Burmese Protests

It was wonderful and tragic at the same time to see the Burmese protests. Unless military personnel start changing sides, the protesters cannot actually defeat the military. It is tragic that all that is required is one B52 bomber to dramatically change the military equation in favour of the Burmese people. But can we deploy that bomber? One day a Burmese person is going to ask me "why didn't you deploy a bomber?".

And quite frankly, it is tough. China and Russia are adamant that this is the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, and no-one has the right to interfere. Should we listen to these arsehole countries? Of course not. But they do have scary weapons and we need to manoeuvre around them. Could we just tell them to go get stuffed and liberate Burma? Maybe. Or maybe that will have some ramification we haven't thought of. E.g. the dictators of the world may run to China/Russia's embrace because they (correctly) don't have faith in the US supporting their dictatorship for eternity.

I'm neither totally for liberating Burma at this point in time, nor totally against it. What I do know is that I don't want anything to jeapordize the liberation of Iran. Iran allows us to topple an enemy as well. And also allows us to understand the true religious inclinations of the Iranian people. These are the important things in the War on Terror. Burma may as well be an extension of the Pacific Ocean. While I'd love to see the Burmese people free, I don't think it is their turn to be invaded yet. This is war. Until we know the ramifications of going to war, we won't know whether the move was good or not. If we can get away with it, then we should definitely do it. But I have no way of knowing that in advance. We should at the very least make it clear that failure to invade rests primarily with Russia and China for preventing UN action. I wish the lefties would agree to assign this blame where it belongs, but of course they won't. Bush will get the blame instead, no matter what he chooses to do.

And the protesters are too few in number as well. Which means they will be rounded up and tortured. Terrible. These are the greatest people in Burma, they are the ones I want to protect most of all, but I'm not sure that that is wise for the long-term benefit of human freedom. We're not yet in a military position to be able to stomp on dictators whenever they raise their ugly head. We need to very carefully get into such a position so that we will never have to ignore human slavery again. But we're not there yet. That's the challenge facing all decent humans. How do we get there?

If we could make a deal with the left-wing that we liberate Burma as an example of a country that is being liberated purely for human rights reasons, and that on doing so they would in turn allow us to liberate countries for both human rights AND SECURITY reasons, then it is worth the risk of antagonizing China etc (including the potential for escalation into a nuclear war) in order to get those security guarantees. But with the left-wing continuing their insanity regardless, we really do need to pick our wars very very carefully. And that is still Iran, Iran, Iran. Would I do the same if it were Australians under siege in Burma? Absolutely. The military equation remains the same. We are being frustrated by China and Russia, and need to find a way around these two arseholes. Why Russia isn't liberating Burma themselves is something I didn't expect to happen after 1991. I had always assumed that having experienced tyranny first-hand, they would be first in line to liberate others. I never expected a country of arseholes, democratically electing an arsehole who represented arsehole opinion. Never in a million years. But then I never expected half of Australia to be such arseholes that they wouldn't protect women from rape because they were the wrong race/religion/nationality either.

Ok, what would I do if the Burmese government was raping women? Still nothing. I would applaud if someone, anyone, were to put an end to this Burmese behaviour though. Although it would be a temporary elation if we suddenly wound up in a nuclear war with China afterwards. With Iran we don't have this problem. We can point to them and say "if they hadn't caused us a security problem, we wouldn't have been forced to act", which will hopefully be enough to keep China's guns quiet. Even as China's list of possible allies gets shorter and shorter while ours grows longer and longer with every invasion. :-)

I wonder if Australia could liberate Burma unilaterally without China going apeshit? If that was possible, it should definitely be done. People are less nervous about a lesser power like Australia doing something like that than having the world's sole superpower approaching their border. I really don't know. If it were possible to calculate all the possible paths forward, it would be easy to choose the least-worst option. In Iraq it was pretty difficult to imagine how toppling a sadistic enemy would lead to a worse result. And with the benefit of hindsight, we know that it led to an excellent result - a democratically-elected ally. In Burma that is not so clear. Of course the replacement government would not be worse than it is currently. It's how the rest of the world would react to the US invading someone when they can't point to anything remotely security-related. If our dictator allies were to move over to China's side, that would be far more tragic, as it may put an end to liberations of even enemy countries. Whereas inaction in Burma would have no security ramifications for the free world as far as I can see. It's not like the Burmese dictatorship is about to give nukes to terrorists etc. Maybe if they gave China basing rights it would be seen as a lost opportunity, but otherwise, it's a problem to be dealt with later.

That's how I see the world's weapons on 2007-09-28. That's how I always look at the world. I look at what the weapons systems are doing, because that is where true security comes from. And a lot of those weapons are still pointed at the free world. And so the centuries-old Anglophone geostrategy continues.

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