The cultures of the East and West are not as different as is often claimed. Sure, the West is "individualistic" and the East places a higher value on "community," but there's more to it than that.

Fun fact: You can be killed if you cause someone in Thailand, and likely other Asian countries as well, to lose face. In the West, though, you can often criticize people in person, and suffer no consequences.

Consider the U.S. relationship with Burma. The East Asia and Pacific Bureau of the Department of State has happily advocating working with if not openly supported Burma's terrorist junta for decades. Blinken has adopted this view as well since becoming Secretary. However, article after article are now - finally - stating the obvious: The West's indifference to the horrific violence in Burma is encouraging the terrorists to perpetrate more. They just murdered over 200 people in Kanbalu Township, in one attack.

But here's the thing. If EAP and Blinken and therefore the United States change their tune and instead of issuing "strongly worded statements" actually step in and help the pro-democracy resistance to end the terrorism, they will have to admit that they have been wrong. And if they do this, they will lose face.

So it seems "face" can be just as important in the West as it is in the East. The United States would rather thousands if not tens of thousands of people in Burma die than admit that it made a mistake.

An estimated 25,000 Rohingya died during the 2017 genocide, and the U.S. did nothing. Indeed, you can say that paying for food and shelter for the refugees in Bangladesh is an indirect admission of guilt, if not actual blood money. But that crime against humanity was not enough to get the State Department Foreign Service Officers to change their position and policy. So the question is, will it ever get so bad in Burma from the new Civil War that they change it now?

As many people are realizing, politicians, and not only from China and Russia, are corrupt and disgusting. The U.S. - and Europe and the U.N. - are high on the list, too.


OK. So this is how this has played out so far. The Junta is terrorizing the country. It can only do this if it has soldiers that it pays, and weapons for them to use. It needs a lot of money. Burma is rich in natural resources, but successive regimes have stolen most of the proceeds of their exploitation, and then moved the stolen wealth to safe havens like Singapore. The reason it has been able to survive is that in addition to selling minerals and teak and gems, the country has natural gas resources - a huge supply. It's basically earned its budget for repressing the people from this, the natural gas, through international oil companies Total, Chevron (formerly Unocal) and Premier. But these oil companies, no longer willing to work with criminals guilty of genocide (or unwilling to bear the increasing litigation cost), have left (Premier some years ago). This opened the door to demands that the West, the U.S. and Europe, sanction MOGE, the Junta entity that receives the natural gas money. But even with the people begging for this, and Chevron having left the country, the U.S. still wouldn't do it, and cut off the terrorists' main source of cash.

Earlier this week a U.S. diplomat, one in what is now a decades-long string of State Department apologists for the junta's terrorism and crimes against humanity, suggested that the U.S. was going to disrupt the funding supply. This could only mean one thing: sanctioning MOGE. But he didn't say that specifically, which was odd. Diplomats rarely signal new sanctions; they are just authorized and announced.

Then Bloomberg News, a financial website, said something new was under consideration, too, this time explicitly referencing MOGE, but still no sanctions broke. Now we get this: just a few more additions of individuals and companies to the sanctions against jet fuel suppliers (which is good), but not MOGE, which is the only thing that really counts.

What the hell is going on. This is cruel. The United States is torturing and humiliating the people of Burma. Be honest for once. Say you are going to sanction MOGE and stop the money to the terrorists, or say that you will never do it because besides supporting Chevron, policy on the issue is driven by Thailand and if Thailand supports the terrorists then Washington will, too. Stop being such two-faced liars.


Another question is also worth considering. If you look at the members of the NUCC you see a long list of admirable organizations, whose leaders and members have risked, and sacrificed, their lives. But writing a constitution, from scratch, is extremely difficult. In the United States the Revolutionaries, many of whom had good educations given the standards of the time, did it, and one could argue that they made a reasonable outcome. But many problems later surfaced, two of which have been disastrous. The first is that the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence before it, failed to address slavery. Many of the revolutionary leaders wanted to but the Southern slave owning states refused. The lesson here is that they ignored or avoided the most difficult issues, and the nation and certainly African American people suffered terribly for it. The second problem was that they didn't anticipate how time, and population growth, and technology, and other factors as well, would change the country and how views commonly accepted in their time, including that Native Americans should basically be eradicated and that women did not have rights, starting with the right to vote, might someday not be seen that way. In other words, they created an inflexible document (and inequitable) rather than one that was "living" and which could be changed without extreme difficulty if future circumstances warranted. This has been seized on by the Republican justices on the current U.S. Supreme Court to pursue an "originalist" interpretation and to use this as the basis to continue to deny and even to reverse certain rights.

