reject and abhor it that can never prevent others from embracing it.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:25 PM   #41
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U.N. Worker Arrested in Myanmar

By THOMAS FULLER
The New York Times, Oct. 3


BANGKOK — A local staff member of the United Nations in Myanmar and three of her family members were taken from their home in Yangon before dawn today as part of an ongoing crackdown on demonstrators...The U.N. worker’s arrest is one of an unknown number of nighttime abductions conducted by the junta to identify and round up people who took part in the demonstrations, which were the largest protests against the junta in nearly two decades. Another U.N. official who was arrested last week and then released said he was taken to a university in Yangon where about 800 people were held in squalid conditions. “We’re concerned with what seems to be happening at night — there are arrests and people being detained,” Mr. Petrie said. “There is palpable fear even among our staff.”

Yangon residents say helicopters fly over the city throughout the night as military trucks patrol the streets with loudspeakers broadcasting intimidating messages. Shari Villarosa, the highest ranking U.S. diplomat in Myanmar, said the message, broadcast in Burmese, was roughly this: “We have your pictures. We’re going to come and get you.”

“I think they just are arresting anybody that they have the least bit of suspicion about,” Ms. Villarosa said. “This is a military that rules by fear and intimidation. Wouldn’t you be terrified if you were subject to being rousted out of bed at 2 o’clock at the morning, taken away and never knew why?”

The issue of nighttime raids was raised by Ibrahim Gambari, the special envoy of the United Nations, during a meeting Tuesday with Myanmar’s top general, Than Shwe. Three U.N. workers who had been detained last week were subsequently released. Mr. Gambari, who was scheduled to fly to New York late today to report on his trip to the U.N. secretary general, declined to speak with reporters during a stopover in Singapore. There are 3000 U.N. staff in Myanmar, mainly working in poverty alleviation projects. “Our sense is that the U.N. is not being targeted,” Mr. Petrie said. “The U.N. is being caught up in broader events.”

The number of people killed or detained during the crackdown remains unknown. Reuters news agency reported from Yangon that 80 monks and 149 women, possibly nuns, who had been rounded up last week were freed today. The agency quoted one of the monks saying he had been interrogated but not physically abused. The news agency also quoted a relative of three of the released women saying those being interrogated were divided into four categories: passers-by, those who watched, those who clapped and those who joined in.

The government says 10 people were killed in the crackdown including Kenji Nagai, a Japanese photojournalist, whose body was scheduled to be flown back to Japan on Thursday. Diplomats and Burmese dissident groups believe the total death toll was higher.
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Myanmar's Minorities Face Persecution

Associated Press, Oct. 3

BANGKOK -- While international attention has focused on the protests for democracy in Myanmar's cities, a hidden war has decimated generations of the country's powerless ethnic minorities, who have faced brutality for decades. The Karen, the Shan and other minority groups who live along the Myanmar-Thai border have been attacked, raped and killed by government soldiers. Their thatched-roofed, bamboo homes have been torched. Men have been seized into forced labor for the army, while women, children and the elderly either hide out in nearby jungles until the soldiers leave or flee over the mountains to crowded, makeshift refugee camps. ''Many, many thousands of Karen have died in those 60 years,'' Karen National Union secretary general Mahn Sha said this week of his people's struggle for autonomy since 1947.

The military junta has denied reports of atrocities and says the ethnic rebels are ''terrorists'' trying to overthrow the government.

The Southeast Asian nation, formerly known as Burma, has more than 100 subtribes. Myanmar's diverse minority groups make up nearly a third of the country's 54 million population. About two-thirds of the country belong to the Burman ethnic majority, which is also known as the Myanmar. The other ethnic groups include the Shan, the Karen, the Chin, the Mon, the Arakan or Rakhine, and the Kachin.

Thousand of refugees, mostly from a Muslim ethnic minority known as Rohingyas, have fled over Myanmar's western border with Bangladesh over the years because of persecution by the military junta and economic hardship. The Kachin in the far north, along the border with China, have clashed with the central government, as have the Chin in the central western region bordering India, and the Mon in the south along the Andaman Sea.

