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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Meanwhile in Burma

posted by on September 27 at 14:37 PM

Watching this video makes me a bit embarrassed about obsessing over the Folsom Street Fair poster—here’s hoping Bill Donohue feels the same way. Andrew Sullivan is following the events in Burma pretty closely, and tossing up lots of links.

The junta will accept the UN envoy. Perino reads Bush’s statement. The Internet ban is not succeeding too well. The guy in the photo I posted earlier today is the Japanese journalist shot dead by the military. At least one other journalist has been killed…. Bono is stirring, which may help get more international attention. Havel adds his voice. BBC video is available here. Some gripping YouTubes (including the one above) can be found here. There are some reports that the crowds are growing, despite reports of over 700 arrests last night and attacks on three more monasteries.

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Let us not forget that democracy and freedom are for the people ONLY if it is BY the people. Are we Americans forgetting that with less than 50% of the population getting involved?

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | September 27, 2007 2:45 PM

I find it strange that both Andrew Sullivan and Jeff Gannon posted pieces on their sites criticizing the immoral gay left regarding the Folsom poster, yet are silent as their man Maliki allows gays to be murdered in Iraq.

Posted by Carl | September 27, 2007 2:46 PM

Boycott the 2008 Olympics unless there are free and fair elections in Burma.

China has the power to stop this.

Posted by MHD | September 27, 2007 2:47 PM

MHD is correct. So can India.

Consider phoning the local embassies of both countries or visiting them.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 27, 2007 2:51 PM

#2 That's because Andrew Sullivan is a fucking idiot. Gay Republicans are annoying. Not saying he's a bad person Dan, just an idiot.

If only there was oil in Burma, we could go help.

Posted by monkey | September 27, 2007 2:56 PM

Monkey, there are large deposits of natural gas in Burma. That's why Bush announced new sanctions against them on Tuesday.

But yeah, gay Republicans harsh my mellow.

Posted by Ziggity | September 27, 2007 3:05 PM

Talking about gay Repubicans, I just heard Jeff Gannon on Mike Signorile's show. Wow, he was exploding with rage, yet kept condemning "the angry gay left". It was almost comical. His voice was literally quivering with outrage as he said "I'm not angry".

Posted by Tito | September 27, 2007 3:09 PM

Gee thanks, Dan. As if I need that worthless douchenozzle Sullivan predigesting my news for me.

Posted by Bison | September 27, 2007 3:11 PM

how many iraqi's and afghani's have died in US-led campaigns since Burma shot 9 people?

the answer is 170+

when American's petition China to stop supporting Burma, it'll be ironic when the Chinese petition the US to stop slaughtering Afghani's (note: any killed civilian ends up as "insurgent" numbers... see Vietnam).

Posted by Protest the US before you do China | September 27, 2007 3:12 PM

as Bush the Hero condemns China-backed Burma's military crackdown killing 9 people....

Posted by Clean your own DIRTIER house first before others' | September 27, 2007 3:17 PM

Isn't the country called Myanmar? Bush referred to it as Burma during a speech at the UN, and I thought he was just stupid. However, after reading these posts, now I'm wondering if people call it by the old name because of opposition to the regime?

Posted by Wondering | September 27, 2007 3:18 PM

while patriotic americans comdemn china and Burma-Myanmar (which name? who cares?)...

Posted by Maybe Blackwater is behind Burma's crackdown... | September 27, 2007 3:23 PM

Yes, #11, everyone is calling it Burma for that very reason.

Posted by monkey | September 27, 2007 3:33 PM

Wondering at #12:

I think your guess is pretty much right. Burma's ruling junta changed the country's name from Burma to Myanmar, and the (now former) cap. city's name from Rangoon to Yangon, some years ago. Cartographers, geography nuts (like myself), and diplomats took note, but I think most people still refer to the country as "Burma" out of respect for the Burmese people and in opposition to the junta.

Posted by James | September 27, 2007 3:36 PM

I was going to throw out another of my "Bring Back Control Tower" column messages on Dan's thread but I'd feel pretty petty if I did that now.

Posted by nelbot | September 27, 2007 3:43 PM

Protests around the world in Paris, Rome, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and many other country.

Meanwhile America is obsessed with fluff.

Yeah, that says a lot.

Too bad we're pinned down in Iraq in a useless war that accomplishes nothing.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 27, 2007 3:44 PM

Yeah. Too bad we can't leave Iraq so we can go police some other part of the world.

Posted by Moron. | September 27, 2007 3:50 PM

In the interests of fairness how about an admission by the queer/vegan/atheist Stranger crowd that it has been Buddhist monks who've lit the fire for this protest? How about going one step farther to the admission that religion can sometimes be a force for positive change (Tutu, MLK, etc.)?

Posted by parsonbrown | September 27, 2007 3:51 PM


yes, let's ignore Christian led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Christian armies which ousted a stable gov't in Ethiopia, Israel occupation, the Nazi party voted in by Catholics, etc....

