De-coupling Aung San Suu Kyi from Democracy in Myanmar

First, you need to ask the following question and attempt to answer it yourself. 

Can you think like a military's political strategist in Burma? You need to. You must. Or you don't get it. 

What Aung San Suu Kyi is pushing for is the amendment to the Constitution of, for and by the generals, just so the clause that bars her (and, really, any Burmese who has organic foreign ties through children, marriages, etc), can be removed. 

She is pursuing an ultimately doomed strategy, abandoning her real platform and base of human rights, humanism, liberalism etc. Ultimately doomed, simply because the military has institutionalized loathing - not fear - towards her. It can't even stomach the idea of Aung San Suu Kyi, President of Myanmar, let alone the reality.

Be that as it may, if I were a military's political strategist I would do 2 things: 1) allow the constitutional change to fuel her presidential delusions and 2) even let her party win with a narrow or slim majority votes, which in turn would enable her to become president. 

All the levers of power are locked in the hands of the military, the military-controlled bureaucracy and the judiciary. The economy of the country has been sliced out among key military and crony families - with one or two peripherally linked 'clean' businessmen like Michael Moe Myint or Surge Pun. 

I would continue to use Aung San Suu Kyi, now the nominal President of Myanmar, as a strategic proxy who has self-consciously making the military's bidding: on China's copper mine, on China's investment projects, on the military conglomerates, on land confiscation, on the ethnic minority issues, on foreign relations, on civilian-military affairs ('I love my daddy's army' line), on the Rohingya genocide ('no such thing as ethnic cleansing'), on the war against the Kachin, on foreign aid, on the defense of police brutality('inexperienced police force'), on the cover for the Pentagon-Myanmar Armed Forces Ties via Australia and Britain, initially), etc. 

What I would do as a military strategist, is simply block, frustrate and otherwise stonewall her 'democracy and human rights agenda' - I mean, whatever little is left of that original agenda.

The above, actually, may be the best case scenario for both the Lady and the general. She gets to be the President, nominally. The military-crony complex carries on as business as usual. 

As my friend Carlos said the military can simply give her the rope to hang herself with: let her fail irreversibly, blame the failures of reforms and transitions on her Presidency and play her against the people who once invested their hopes and emotions in her. 

The people's welfare, future? That's a different story altogether.


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