Of course it is not surprising that the drafters of the American Constitution did not do an A+ job. It was the first time they tried. They had no experience.

The same challenges will exist with the new post-victory Burma constitution. There are some very difficult issues to face and which many people will no doubt argue should not be (e.g., the Rohingya, the independence demands of certain groups, punishment for war crimes, the overall Division/State structure, even the country's name). And, there is no one who has real experience actually writing a constitution. True, there have been drafting attempts in the past, and they should be reviewed, and also the documents and experience of other nations.

This is all a huge job, and it will be easy to make mistakes, and which at the time might not seem that important but which in the future may prove to be critical. One of the reasons new democracies often fail is because they don't have workable constitutions. New tyrants exploit the gaps in what has been done.

I'm not a constitutional legal scholar, but I know some nations have very long documents, which try to think of everything but which are also unwieldy (and even contradictory), and others have shorter versions, like the U.S., but which need a lot of judicial interpretation. So good luck Burma! But I definitely wouldn't trust all the carpetbagger diplomats who rush in to lend a hand.

One approach would be to prioritize. Make a list of the top ten or even twenty issues for the country, and then make absolutely sure that the new constitution does a good job on them.


It is another year, a New Year. But it is also just another day. Saturday has changed to Sunday.

My fervent hope is that THIS year, after all the murderous brutality perpetrated by the military dictatorship in the last sixty years, the people of Burma will finally win their freedom. The junta is more barbaric now than it has ever been. Why? Because it understands it is losing. The people are finally fighting back in a unified way. Not everywhere in the country, true - there are holdouts, but enough people are fighting in enough regions that the Burma Army soldiers are being killed one by one and sometimes ten by ten, day after day. The regime will run out of soldiers and the soldiers who are left will lose the will to fight, knowing that when they do they will die. The tipping point is getting closer. There is still no way to know when, or how, it will be reached, but it is closer. Given how much of the country the people now control, perhaps well over 60%, the end may be nearer than we think.

The sacrifice to get here has been unimaginable. So many wonderful people have given their lives. Let this not be in vain. Keep pushing and this year the Min Aung Hlaing terrorist mafia will be defeated forever. A New Burma will rise from the ashes.


This is a photo of a protest from the World Cup yesterday (11/28/22). The protestor carried a rainbow flag - Qatar persecutes gays; the front of his shirt said Save Ukraine; and the back Respect Iranian Women.

Notice what is missing: Any mention of Burma.

Right now the situation in Burma is the very worst in the world. The terrorist junta is burning half a dozen villages every day. They are burning down the country. They are also bombing villages. The death toll is in the thousands. More than a million people are on the run.

We know why the terrorists are doing this: They are losing. In the Civil War the people, through the PDFs and EAOs, are attacking all over the country. So the regime, as bad an armed gang as humanity has ever seen, sadistic savages every single one of them, is punishing the people. It is pointless destruction and murder, the core expression of hate. MAH and the rest of the Burma Army and Police despise the people. If they can't have power any more they want everyone to suffer and die.

This is unprecedented. This is genocide, against your own people.

What is also unprecedented is that something this bad is essentially unnoticed by the world. Hence the protestor's shirt. It did not say: Free Burma!

It's great that there is a National Unity Government and that they are doing many important things, for the revolution and to help the people. But they are doing a terrible job getting the attention of the world. They have foreign offices now, most recently in Washington, D.C. But they should be doing far more than lobbying American and international diplomats. They should be talking to major media journalists, day after day. Widespread publicity of the carnage being perpetrated in Burma is nonexistent. Very few people around the world know about it. And if they don't know, they don't care. So their leaders don't care.

Other members of the group have commented about this, about the media relations role of the NUG, which includes having appointed spokespeople to do interviews, and preparing visual information packets (with photos and video) for mass distribution, and in multiple languages. This should be a top priority now, as high as getting more guns.

