Friday, September 28, 2007

Critical Days for Burma

Security forces have fired on pro-democracyprotesters in Myanmar [AP]

Potkin: I remember when I was interviewed by CNN, the presenter tried to sound all doom and gloom and used Burma as an example of a hopeless case where regime change was not possible."
I point out Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for 10 years and still no democratic reform there" was the interviewer's exact words.I have been following the events in Burma ever since the brave British national, James Mawdsley, was arrested there for distributing pro human rights leaflets. It fascinated me how the quest for justice motivated a British national to risk his life and freedom for that of others so many miles away.

I admire Aung San Suu Kyi so much as well. She left her comfortable Cambridge life to serve her people, never showing any regret, never losing her determination. Many times, I hoped Parastoo Forouhar, whose parents were stabbed to death by Islamic Republic agents in their home, would be our own Aung San Suu Kyi.Now that thousands of people have taken to the streets in Burma again, it has made me think and reflect over the past years that I have followed news of Burma.

I ask myself, how is it in all these years since Aung San Suu Kyi was put under house arrest, I never heard anyone in the West dare to justify the junta rule in Burma? No junta apologists ever appeared to have a free platform to promote the military dictatorship in Burma. No Burmese official was ever invited to Western universities and received honorary PHD? Yet when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a religious dictatorship and a religious apartheid, their apologists are given forum after forum to promote and justify the theocracy in Iran.

In fact, ever since the beginning of the Islamic revolution in Iran, outrageous remarks have been expressed in support of the most reactionary despots in the world by influential people in the West. People that you would assume should have a reasonable degree of intellect for the positions they occupy.Andrew Young called Ayatollah Khomeini a Saint! The US ambassador to Iran, at the time of the revolution, David Sullivan, likened the bloodthirsty Khomeini to 'Iran's Gandhi".


Clinton and Armitage, ignored the unelected Guardian Council selection process of candidates, and claimed Iran was a democracy! The principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and a retired US Navy captain, Gary Sick, who has held impressive posts like the deputy director for International Affairs at the Ford Foundation, has gone out of his way in the past 28 years to buy friends for the Islamic Republic and promote murderers like Rafsanjani as moderates.

If I gave examples of European statesmen, journalists and Left wing admirers of the theocracy in Iran, the list of such absurd adulation for the Islamic Republic and its henchmen will go on and on.Where did we go wrong? Why is our message not getting across? Why is it that Islamic Republic apologists and supporters like Massoud Behnood and Hossein Derakhshan are able to get grants after grants from various foundations and institutions, and yet we struggle to fight a petro-dollar regime, which is a threat to the world, on our shoe string personal budgets?Perhaps that is the answer to all these questions.

The Islamic rulers in Iran are much more cunning and shrewd than their Burmese counterparts. They know how to spend their money to influence the international public opinion and buy their "useful idiots". We on the other hand, have to fight an army of IRI apologists and "useful idiots" before we can even get near to the Islamic Republic.On these critical days for Burma, our hearts and minds are with the people of Burma who have risen against the tyranny of their oppressors.

We express our solidarity with them and wish they can live a peaceful life where they will no longer have to look over their shoulder when they speak, a precious privilege that is so often taken for granted by the people in democratic countries.

UPDATE:

I just found this and this a little bit ago and I think it needs as much support from the internet community as possible. Ko Htike and Dawn are in Myanmar blogging about the protests going on in his country.

1 comment:

Free Burma! said...

Free Burma!
International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October

nternational bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.

www.free-burma.org