Hurray for religion!

Posted by Hurray for religion! | September 27, 2007 3:58 PM

i meant the stable gov't in Somalia.

Judeo-Christian nations have killed more people in history than Islamic/Buddhist/Animist nations combined....

Posted by Hurray for Religion | September 27, 2007 4:00 PM

@ 18, i'm going to SE asia in november (was going to burma as well, but that's been cancelled) and i'm very interested to see first hand the role of buddhist monks and nuns in these countries, especially cambodia and laos. from my understanding of the culture, monks are seen as the stewards of national identity and culture. monks rely on the people's generosity to survive (they make daily alms rounds among the people). in burma they often risk death, because they refuse to take alms or donations from members of the military or their families as a signal that these people aren't in line with common buddhist practices of pacifism and compassion.

Posted by chris | September 27, 2007 4:09 PM

I found it really interesting to learn while reading "Secret Histories: Finding George Orwell in a Burmese Teashop" by Emma Larkin that Myanmar is merely another way of saying Burma in Burmese... but it's a British-based transliteration, so the r is silent. It should be pronounced like "me-an-ma". Hearing the hard "r" just grates on my ears.

Posted by brappy | September 27, 2007 4:11 PM

@18 you may have forgotten that every major Protestant denomination and the Catholic Church opposed the War in Iraq. Who're the Christians you're accusing of starting that war? I don't think you can blame the Israeli occupation on Christians, either, right Issur?

@21 that'll be a fascinating trip. I'd like to know what you find out. The monks have been an inspiration to me, and it has been wonderful to see how non-monks have gathered around them during their protests to protect them from police. It's a heroic story and a good testimony to liberal Christians who also fight for peace (like the visit several of us had on Monday with Murray and Cantwell staffers on Iraq).

Posted by parsonbrown | September 27, 2007 4:21 PM

religion can be a tool (and an effective one) to get people to do terrible things. or good things. just like other groups with leaders. in regards to large scale atrocities, don't forget mao zedung, stalin, and pol pot.

Posted by infrequent | September 27, 2007 4:23 PM

I just meant we could do a naval blockade with one of our many fleets - then get China and India to step up and force them to a peaceful solution.

But, as I said, they're pinned down in Iraq ... speaking of which, why are we worried about naval attacks from Iraq?

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 27, 2007 6:05 PM

Catholics are stupid to ignore Burma and worry about a silly poster. But as a Jew I am proud that the Navy will spend as much as $600000 to modify a 40-year-old barracks complex that resembles a swastika from the air.

The Anti-Defamation league protects Jews from this kind of painful imagery. The U.S. government should be forced to spend money so that no Jew sees any image that is offensive.

Catholics being offended by images is idiotic because Christianity is a toxic cult. But Judaism is based on truth and Torah and any image that offends a Jew in America must be altered till no Jew could be offended by it.

Posted by Issur | September 27, 2007 6:43 PM

@26: You're tired, and we're tired of your BS. Stay on topic.

Posted by Blahblah | September 27, 2007 7:36 PM

/snark on/

And, of course, this is just another good example of why protests don't matter, so people should just sit in front of their computers and pontificate.

/snark off/

Posted by gnossos | September 27, 2007 9:17 PM
Posted by Terry Mitchell | September 27, 2007 10:32 PM

@18 You're right, religion can be a force for good too which was a little unfairly left out here. These monks actually walk the walk instead of just preaching non-violence, that deserves to be noticed.
Still Buddhism seems like more of a philosophy than a religion, which doesn't make it any less just actually seems to separate it a bit. In any case kudos to the monks.

btw, I'm an atheist.

Posted by arandomdude | September 27, 2007 10:33 PM

@30 Right on.

Posted by parsonbrown | September 27, 2007 11:47 PM

Re: Burma or Myanmar?

Myanmar is actually a better name. The Burmese tribe is the largest ethnic group in the country, but not the only one. The ruling military junta are ass hats of the highest order, but the name change doesn't really bother most people who live there. The name Burma for the country was a British colonial construct. It is entirely likely they would have changed the name, regardless of who was running the country, once the British were gone.

Posted by SDA in SEA | September 28, 2007 12:25 AM

#30 you conveniently leave out the fact that Bush as a Christian specifically believes that those Buddhist monks will burn in an everlasting Hell because they don't acknowledge Jesus as the only path to redemption. It is not a grey area at all for Fundamentalists.

Posted by Reese | September 28, 2007 1:35 AM

re: Burma or Myanmar?

Despite its colonial origins, Burmese people themselves frequently say 'Burma'--and not just to show opposition to the military regime--but write 'Myanmar'. Burma/Myanmar seems roughly analogous to America/United States of America.

Posted by krzysz | September 28, 2007 9:03 AM

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