The BBC reported this week that thousands of monks arrested in the peaceful demonstrations against the military junta ruling Burma have been forcibly rounded up, stripped of their robes, shackled and sent away to undisclosed locations. One can only assume it’s not for rest and relaxation.
And since the ruling junta has cut off Internet, media and most diplomatic access, we may never really know.
I lived in Asia and came to champion the cause led by the exceptionally brave imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. I’m greatly saddened to see this country become the latest in a long tragic line of nations exhausted by despotic subhumans who bludgeon, teargas, shoot and otherwise trample the life out of their own people.
We like to sell America as the global upholder of democracy, freedom and liberty.
It seems, however, our moral authoritarian role and sense of purpose is selectively applied to countries in which we have more economic interest.
One can only wonder what the billions we have squandered in dollars, human life and influence in Iraq (and the sorry sequel-to-come in Iran) might have helped buy in terms of influencing positive change in countries like Burma.