Sunday, October 07, 2007

Eric Margolis on Burma

This is an interesting piece on the ethnic division and other complexities in Burma. Though you wouldn't know it from most news reports, Margolis says getting rid of the junta may be more difficult than we in the west might envision:
"Burma indeed is a nasty police state. Its generals have plundered resources and kept this magnificent nation in direst poverty. Myanmar is often called a `jewel’ and `unspoiled Asia of 1940’s.’ True enough. But that’s because the junta and its predecessor, mad dictator, Gen. Ne Win, turned Burma into a weird hermit kingdom and one of the world’s poorest countries.

But extreme caution is advised in dealing with Myanmar. If things go wrong there, it could turn into an Southeast Asian version of Iraq, Yugoslavia or Afghanistan."

Read the whole thing. It seems as though the choice in all too many places is between a bunch of Very Bad Men (mostly men at least) repressing people or an all-out civil war.

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