Monday, July 11, 2005

Rice calls for change in Burma (but driving with one hand)

During Secretary Rice's meeting with Thai PM Thaksin in Phuket, the Burma issue once again made it to the surface. The pressure on Thailand is founded in the fact that the South East Asian country has connections with Burma; the US does not.

As usual, Aung San Suu Kyi's name was used to speak for the democratic movement in the country. Is this, however, the right approach and is the US thoroughly interested in making Burma a "freer country"(ie. with 'good folks', not 'evil-doers')? There are few natural resources in the country, which the US cannot live without; the SPDC junta-led country is not a direct threat in the "war on terror"; and there's always the China connection.

The US is trying to put leverage on China as the Middle Kingdom poses a huge economic threat to many a western country. Compounded with the North Korean issue and other trade disputes between the US/EU and China; for the US to confront China in the Burma issue is probably more than the foreign policy hot-air balloon can carry. Instead, the Burma issue has becomes one of the ballast bags--long ago thrown overboard--perhaps with the exception of Bono's admiration for 'The Lady. Yes, the US cares about the human rights abuses in the country, but there's not really energy/resources in the current administration to do anything about it. Who can?

Rice is definitely not showing any more effort in solving the Burma issue, than someone driving a vehicle with one hand, while the radio is on and the other hand is sticking out the window sensing the wind to see which way it is blowing. You don't need a vane, Dr. Rice!!

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