Haven’t been blogging on world events much, or at all, but I think that, just in case someone is reading this from a cave somewhere, you should be aware that there is a small country called Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma, that is going through some birthing pains right now.
What I mean by that is that while they are ruled by a pretty oppressive military oligarchy (or junta as the press records it), they are protesting against that government. Thousands of civilians have massed in the streets every day for the last week or so, in protest of higher gas prices set by the government, but truly its pent up frustration of living under the thumb of the military for 20 years now.
In 1990, Burma had a fairly democratic movement, electing a president (a female no less), Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been more or less under house arrest for 18 years.
The interesting thing about the latest protests is that they’ve been led by Buddhist monks, and the monks are taking the brunt of the casualties up to now.
This regime is supported by China, who is hardly on the side of the worldwide call for the regime to stand down and stop brutally suppressing the protests. Although they’ve made some weak noise lately for Myanmar to soften their actions.
The neat thing about the article that I linked to above is it’s focus on how the news is getting out of the country. With a forced moratorium on journalists during this crisis by the government, the only outlet for news is by citizen journalists using their cell phones to take video and text messaging eye-witnessed events. Refugee Burmese media outlets in places like Thailand and Sweden have been getting information from citizens on the street and relaying that information worldwide.
So what I don’t understand is how dictators like those in Burma, and those listed below, think that the rest of the world has no idea just how cruel and vicious they really are. There’s like this mental disconnect between what they’re telling us and what our press is telling us is really going on. And we know this because of technology. Take satellite imaging for instance:
The American Association for the Advancement of Science said the high-resolution photographs taken by commercial satellites document a growing military presence at 25 sites across eastern Myanmar, matching eyewitness reports. We found evidence of 18 villages that essentially disappeared," AAAS researcher Lars Bromley said in an interview.
As Instapundit says (who I got this last link from), “You can crack down, but you can’t hide.”
In related news (and I mean related only in the sense of vicious dictators), Iran and Zimbabwe announced that they are starting a Coalition of Peace. Hmmm. Considering who these characters are snuggling up to in the past couple of years, I imagine that the members of this “coalition” will be countries like Iran, Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. Notice a trend? Gateway Pundit says: “The first act by the Coalition of Peace will be to wipe Israel off the map.”
I’ve been thinking about all these countries forming ties and acting like close buddies. What’s the common denominator here, I mean besides oppressive oligarchy type governments? Is it Soviet style communism? You could say that for all the countries except for the African ones, really. I’m not sure how much Sudan is socialist as much as it is theocratic/Arabic. They are surly cozy with the Chinese money flooding in for their oil surplus.
Seriously, what does folk like Hugo Chavez see in a long term relationship with Iran and Syria? Does Ahmadinejad tell Hugo in private that his rhetoric about world domination for Islam is just to whip the Muslims into an Anti-American frenzy, and that they really aren’t serious?
Perhaps there’s some sick need for fascist dictators to unite against the universal threat of Democracy.