By Maung Zarni
January 22, 2015
Is Myanmar Tatmadaw (or feudal army) re-embracing its Fascist origin?
Burma's army was the sole creation of Southeast Asia unit of Japan's Naval Intelligence. With full blessings from PM General Tojo , Japan's Fascist strategists in the Japanese Navy Intelligence recruited Aung San - Aung San Suu Kyi's father - and his young anti-British nationalist colleagues, in desperate search for arms, funding and other forms of support from an anti-imperialist source. Their initial hope was Mao's Communists. But Communists were in no position or mood to help the young Burmese. The Japanese fascists stepped in and offered the promise of Burma's independence from Britain in exchange for fighting in effect as a 'proxy army' for the Japanese. Japan's fascist vision during WWII was to expand its control all the way to Australia and New Zealand via what US strategic command then called "South East Asia" - the invented origin of the region that now came to be referred to as ASEAN. Burma was crucial as a launching pad for Japanese Armed Forces to invade British India.
The allure of independence and having no real alternative forced the Burmese nationalists to collaborate with the Fascists in Tokyo beginning in 1942. Come Christmas young nationalist activists had morphed into military-men, soaked in authoritarianism and the old Bama feudalist values.
Seventy two years after the founding of the Myanmar feudal army, all the signs are pointing to the resurgence of Fascism - this time with Bama and "Buddhist" characteristics! . As a matter-of-factly speaking, everything Myanmar Tatmadaw (or feudal army) is doing indicate that it has re-embraced and re-institutionalized Fascism. Here are SOME of the most disturbing signs.
1. Troops fired at land-robbed farmers.
2. Anti-Chinese mine Buddhist monks get fire-bombed.
3. Kachin volunteer teachers got raped and murdered.
4. Muslims as religious minorities and non-Bama ethnic peoples are second class citizens.
5. Rohingya in particular are starved, brutalized and forced out.
6. Nazi-inspired Rakhines are promoted as 'leaders' and being used as 'local proxies'.
7. Generals & cronies have been robbing the public openly.
8. Myanmar Tatmadaw is widely accused - and justifiably - of raping religious and ethnic minority women, including Rohingya women, with blanket impunity for decades.
9. Journalists are killed and/or otherwise persecuted.
10. Anti-Muslim hate-mongers and violent hate groups such as 969 and Ma-Ba-Tha have official backing by the Government and Legislature (the same thing, different names).
11. The highest level of authorities, including Nwa Thein Sein's Presidential Office, propagates racism and religious bigotry - while Nwa President talks about 'inclusion and tolerance' to please the ears of his marketiing agents and business partners in US and other Western governments.
12. The Tatmadaw feudal generals since 1979 have presided over the slow genocide of nearly 2 million Rohingya (including the Rohingyas who have fled the country as the direct result of several major waves of terror which began in February 1979).
13. Military feudalism is being pursued. (Only the army-bred officers are now entrusted with top positions, from the Commander in Chief to the head of military intelligence to other strategic positions).
14. The military has institutionalized and consolidated its signature neo-Fascist Militarism - Generals and ex-Generals, "Pure Patriots" but dissidents and civilians, not patriotic enough or capable.
Where are the much-hyped up 'reforms'? Are these signs of a regime that is merely back-sliding from those 'reforms'?