2008/07/06

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Myanmar

There's certainly nothing wrong in contrasting the massive amounts of money that Myanmar's government spent on its new showcase capital with the visible poverty surrounding it and with the staggering social needs ignored by the government. I just wish Americans were as sensitive to the similar contrasts easily seen in our own capital, or to the American government's similarly consistent preference (ie predating Bush II by many decades) for military spending over spending to help the impoverished.

It's also interesting that the reporter casts the Myanmar military's suspicion of a foreign invasion as irrational paranoia - proving the point by quoting an eminently objective source, the US government's representative in Yangon. Yet not two months ago Robert Kaplan, a prominent foreign policy intellectual, published an op-ed in America's most prominent newspaper calling for the invasion of Myanmar. Now where could Myanmar's paranoia be coming from?

Not that I would object to one of the world's worst regimes being overthrown. But as with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government, the fact that the real reasons behind an American invasion have nothing to do with helping the victims of the regime would once again lead to a disastrous occupation.

Why do powerful Americans periodically call for an invasion of Myanmar? Because it is one of the few countries left in the world that does not acknowledge American suzerainty, and - most important - it is a vital strategic asset for 中国/China. Surrounded on all sides by reliable American client states and massive American military bases, China has cultivated Myanmar as a source of raw materials and a base for projecting its power into the Indian Ocean. Toppling the Myanmar government and installing a puppet regime would complete the US cordon sanitaire around China and secure the interest of burgeoning client state India in establishing its preeminent position in the Indian Ocean.

It's a measure of how thoroughly Cheney's adventures in the Middle East have distracted his administration from larger threats that an attack on Iran is gathering steam while Kaplan's proposal was ignored. Iran poses absolutely no danger to the United States, and very little danger to US imperial interests. China, on the other hand, could very well some day seize hegemony over what is emerging as the economic center of the world, East Asia. Of course Cheney's plan to consolidate American control over the world's oil supply is in large part aimed at establishing permanent leverage over China, but to allow an obsession with Iran to distract to from the more pressing task of containing China's geopolitical reach is a remarkable strategic failure.

1 comment:

May Burma said...

If you speak to another race like a person instead of treating like an animal, you will get equal response.

Thanks for your post.