I say Burma, You say Myanmar…

If I were to tell you that the US is supporting a religious based revolution against a ruling military junta, of a country with huge oil and gas reserves, you’d look at me and correct me. “Bruce, you mean the US is supporting the junta don’t you? And I’d say, “No, you heard me right.”

US foreign policy is so confused and obsoletely inadequate right now, you can’t predict what it will do day to day. As Iranians we know firsthand how US foreign policy has betrayed more than one country on the freedom path, even if that path is towards a very American-style democracy. Some countries like Iran have seen the hand of the dishonest broker twice. In 1953 the US directly overthrew Mossadegh, a Jeffersonian democrat, re-installing “The Shah” whose father Reza Shah they had mysteriously (and illegally) removed from power after WWII. Then turning their backs on the very puppet son they had created, the US allowed Iran to fall into the open arms of the religious autocracy waiting on the sidelines in that other US oil baron Consiglieri, Saddam’s Iraq. In effect creating the very islamo-fascist mess they now find themselves bogged down in, namely yet another ground war in Asia, this time labeled, patented, and trademarked as “the global war on terror”. The variation on the common American saying has now become, “Mess with the Rest (of the world), and Die like the Best.”

Now make way for “US foreign policy blunders gone wild” in Burma. This one is happening so fast that you really need to pay attention (and make sure you tap the foot of your congressman the next time you are in the toilet) because unlike history, this mistake is actually unfolding right before your eyes. There isn’t even time to say “I told you so”, you’ll be too busy yelling, “Look Out!”

I say Burma because that is the name of the country. Myanmar is what the Chinese, Indians and the Military Generals running Burma would like you to call it. China and India have remained predictably silent during the recent street uprisings and protest marches by the not so serene Buddhist monks. You see China sells Burma all the military equipment they can buy with oil that China desperately needs. And India has similar long running contracts as well. Neither has responded to George Bush’s recent calls for peace. Mainly because they know he is full of it. At this point in history no one, but no one, wants to be seen taking the side of the US in ANY foreign policy position. OK, except Israel. But why would George Bush, who never met an oil supplying dictatorship he didn’t like, come out against the Burmese Generals? Even announcing US sanctions against Burma? Simple, the long standing oil contracts that Chevron has with the Burmese are sanction proof. So GW can rant all he wants, and it will have absolutely no effect. Maybe that’s why the press conference was only the one day.

But no one has mentioned anything about the implications of giving in to the monks who are doing all the marching, protesting and occasionally the dying. Personally I’d be cautious, yeah sure they look all serene and friendly and bald now, but I used to think mullahs were like your friendly neighborhood uncles, smiling when they saw you playing soccer in the street, and telling you to say hello to your dad from them. And we all know how that turned out.

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