Friday, 16 May 2008

Burma's Junta has a point, actually.

It's just a wretched shame that the people have to suffer so catastrophically.
But the reluctance of Burma's military authority to let in US and British aid is understandable. After sanctions were imposed against them, they must view with suspicion any attempt by the 'West' (a definition which seems to be restricted to Washington and London, and at a push Paris and Berlin when it's convenient) to enter their territory, for humanitarian purposes or otherwise. What's the betting that America would push to set up some kind of 'observation post' - a synonym for a military settlement - to oversee reconstruction efforts, or to monitor the country's health and welfare, or in case another such flooding were to occur? Does the Junta not fear that Burma may become yet another US military outpost, as so many other countries have in the past?
The problem these days is knowing your enemy: especially since a surge in globalisation has stratified language to the extent that democracy is only understood in terms of America (and increasingly Britain's) hegemonistic, top-down model, that there exists only one correct way in which to run a global economy, no matter if that method is failing, and that freedoms are increasingly being sacrificed for the 'common good'. It may be remarked that modern democracy is a terrifying context, until one considers the alternative; but too many nations have had to sacrifice their unique cultures, practices and forms of self-governance in order to toe the party line. Burma therefore finds itself in a Catch-22: to give itself away, or to watch its people die.

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison