Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
WATER ON STONE
September 25, 2007
As every geologist knows, the force of water, in the right conditions, is irresistible. It can even wear down granite.
For Burma, the monks are the water, and the SPDC the stone. How appropriate that their actual demonstrations began with a flood: a torrential downpour in Rangoon. For the monks this was a minor inconvenience. No amount of rain could dampen their determination. Yet it kept the SPDC and its thugs off the streets. Than Shwe must have cursed the sky.
Now the demonstrations are huge, and the generals are afraid. After all, they are only a small group of men, enough to fill three or four tables at a restaurant. They have no real power. If the Army abandons them, they are finished.
There are reports that their quarterly meeting has been postponed. If so, this is because they feel they cannot meet together as a group. This would create a perfect opportunity for a coup, or a U.S. cruise missile air strike.
The monks have moral authority. They are now the leaders of Burma. They asked the public to join their protests, and the public responded. Now they should ask the rank and file Tatmadaw.
Note: Some people are suggesting a negotiated settlement. This is an interesting idea, but it is naïve. It would be like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. As the monks themselves have said, the regime, the source of all that is wrong in Burma, must go. Than Shwe cannot be allowed to remain inside the country, and free. This is unacceptable for many different reasons. Nor can there be any type of power-sharing arrangement with the military.
Addendum: I borrowed the statement, snatching defeat , from a friend, who later told me it was actually spoken by Abraham Lincoln. My apologies to the Great Emancipator. Burma needs emancipation too!