No doubt many journalists also follow this group. Please push for your outlets to give Burma's Civil War more coverage. There has never been anything like it, in all of human history, the people rising up and forming hundreds of small armies to fight their barbarian rulers.

Maybe you need an angle, a bigger perspective. Once Burma is free, the people of China, who have just done their first large protests since Tiananmen Square in 1989, will demand freedom, too.


I'm only posting this because of this quote:

"But analysts say there is little appetite for either denying Myanmar's military access to the air or arming rebels on the ground. A no-fly zone would require support from regional countries, all of which have hedged their bets in the conflict.

Myers of the Wilson Center said that China, which has been a junta ally, would likely object to any arming of rebel forces by Western countries."

The article mentions the Stimson Center, the Wilson Center, the National War College, and the Congressional Research Service. It's important to understand that they are well-established think tanks and other organizations, based in Washington, D.C. They are staffed by "policy experts," who in many cases came from the government or will later get jobs in the government (e.g., the CRS). These types of organizations, and people, are common throughout Europe, too.

You can see what the quote says. They are all ignoring the monstrous suffering in Burma as if it were nothing. Children slaughtered by a helicopter machine-gunning their school? So what. A jet that bombs festival musicians and dancers, blowing them to pieces? Who cares. These people live in major cities and that is their life, going to the office, to meetings, to restaurants and clubs. THAT is their life. The terrorized villages of Burma are so far removed they might as well be on another planet. And they are the ones who suggest policy. They talk to the State Department people and everyone agrees, everything is just too complicated in the world and the U.S. now, Burma doesn't matter. Even the State Department people who work on Burma!!!

These people, who counsel Blinken and Biden and the European leaders, have just given up. Oh, another 10 or 50 or 100 people killed. And hundreds more homes burned. What a tragedy.

Burma is experiencing an almost unheard of level of terrorism - State Terrorism - from the military junta, more and more every single day. If this were literally anywhere else, the U.S. armed forces would jump into action. There would be a No-Fly Zone, and guns.

It's beyond despicable. Any time you meet a "Western expert" on Burma, from NGOs, governments, universities or the U.N., never let yourself be deceived. They are the enemy! They have given Min Aung Hlaing full approval, what the Europeans call Carte Blanche, to continue his terror.

I can add, this is racism. Pure and simple. It's not about China, or Thailand. The U.S. is confronting China full-on now, on many different fronts. When the West cares, it will act, and as we see in Ukraine, with great force. When it cares. It doesn't care about Burma. This is difficult to understand though because Burma is strategic. Helping the country become democratic would be a huge step not only for the people but against China, including by creating a block of pro-West regional alliances (Burma and Thailand).

But America and Europe won't do this. The people of Burma, somehow, are not worth it. Therefore, if it is not racism, and the reasons given do not hold, then what else could it be?


Interesting article. Two things: The State Department got it wrong in 2011, and they knew it! They knew nothing had really changed, the junta still had total power and the assk show was just political theatre, but they went along with the charade anyway, to open Burma to U.S. corporate exploitation. Democracy had nothing to do with it, or China. Secondly, about the U.S. now, for the people of Burma only one thing counts, in their hour of need America did absolutely nothing concrete to help. When the country is finally free Yankee diplomats will fly in (and ex-diplomats who have becomTHEvestment advisors), hat in hand. They should be deported.


"Some in the international community are reluctant to provide enhanced support to the resistance if its success means a return to the discriminatory pre-coup status quo in which genocide was tolerated and inter-ethnic and religious violence prevailed. If the resistance can demonstrate that its victory would mean a more inclusive future, it may broaden its support domestically and abroad."

This is the major road block, even more than taking a stand against China. They can't support Burma if Suu Kyi has any chance of resuming power and if she remains a genocide-denying Bamar supremacist (which is unknown at this point, if her arrest and the Revolution has changed her views).

Consider the significance of this: If she hadn't been "friends" with the junta, and defended it against the charge of genocide, the U.S. may well now be arming the rebels, just as it is helping Ukraine. Her shortsightedness and lust for power still has consequences!


