Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 04, 2017

The Rohingya Of Myanmar - Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists

[Update Sept 7 - The post below received some criticism which, in my view, missed its major points. See here for a reply. - b]

Media attention is directed to some minor ethnic violence in Myanmar, the former Burma. The story in the "western" press is of Muslim Rohingya unfairly vilified, chased out and killed by  Buddhist mobs and the army in the state of Rakhine near the border to Bangladesh. The "liberal human interventionists" like Human Rights Watch are united with Islamists like Turkey's President Erdogan in loudly lamenting the plight of the Rohingya.

That curious alliance also occurred during the wars on Libya and Syria. It is by now a warning sign. Could there be more behind this than some local conflict in Myanmar? Is someone stocking a fire?

Indeed.

While the ethnic conflict in Rankine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia. The area is of geo-strategic interest:

Rakhine plays an important part in [the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative] OBOR, as it is an exit to Indian Ocean and the location of planned billion-dollar Chinese projects—a planned economic zone on Ramree Island, and the Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, which has oil and natural gas pipelines linked with Yunnan Province’s Kunming.

Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.


via Geostrategic Media - bigger

It is in "Western interest" to hinder China's projects in Myanmar. Inciting Jihad in Rakhine could help to achieve that. There is historic precedence for such a Rohingya - Bamar proxy war in Burma. During World War II British imperial forces incited the Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine to fight the Bamar, the dominant Burmese nationalist Buddhists allied with Japanese imperialists.


bigger

The Rohingya immigrated to the northern parts of Arakan, today's Rakhine state of Myanmar, since the 16th century. A large wave came under British imperial occupation some hundred years ago. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh continued over the last decades. In total about 1.1 million of Muslim Rohingya live in Myanmar. The birthrate of the Rohingya is said to be higher than that of the local Arakanese Buddhists. These feel under pressure in their own land.

While these populations are mixed in some towns there are many hamlets that belong 100% to either one. There is generally little integration of Rohingya within Myanmar. Most are officially not accepted as citizens. Over the centuries and the last decades there have been several violent episodes between the immigrants and the local people. The last Muslim-Buddhist conflict raged in 2012.

Since then a clearly Islamist insurgency was build up in the area. It acts under the name Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and is led by Ataullah abu Ammar Junjuni, a Jihadist from Pakistan. (ARSA earlier operated under the name Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement.) Ataullah was born into the large Rohingya community of Karachi, Pakistan. He grew up and was educated in Saudi Arabia. He received military training in Pakistan and worked as Wahhabi Imam in Saudi Arabia before he came to Myanmar. He has since brainwashed, hired and trained a local guerrilla army of some 1,000 Takfiris.

According to a 2015 report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn there are more than 500,000 Rohingya in Karachi. They came from Bangladesh during the 1970s and 1980s on the behest on General Ziaul Haq’s military regime and the CIA to fight the Soviets and the government of Afghanistan:

Rohingya community [in Karachi] is more inclined towards religion and they send their children to madressahs. It is a major reason that many religious parties, especially the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, the JI and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, have their organisational set-up in Burmese neighborhoods.
...
“A number of Rohingya members living in Arakan Abad have lost their relatives in recent attacks by Buddhist mobs in June 2012 in Myanmar,” said Mohammad Fazil, a local JI activist.

Rohingyas in Karachi regularly collect donations, Zakat and hides of sacrificial animals and send these to Myanmar and Bangladesh to support the displaced families.

Reuters noted in late 2016 that the Jihadist group is trained, led and financed through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia:

A group of Rohingya Muslims that attacked Myanmar border guards in October is headed by people with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday, citing members of the group.
...
“Though not confirmed, there are indications [Ataullah] went to Pakistan and possibly elsewhere, and that he received practical training in modern guerrilla warfare,” the group said. It noted that Ata Ullah was one of 20 Rohingya from Saudi Arabia leading the group’s operations in Rakhine State.

Separately, a committee of 20 senior Rohingya emigres oversees the group, which has headquarters in Mecca, the ICG said.

The ARSA Jihadists claim to only attack government forces but civilian Arakanese Buddhists have also been ambushed and massacred. Buddhist hamlets were also burned down. 

The government of Myanmar alleges that Ataullah and his group want to declare an independent Islamic State. In October 2016 his group started to attack police and other government forces in the area. On August 25 this year his group attacked 30 police stations and military outposts and killed some 12 policemen. The army and police responded, as is usual in this conflict, by burning down Rohingya townships suspected of hiding guerilla forces.

To escape the growing violence many local Arakanese Buddhist flee their towns towards the capitol of Rankine. Local Rohingya Muslim flee across the border to Bangladesh. Only the later refugees seem to get international attention.

