As we listen to feel good speeches and news about dignitaries from every planet in the universe clamoring to eat ngapi with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, civil war continues to rage in Kachin State. People are dying and cities are being shelled by Burmese heavy artillery. Citizens of all ages are being shot at random and refugee centers are filling to capacity but oddly the humanitarian crisis is being ignored, completely. Then Senator Jim Webb praises the *“Historical Steps” the junta has taken. Surely he meant hysterical.
Burmese troops have invaded Kachin State and are in a major offensive against the Kachin Independence Army. The war is taking its toll on the civilian populations as Burmese troops advance raising villages and townships as they go. **Civilians have been tortured, raped and executed by government forces in Kachin State while attention has focused on Burma’s Metamorphoses. In realty it’s more like flipping a burger since one side is still on the fire. In this case the Kachin are still being murdered while the media rejoices over ‘breaking’ events and tea parties. It is a very good thing ‘prisoners of conscience’ are being released so I hate to rain on the parade but people are dying here. Why doesn’t Billary Clinton make a case for the Kachin people? Surely she heard about it since every Kachin (Jinghpaw) organization, exile and refugee on the planet contacted the governments of Canada, US and UK. Or did someone misplace the memo?
Since the Kachin are only about 1.5% of the population of Burma I guess it does not really matter what is happening to them, right? After all, Burma is about to open its doors and let freedom ring across the land. ‘Wal-Mart Superstores’ in Mandalay, ‘6 Flags Over Chin Mountain’ and ‘Hooters’ in Naypyidaw! Corporations have already begun to slice up the Burmese pie as her resources become ‘available’ in this latest round of junta sponsored Glasnost. Oil, Gas, Gold, Silver, Jade, Rubies, Emeralds, Rare Earth Minerals, etc and a cornucopia of agricultural resources are ripe for the picking. And let’s not forget the endless supply of cheap and affordable slaves, porters, and indentured workers eager to work for almost nothing, to the joy of the IMF and WTO. To top it all off, prisoners are coming out of Insein Prison and Aung San Suu Kyi is running around all over the place saying cool stuff and eating out a lot. She does not gain a single ounce body fat either. How do you do it girl?
Unfortunately not all of Burma’s riches are up for grabs. Remember those annoying Kachin’s and that pesky civil war thing Billary Clinton was oblivious to? Those Kachin people literally live on a gold mine. In fact, Kachin State is rich in a multitude of natural resources including gold. The primary reason the junta wants to exterminate this tribe of people in the first place is for their ancient sovereign land and its resources. There is a slight problem with Burma’s wholesale land grab when it comes to Kachin State though. The people are not buying into the junta’s bogus scheme one bit. They might be only 1.5% of the population of Burma but they are 100% pissed off and are not taking this lightly. After all, the junta is bombing them to pieces regardless of Thein Sein’s theatrics’ about peace negotiations. Sounds good in the world press but for the Kachin it’s business as usual while the junta shells Kachin State into oblivion in an internationally ignored civil war.
Gen. Than Shwe’s on going ethnic cleansing operation continues unencumbered in Kachin State to this day while the world makes pudding and sweet cake with the Burmese government. How come Billary Clinton failed to bring focus on the humanitarian crises in Kachin State as she paved the way for industry? Critical diplomatic leverage could have been applies at this opportune juncture provided anyone really cared. I hope this does not have anything to do with the Clinton Foundation’s cozy relationship with Barrick Gold, subsidiaries and their list of donors from the global mining and oil/gas exploration industries. The foundation has the audience of newly released Burmese comedian Maung Thura “Zarganar” and I find that v-e-r-y suspicious as well. What is that all about eh?
Surely Barrick and friends would benefit from the relaxation of sanctions and there is no question Kachin State would be a top priority for exploration and development of the vast resources this region possesses. There are billions in untapped wealth waiting to be exploited by foreign interests. Maybe Billary Clinton simply forgot about Kachin State while wrangling for a piece of Burma’s wealth like the rest of the world. She just forgot but as soon as she remembers everything will be OK, provided the junta has not succeeded in killing the Kachin first. Now that would be a “Historic Step” worthy of international attention; the annihilation of a race of people. How special.
The grandiose excuse the world offers for unprofitable humanitarian causes is the old stand by; “This is in internal matter”. But if the shoe were on the other foot and resources were in the hands of folks unfriendly with corporate developers this would be a global humanitarian effort filled with moral blarney on the air waves. They would supply the Kachin’s rockets, bombs, air support and a drone attack on Canadian targets just for realism. News wires would be abuzz with tales of the epic human struggle as Kachin people fight for their liberty. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening in the near future. Besides, the Kachin would not allow for international corporate interests to simply march in and turn Kachin State into a giant cyanide pit for gold extraction anyway. The land is sacred to the Jinghpaw, wow that sounds familiar. The axiom of sacred homeland simply does not fly with global conglomerates and investors that are eager to harvest Burma’s bounty. Then again I might just be a little paranoid since this is a reflection of Native American history. Come to thing of it, the world sat around while Euroid expatriates raided the America’s for that funny yellow metal for hundreds of years. The land was the spoils and the indigenous survivors of genocide were relegated to colonies or reserves. Hmm, now that was depressing.
It is like looking back in time and watching as my people are slaughtered by the US cavalry with Gary Owen playing in the back ground. The military junta of Burma is waging a war of ethnic cleansing in Kachin State and this is not getting any air time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice the junta has begun doing cool things but it’s the same old smoke screen ploy Than Shwe is famous for. While he has the attention of the world directed elsewhere he is murdering people and in this case it’s the Kachin’s. And for some stupid reason the mainstream media is simply ignoring this humanitarian catastrophe in favor of nicer more palatable news for the west about Burma. Nothing fair and balance about that eh. But when you realize much of the media is owned by conglomerates who also own mining companies it’s easy to see why the Kachin are not getting press. Then again it could all be just one big coincidence.
The public should speak with Kachin’s struggling to locate loved ones in villages the junta just burned to the ground. Or console a Kachin whose family members were killed in the shelling of civilian targets by Burmese troops. The war in Kachin State is a very real and the reality is the civilian government of Burma is a sham regardless of the prisoner release and all the feel good press. The continued bloodshed in Kachin State is proof positive that nothing has changed in the grand scheme of things. It also proved just how powerless President Thein Sein really is over the Tatmadaw. Big Daddy Than Shwe is still in the drivers seat and that should be a no brainer. The junta has also managed to divide the spirit of democracy by offering peace to some while waging war on others in classic ‘Than Shwe Divide and Conquer’ flare. He is really good at this rouse and it’s only a matter of time before his thugs target public places to keep the divisions strong.
Will the beneficiaries of Burma’s new found humanity ignore the cries of the Kachin and other people who continue to be murdered? With other ethnic groups entering into agreements with the junta this provides a good opportunity to consolidate forces against the Kachin. And since no one is paying attention the junta will get away with genocide while the media praises Burma’s Metamorphosis. Maybe Senator Jim Webb should count the many “Historic Steps” Burma has already taken in the past only to arrest and kill its citizens later.
Hey Senator Webb;
How about a few “Historic Steps” for the people of Kachin State???
Is the continued killing of civilians to politically incorrect to mention on this hysterical occasion?
Or did you just loose the memo like Billary did?
Your Devil’s Advocate