07 October 2007

Free Burma

Free Burma!

Because the status quo is wrong. Speak out on your blog!

I don't have an easy solution. My general inclination is to focus on symbolic sanctions, "carrots," diplomatic efforts, and efforts that punish the martial elites that put the authoritarian system in place in Burma first.

Divestment can work, but it can also impose collective punishment on the people you want to help. As we've learned in Iraq, militarily imposed regime change is not an easy matter to accomplish, and can hurt more than it helps, even if the current regime is a very bad one.

But, no one should question that the world knows that crimes that the regime in place in Burma has committed, and that the international community firmly backs a more just and democratic future for the country.

Authoritarian regimes collapsed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They collapsed in Indonesia and East Timor. They collapsed in South Africa. They have been supplanted in South Korea. They can fall in Burma too.


Karl said...

Burma. China. Client. Diplomacy? Sure .. with China. Multilateral seems to be the polite word.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Therein lies the problem, eh?

On the other hand, the influence of Russia over post-Soviet Eastern Europe turned out to be modest once the bottom fell out.