Cheerleading Is No Revolution: “Democracy in Burma”

I am all for forgiveness. But dictators by definition are sociopaths. Justice is only served when they and their families – don’t forget they are NOT alone – eventually meet the ignoble ends. Has anyone ever said why Hitler and Eva (and the whole gang) should have been forgiven and the non-Nazi Germans – like communists – should have reconciled with the Evil?

I am no Bushian, not even by a long stretch of imagination, and my world is not simply black-and-white. But there is and there always ought to be a line – however imaginary – no one is allowed to cross, like mass rape, mass killing, mass loot, mass displacement, etc.

I will never live in and/or identify with a society that goes for convenient and resigned pragmatism above the need for justice and closure before it can really move on.

Buddhist philosophy is one of the most radical revolutionary ideas around, which – not just western liberalisms – authorizes revolt of the individual against any harmful acts, and yet our people have been fed this toxic interpretation that pacifies, rather than enables the lay-public, to take law into their own hand, when the very edifice of law has been used not as protection of the people, but a main tool of loot, slaughter, etc.

Twice I pointedly asked two of the most famous and learned Burmese Buddhist monks about the question of killing in Buddhist thought. One was the world renown Rev. U Pandita (formerly Mahasi and now Shwetaunggone), who was one of the discussants of the Buddhist canons at the last Buddhist Synod held (with CIA’s money!) by the then PM U Nu in the 1950s (against the backdrop of the growing Communist armed movement in Burma, and in the region) AND the other the abbot at the main Burmese monastery in Sydney, Australia.

Contrary to the romanticized notion of Buddhism as ‘non-violent’ and ‘pacifistic’ popular among the New Agers in the West, they both answered it is perfectly alright to put an end to a person’s life, if that is the only possible and guaranteed way of ending that person’s behavior which is causing enormous social harm to the rest of the community. You can kill dictator out of Metta for the community. It’s about the context, the intention and the motive.

Of course, if you are a believer in the Creation and the Creator then the Judgment Day will come. If you are not, nothing is more gratifying, to me, than to read, witness or hear about the stories of how tyrants died like hounds (my old daughter would certainly tell me dogs are certainly, and rightly, more lovable and nobler than these monsters in human form).

Maybe I have viewed too many French Realist paintings of the execution of Louis XIV and the family in Paris! I even saw several strands of Josephine’s hair in a display glass show case in the City Museum there as someone apparently decided to preserve the Queen from Austria for those future tyrants who might be inclined to suggest that the wretched of their countries “eat cake if they can’t afford bread!”

After “Tunis Spring”, it’s no longer possible to imagine the Arab masses, against whose welfare and interest the West has stood, putting up with the kind of Bama dictatorship – 50 years and still counting. Whether it is a one-man dictatorship or one council dictatorship, let’s just NOT join the growing lies that have us believe the system in Burma is something else.

We have a situation there where the West has, out of its low strategic priorities until VERY RECENTLY, stood with the dissidents. And yet the society at large is not really doing its part. All the wild crowds that today have come out to greet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wildly and showering with so much “love” – as if they were possessed by some spirits is the very same crowd that kept their heads down for all the 15 years she was subject to all kinds of abuses and persecutions, including a failed violent mob attack. at best, the public is a fair-weather democratic public and at worst, a feudal public that needs the Messiah.

Mark my word. That very same crowd can – and will – crawl back to their beds to sleep if the regime orchestrates the Depayin II (the massacre of May 30, 2003), as it has always done. Always a small number Burmese who dare while the rest embrace tolerance not because they are in a position of power and strength, but because that’s the most convenient default societal position.

Cheerleading is no revolution. That society is not going anywhere humanistic. The current discourse of revolutionary changes is nothing but a self-interested spin from vultures and vampires of all stripes and colours, native and foreign.

Democracy in Myanmar? Don’t hold your breath.

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