Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
RESPONSE TO CRITICS OF "THE WORST PERSON IN BURMA"
October 28, 2012
Please forward and post.
I expected blowback to my statement, "The worst person in Burma," and I got it. In addition to an anti-Rohingya racist, who didn't even notice that it was about Suu Kyi, people complained that I'm ignorant, that I was unfair, and that she is not God.
I believe that every person in Burma has the same value. Interestingly, this position is the core principle of democracy. It means that Suu Kyi has no more intrinsic value than any of the other fifty million people in the country.
I am horrified when entire communities are destroyed, and when the mobs responsible want to kill every single one of the residents. I am also horrified when girls are turned into sex slaves, and when people are eviscerated and have their heads blown off.
To my mind, the only acceptable reaction to such events is to stop everything: To confront the culprits and to do whatever it takes to get them to cease and desist.
I also believe this:
"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
I know that Suu Kyi is not God. She is, though, the most powerful person in Burma (even if she doesn't want to admit it). Were she to call for it, the people would rise up. Although it would be tumultuous, the country could escape from its tyranny, now. Instead, she is following an exceedingly slow and long path, which may well fail, and which is also - counterintuitively - already leading to greater conflict and casualties.
In 1989, she made the following comments:
"The NLD would stand on the side of the people and defy authority." (Okkalapa, June 17)
"Basic human rights are currently being eroded bit by bit and repressive acts are getting worse, so it is the duty of everyone to defy unlawful commands in the present struggle for democracy." (NLD HQ, June 26)
"The Army have been made to play the role of thugs, to make sure that a few old men can remain in power." (NLD HQ, July 8)
"We have a fascist government in power. They are acting now like a fascist government and like fascists the only language they understand is confrontation." (NLD HQ, July 19)
The reason I have become so critical of Suu Kyi is her volte-face, her now open support for the military regime. There is as yet no real democratic change in Burma. Rather than lead to reform, her path will only ensure that more people suffer.
She does not understand the process of social change. You cannot change a society from a dictatorship to a democracy through reform. There has to be a break: a revolution. One way or another, the dictators have to be deposed. Only then can you really move forward.