This may be the most important factor, outside of the armed revolt. When the economy decisively collapses, when the Kyat reaches 10,000 to the dollar, and then 100,000, the junta will fold. Right now thousands of Burma Army officers and their friends and cronies have made huge amounts stealing the wealth of the nation. Much of this wealth no doubt has been sent to Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. When there is no more money to be stolen, and realizing that the end is near, they will flee, with their families. Better to be rich and free abroad than jailed, tried and then hung in a Burma prison. I imagine people who can are fleeing already (or certainly planning it), mainly to Singapore. Their friends still in Burma will know about this, and be looking for their own way out, too. (How to get on a plane.) Just as Burma Army rank and file soldiers are looking for an opportunity to desert to the EAOs and PDFs, so the top officials and their families want out as well. The breaking point could come at any time.

As an aside, the U.S. finally stopping the MOGE cash flow would probably be the trigger event for the regime's collapse. Get going Biden and Blinken!!!


Total collapse is terrible for the people, but if they can share the food they have and can still grow and make, while it will be very hard, they will get through. But the total collapse will mean chaos for the terrorist junta. They will feel terror themselves. Their soldiers will starve. It is getting close!

At these points in social change situations, what you need is a trigger. Something that pulls the entire house of cards down. Sanctions against MOGE from the United States would be the most obvious. But there are others, too. My view is that the revolutionaries should prioritize their targets, to hurt rank and file terrorist morale. What can you do to really hurt them, psychologically. To give them a major defeat. The ordinary soldiers of Min Aung Naing need to start thinking that they have lost already, that it is inevitable. Is there any way for them to get out, and to save their families.


What is different about this? The terrorists have murdered people since the coup, and for decades before that. They do it every day.

The difference is, in terms of diplomacy, this is inexcusable. You might think burning dozens of people to death was inexcusable, or perpetrating genocide, but to diplomats they can be excused. They are part of a bigger picture: People being savagely repressed by, and revolting against, a murderous dictatorship, but for a country that has huge natural resource deposits and where international companies have long-standing exploitation agreements with the terrorists. So, to diplomats, it's not that clear. They typically focus on boosting business, so they accept a tradeoff, bodies for access.

This isn't mass murder in a remote village. This is public, as public as it is possible to be. The terrorists are saying, we will murder anyone we want, and we know you won't do anything about it. We will kill the entire population if we have to, to stay in power.

This is a challenge to which the United States must respond. If they will murder four people, in public, they will murder a thousand. There are tens of thousands of political prisoners. They will kill every single one.

If the response isn't immediate, they will do this again and again.

The United States must help. There is zero difference with Ukraine. It makes no difference that China is next door. The U.S. must arm the revolutionaries.

This has to end as quickly as possible, the defeat of the terrorists, and getting the people the guns they need is the only way to do it.


This article (a guest article in Irrawaddy - Min Aung Hlaing is destroying the Myanmar military) is fine as far as it goes, but it also contains an unspoken premise that destroying the Burma Army is bad. Which is absolutely ridiculous. By phrasing it this way the Irrawaddy's editors and the writer are once again assuming a Bamar-centric view and leaving the ethnic nationalities to pay the price. The Burma Army has been a terrorist organization since 1962 (longer against the Karen). It is irredeemable!!! It must be taken down no less that the terrorist generals.

No one talks about this but it will be the most difficult transition issue after the junta is defeated. What to do with all the rapist, killer Burma Army soldiers. Ideally they would all be imprisoned, for decades, as suitable punishment for their crimes. But it has to be said, the fewer that are left at that time, the more that are killed in the Revolution, the easier the transition will be. You can't just let them go home to their towns and villages. You have to make them pay! Imagine, the people win, and the Burma Army is disbanded. 100,000 - 200,000 terrorist soldiers then return to their homes, and with many of them hiding their guns. They will perpetrate large-scale criminal violence for decades.

It's not an easy question: What to do with a defeated army? In many historic cases the question hasn't actually been that pressing. Barring the Japanese, and the German treatment of Jewish people and other defined groups, in modern wars at least armies have not run rampage over local populations. But the Burma Army has, in one region after another and for decades. It is an army of war criminals, tens of thousands of identifiable individuals who have perpetrated the very worst atrocities. They must be dealt justice, and even more the country and the people must be protected from them.