Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
HOPING FOR A COUP IN BURMA
December 20, 2016
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Many people believe that the worst thing that could happen is for the Burma military dictatorship to seize overt power once again. Hence it is okay for Aung San Suu Kyi not to criticize regime atrocities, including the war offensive in the north and the Rohingya genocide in the west.
They are wrong. The most important thing that the generals got from her surrender in 2011 was legitimacy (not more money through business deals, or new weapons, or anything like that). This is their greatest strength. To the international community, starting with their benefactor, President Obama, they are now legitimate. Contrast this to Assad of Syria, who also commits mass atrocities against his people, but who has no such international backing - just the self-serving support of Russia and Iran.
If the Burma generals launch a coup, they will lose their new legitimacy. They can't have that. Hence, this is what we should push for. Burma has always been a case of good versus evil. The generals were evil and the population good. Suu Kyi's actions destroyed that perception. The reality, though, remains unchanged. The generals are evil and the public are the victims. But the world no longer has to act on that basis.
The best thing Suu Kyi could do is criticize Than Shwe and Min Aung Hlaing, and make them so angry that they launch a coup. If she did this, she would regain her status as a democracy fighter. Everyone could then unite against the junta, and force them out. Then a real democratic age could begin.
If Suu Kyi refuses to confront the dictatorship, she is part of the dictatorship. She and her disciples might argue otherwise, but the effect is the same. She should be opposed no less strongly that the rapist-murderer police and soldiers.
The very best thing would be if the generals' coup triggered a counter-coup, by secret democracy-sympathizing subordinates, and through which Than Shwe, Min Aung Hlaing, and the other top junta officials were executed.