Than Shwe: Portraits in Political Courage

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I don't know why AP is reporting this under the headline "Junta Chief to Meet with Opposition Leader" (italics mine):

The head of Myanmar's military junta told a U.N. envoy this week that he is willing to meet with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but with certain preconditions, the state media reported Thursday.

It also said that 2,093 people had been arrested in last week's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists, and 692 have been released.

Sen. Gen. Than Shwe told envoy Ibrahim Gambari during their talks Tuesday that he is willing to meet Suu Kyi if she gives up her calls for confronting the government and for imposing sanctions on it, state TV and radio reported

I imagine this means something like: If Suu Kyi signs a document denouncing her party, Than Shwe will graciously agree to meet with her. Which is to say, the government's position hasn't changed at all. Suu Kyi is obviously not going to agree to these terms; this isn't an offer that's meant to be accepted. This "concession" just allows the government space to claim it is being responsive to the monks' call for dialogue, and to cast Suu Kyi as an obstructionist. No doubt The New Light of Myanmar will soon report on Suu Kyi's "regrettable" refusal to meet with the oh-so-reasonable ministers.  

NEXT: The Grown-Up in the Race

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  1. I thought she was locked up? How can she effectively be the leader of the recent demonstrations if she is in prison?

  2. This “concession” just allows the government space to …cast Suu Kyi as an obstructionist.

    Or a “destructionist”.

  3. I thought she was locked up? How can she effectively be the leader of the recent demonstrations if she is in prison?

    Go here for enlightenment..

  4. I seems to be a completely reasonable tyrant. Who wouldn’t want to meet with him?

  5. People with automatic weapons tend to win when confronted with unarmed monks. Let’s be honest here; no one cares about Burma. The world is not willing to make one sacrifice or spill one drop of blood to help the people there. Considering that fact, why is it on the news everyday? It is not like anything is going to change or anyone is going to do anything about what is happening there.

  6. Too bad they’re not bulletproof monks.

  7. So John,
    What would you suggest “the world” do about it?

  8. Considering that fact, why is it on the news everyday?

    Classic good-vs-evil confrontation?
    Colorful imagery?
    Exotic locale?
    Mysterious, brutal junta?

  9. Shwe. Shwe. Hmmm. Isn’t that what Wayne and Garth used to say when they saw an attractive woman?

  10. Or as Principal Skinner so aptly put it:

    Our friend the Shwe.

  11. “So John,
    What would you suggest “the world” do about it?”

    Not a God damned thing. Really, but I would suggest that people stop pretending they care because they don’t. If they did, they would at least refuse to trade with Burma or recognize the thugs that run the country or get together and kick them out of power. But, they won’t do that or anything else. The suffering in Burma is nothing compared to what goes on in Darfur or went on in Rwanda and is probably no worse than Zimbabwe. The fact is that the world doesn’t care about human rights or democracy or stopping genocide. The whole “never again” bullshit was just that bullshit. It would be nice if people would be honest about that fact rather than wringing their hands and talking about how much they care when in reality they don’t and wouldn’t do anything to stop it beyond whining about it.

  12. Kwix | October 4, 2007, 2:27pm | #
    So John,
    What would you suggest “the world” do about it?

    Obviously go in with forces, not matter what the UN or the world says.

    We’ll be met as liberators.

    Plus, I heard that junta is working on a WMD program…

  13. Really, but I would suggest that people stop pretending they care because they don’t.

    In short:

    “I don’t care about Burma, ergo, neither does anyone else.”

  14. What John says. We are all only concerned enough to say, “somebody should do something…”

    To which I reply, “yes, somebody ought to do something about that”, and then I get off work and pick up a six pack and maybe some tacos on the way home.

    Are you different Jake?

  15. Have any of the Second Amendment folks picked up on the BBC story where an anonymous man in Rangoon (or whatever the Junta calls it) saying, “They have weapons and we don’t, so we can’t stop them.” I’m paraphrasing, but it was in one of the articles on their website a few days ago.

    Maybe an easy way to change Burma would be to have stealth bombers drop shortwave radios and AK-47s.

    I guess that makes me destructionist.

  16. Maybe if our forces weren’t tied up in Iraq, we’d be able to do something about this.

    I’m not saying we necessarily should. But considering the suffering in Burma and Zimbabwe, they seem to be much better targets for US intervention than Iraq. Thanks, Bush, for eliminating our ability to use our military!

  17. But considering the suffering in Burma and Zimbabwe, they seem to be much better targets for US intervention than Iraq.

    Translation: Saddam and Mugabe, having already pretty much wrapped up their crushing of the opposition, should have been left alone. But CNN is willing to say bad things about the Burmese junta, so we should invade!

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