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Old 09-27-2007, 04:42 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, 12:26 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, 01:34 AM   #23
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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.
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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, 09:53 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, 11:54 AM   #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, 12:24 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, 07:20 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, 05:27 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, 07:40 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, 06:32 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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Old 10-01-2007, 07:34 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, 07:41 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, 10:12 PM   #33
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:40 PM   #34
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:35 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, 04:30 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, 07:39 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, 07:49 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, 08:04 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, 04:24 PM   #40
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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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