Asian Invasion


In a long article on the sorry state of Myanmar (sub. only), The Economist notes widespread desire for the Iraq treatment:

For proof of how grim things have become in Myanmar, consider how locals talk about America's invasion of Iraq. There is no griping about violations of Iraqi sovereignty, no carping about the mysterious absence of weapons of mass destruction, no horror at the bloodthirsty insurgency that has ensued. Only one criticism is ever voiced: why hasn't America invaded Myanmar too?

That was true when I left in January, and it was true despite the fact that the regime's paper, The New Light of Myanmar, publishes stomach-churning pictures of Iraqi carnage nearly every day. But nowhere does the article mention the most bizarre side of this story—that the regime itself is utterly convinced Myanmar is next on the hit list and that it can withstand an American invasion if it keeps pouring money into defense. The dual delusions have led to the construction of an "escape city" in central Myanmar (They'll never find us here!) and an ongoing arms buildup.