The Myanmar army has ruled the country for decades. Under economic pressure it nominally opened up to the "west" and instituted "democracy". The darling of the "west" in Myanmar is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Her party won the elections and she has a dominant role in the government. But Aung San Suu Kyi is foremost a nationalist and the real power is still held by the generals.

While Aung San Suu Kyi was propped up as democratic icon she has little personal merit except being the daughter of Thakin Aung San, a famous leader of the Burma Independence Army (BIA) and the "father of the nation". In the 1940s Thakin Aung San was recruited by the Imperial Japanese Army to wage a guerrilla war against the colonial British army and the British supply line to anti-Japanese forces in China:

The young Aung San learned to wear Japanese traditional clothing, speak the language, and even took a Japanese name. In historian Thant Myint-U’s “The River of Lost Footsteps,” he describes him as “apparently getting swept away in all the fascist euphoria surrounding him,” but notes that his commitment remained to independence for Myanmar.

The ethnic strife in Rakhine also played a role in the British-Japanese conflict over Burma:

In April 1942, Japanese troops advanced into Rakhine State and reached Maungdaw Township, near the border with what was then British India, and is now Bangladesh. As the British retreated to India, Rakhine became a front line.

Local Arakanese Buddhists collaborated with the BIA and Japanese forces but the British recruited area Muslims to counter the Japanese.

“Both armies, British and Japanese, exploited the frictions and animosity in the local population to further their own military aims,” wrote scholar Moshe Yegar

When the British won against the Japanese Thakin Aung San change sides and negotiated the end of British imperial rule over Burma. He was assassinated in 1947 with the help of British officers. Since then Burma, later renamed to Myanmar, was ruled by ever competing factions of the military.

Thakin Aung San's daughter Aung San Suu Kyi received a British education and was build up for a role in Myanmar. In the 1980s and 90s she quarreled with the military government. She was given a Nobel Peace Price and was promoted as progressive defender of human rights by the "western" literati. But she, and the National League for Democracy (NLD). she leads, were always the opposite - ultra-right fascists in Buddhist Saffron robes. The hypocrites are now disappointed that she does not speak out in favor of the Rohingya. But doing so would put her on the opposite side her father had famously fought for. It would also put her in opposition to most of the people in Myanmar who have little sympathy for the Rohingya and their Jihadi fight. In general many of the 50 million people of the larger Myanmar fear overwhelming immigration from the 160 million Bengalis of the smaller, flood prone and overpopulated Bangladesh.

Moreover - the Chinese OBOR projects are a huge bon for Myanmar and will help with its economic development. The Saudis and Pakistani send guerilla commanders and money to incite the Rohingya to Jihad in Myanmar.  This is a historic repeat of the CIA operation against Soviet influence in Afghanistan. But unlike in Afghanistan the people of Myanmar are not Muslim. They will surely fight against, not join, any Jihad in their country. The Rohingya are now pawns in the great game and will suffer from it.

 

Posted by b on September 4, 2017 at 03:08 PM | Permalink

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Map should also mention Bangladesh to the west of Myanmar and not only India. I've travelled to Myanmar 20 years ago, a beautiful and rich country sadly stuck in a West Vs China grand game akin to Afghanistan (on a geopolitical level)..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 4, 2017 3:55:07 PM | 1

what an enlightening article, which hopefully is basically true. If it is, than the media Truth is basically false, which stands to reason. b is a great resource for foreign affairs where the deceit is thickly encrusted historically.

Posted by: folktruther | Sep 4, 2017 4:40:23 PM | 2

@Lozion - you are right. While that map is pretty it also depicts historic borders. I have now replaced it with a current one.

Posted by: b | Sep 4, 2017 4:49:03 PM | 3

Soros is reportedly funding something called the Burma Task Force which is helping generate division and conflict. The BTF was created by a US-based NGO. So it is similar to equivalent GONGOs there operated in Syria. As is the MO.

"The confrontation between the military and Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar escalated on 25 August when radical Islamists attacked the police. Then a few hundred insurgents of movement "the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army", which the Republic's authorities consider a terrorist organization, attacked the 30 strong points of the police. They used firearms, machetes and improvised explosive devices, killing 109 people. Responsibility for attack was assumed by "the Liberation Army Rohingya" extremist militant Islamist organization operating in Myanmar. Earlier, in July 2017, the government accused Islamic extremists for the murder of seven local residents."

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3655163.html


Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 4, 2017 5:09:09 PM | 4

My two-part analysis on the "Rohingha" issue from summer 2015 is still as relevant as ever two years later:

"The plight of the Rohingyas elicits understandable concern from many, but the unfortunate aspect is that the US is manipulating the world’s short-term emotional response to the current migrant crisis in order to pursue its long-term geopolitical interests in South Asia.