But the military is most aggressive in the eastern states along Myanmar's 1300-mile border with Thailand, a frontier longer than the Texas-Mexico border. Mary Callahan, a Myanmar expert at the University of Washington, said the junta has signed 27 cease-fire agreements with rebels, many of them allowing ethnic groups to keep their arms. The Karen National Union is the only major ethnic rebel group not to have concluded a cease-fire and its separatist struggle is one of the world's longest-running insurgencies.

The Karen struggle is concentrated in Karen and Kayah states in the middle of the Thai border region, but fighting also flares sometimes in Shan state to the north. Mon and Taninthayi states, which border Thailand in the south, have been quiet for more than a decade.

After the junta's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1988, many Burmese fled to the Thai border. The ethnic minorities did not trust them at first, but after years of interaction and intermarriage, some of the students-turned-soldiers settled along the border. Now minority groups wonder if there will be a new influx of Burmese because they led the recent pro-democracy protests in Yangon and other cities. The Karen held meetings to express solidarity with the anti-government demonstrators but did not organize street protests.

...Myanmar protesters will be welcomed by the ethnic groups, but the question remains how both can use the unrest to their advantage. ''We need to work together with the Mon, other groups, the students, to fight the (junta). We have a common enemy and common goals,'' Mahn Sha said.

''It is the beginning of the crack that could bring down the dictators. Even if these protests are crushed, it will still be a big block out of that tower. We all look at this with hope,'' Dah Say, a Karenni who is a member of the Free Burma Rangers, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

The actor Sylvester Stallone, who just finished filming his ''Rambo'' sequel on the Salween River separating Thailand and Myanmar's Karen state, drew attention to the violence along the border. He said his movie crew was shocked by the border situation, calling it a ''full-scale genocide.'' ''I witnessed the aftermath -- survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off. We saw many elephants with blown off legs,'' he told The Associated Press on Monday.
While it's been largely overlooked in the coverage of this latest crackdown, which (thus far) has primarily affected ethnic Burmese in the major cities, it's the Burmese army's atrocities in the process of suppressing dissent amongst these minority groups that's given the present junta its reputation for brutality. Mass forced labor, torture, sex slavery, massacres and burning of villages all became widespread during the '90s as the army stepped up its longstanding campaign against ethnic minorities (ironically, through the late '80s, China was arming the rebels against the government, not the other way around).
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:30 PM   #42
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This situation really disturbs me, and I have no idea what can be done about it. I've been thinking a lot about it and following the stories and I'm pretty sure the leader is just stark raving madly egotistical and may not care about sanctions, even a Chinese crack down. It's quite scary. However, perhaps this current crackdown will be enough tocause such a backlash that the junta will fall? Perhaps? It's a dismal hope.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:37 PM   #43
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Check out the two websites I posted....its not much but its a start. I started to read about this over the weekend as much as I could find. It really breaks my heart how these people are fighting not just for their freedom but for their lives.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:18 PM   #44
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The student worker who is my assistant is from Burma. Today was the first day I have had a chance to talk to her since everything began (I've been travelling for work). Thankfully, her family and friends are ok, but communication is difficult. One thing she said really struck me and that was how she felt like she ought to be standing up and speaking out about things since she is the only Burmese student in our community. But she plans to go home after school and is afraid of what could happen to her if she is identified as having said the wrong things. And what can I say in answer to that? Anyways, because of my friendship with her, this whole thing has a more human face than it might have otherwise. Any way you look at it, something has to be done. I wish I knew what.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:34 PM   #45
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I've been following this whole situation closely. It's horrible. I just read today on CNN.com that bodies of protesters have been left in front of a sign that says "World Peace," as if to warn other protesters of what could happen to them.

It's disgusting to think this still occurs today. Hopefully there's a breakthrough soon.
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