Breaking: Burma's Government Still Bad
On Friday the UN Security Council held its first ever discussion on Myanmar, a move pushed by US Ambassador John Bolton, Laura Bush, exile groups, and activists. Bolton wants a UN resolution, and seems to be under the impression that the regime will respond to international pressure. Explains the badly coiffed ambo:
"If we don't ratchet up the level of attention, there's no reason to think [Burma's] policies will change."
Well, that's true. It would be equally true to say: "If we ratchet up the level of attention, there's no reason to think Burma's policies will change" Also: "If this Paris Hilton video does/does not creep me out, there's no reason to think Burma's policies will change." To recap: Two years ago, the Myanmar leadership purged the reform minded within its ranks, leaving only xenophobic hardliners. Last year, Than Shwe relocated the entire government from Yangon to a remote compound, either due to rumors of imminent US invasion or on the advice of a numerologist (or both).
As of last year the General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights had issued a grand total of 27 resolutions condemning the actions of Myanmar, all to no effect. Economic sanctions have elicited lots of crazed anti-American propaganda but no actual reform. Another angry letter won't change Than Shwe, but it will stoke paranoia and put more dissidents in jail.