The intended creation of a pro-American autonomous or independent Rohingyaland is akin to the same strategic pattern that it first spearheaded in “Kosovo”, except the US can now achieve its goals via the indirect Hybrid War lessons that it’s perfected in Syria.

The crusade for state creation is inherently tied to the destruction of the targeted host state, which in this case would see Rohingyaland (and perhaps many other ethnic nation-states) being baptized through a sea of fire in separating from Myanmar.

The US has concrete geopolitical reasons for why it supports the Rohingyas, chiefly concerning the establishment of its first intended base in mainland South Asia and its desire to cut off China’s non-Malacca pipeline routes through Myanmar.

Additionally, with a firm regional outpost in Rohingyaland (whether direct or via proxy), the US can obstruct the multipolar BCIM trade corridor and leverage influence in Bangladesh, Northeast India, the rest of Myanmar, and perhaps even further afield in Yunnan Province.

The coming months will be indicative of how far the US plans to go in supporting Rohingyaland, but by all current indications, it seems that this is a cause which Washington won’t give up on anytime soon."

PART I:

https://orientalreview.org/2015/06/09/american-plan-for-a-south-asian-kosovo-in-rohingyaland-i/

PART II:

https://orientalreview.org/2015/06/09/american-plan-for-a-south-asian-kosovo-in-rohingyaland-ii/

Posted by: Andrew Korybko | Sep 4, 2017 5:09:52 PM | 5

I published a book-length analytical series on Myanmar last year that I'm sharing for relevancy:

"If China somehow manages to clinch a deal with Suu Kyi that preserves its influence in the country and safeguards its strategic pipeline assets there (to say nothing of possibly expanding its infrastructure investments), then it’s predicted that the US would respond by unleashing a Hybrid War against the country, preferring to see Myanmar totally destroyed than ever again functioning as a reliable multipolar springboard for Beijing."

PART I: History

https://orientalreview.org/2016/10/11/hybrid-wars-7-how-the-us-could-manufacture-a-hybrid-war-mess-in-myanmar-i/

PART II: Political Transition And Geostrategy

https://orientalreview.org/2016/10/12/hybrid-wars-7-how-the-us-could-manufacture-a-mess-in-myanmar-ii/

PART III: Ethno-Regional Contradictions

https://orientalreview.org/2016/10/13/hybrid-wars-7-how-the-us-could-manufacture-a-mess-in-myanmar-iii/

PART IV: Scenario Forecasting

https://orientalreview.org/2016/10/14/hybrid-wars-7-how-the-us-could-manufacture-a-mess-in-myanmar-iv/

Posted by: Andrew Korybko | Sep 4, 2017 5:10:37 PM | 6

That's an interesting bit of information, thanks.

I've also come to some hypothesis this weekend, when thinking about India - wholly unrelated to Myanmar at the time.
Myanmar is 90+% Buddhist, the current fertility rate is at 2.0, which is good per se, but is surprisingly low for a poor 3rd world country, and has been lower than average for a long time. Comes from Buddhism, where celibacy is considered fine and where many people live a few years as monks - therefore cutting down the number of years where people can actually have kids. Islam has a quite different view, overall - still, Bangladeshi rate seems to have dropped quite a lot in the last few years, though it was quite high at the end of 20th century (far higher than in Myanmar). Odds are that Rohingya rates are closer to Bangladeshi than to Buddhist Burmese.

Which brings me to the key point. As Lozion mentioned in @1, there's Bangladesh at the North-West, with a quite lengthy border, though hilly and mountainous mostly. Rohingya are basically considered a (more or less recent) immigration from there.
Thing is, Bangladesh has more than 3 times the population of Myanmar - and will probably go to 4 times by the time both demographic growths stop -, but the country is less than 1/4th of Myanmar's size.
Bangladesh is right now insanely overpopulated, and things will get worse with climate change, more typhoons, floods, and in the long run rise of sea level. It's been a trope of global warming that Bangladesh is one of the most exposed sizable country, if not the most, and mankind might have to deal with tens of millions, if not two hundred millions, of refugees one day.
Now, let's look at a map. West and North, there's India - far more populated than Bangladesh, nearly as dense in some places, and far more militarily powerful; besides, they actually helped the country to become independant from Pakistan. Farther North, there's the Himalayas and then China (well, Tibet). South, there's the sea. Which leaves East/South-East, with the far less populous and far less densely populated Myanmar.
If things go badly, where would you expect a mass migration from Bangladesh to go?

Bottom line is, I now suspect that some in Myanmar leadership are pretty much scared shitless that they'll have to deal with a flood of tens of millions of Bangladeshis at some point later in the 21th century, and it'll be pretty hard to resist it. Being ruthless towards the way less numerous current immigration (including century-old, to be honest) is possibly seen as a way to deter as long as possible the incoming catastrophe. Not sure it'll be that effective, though - expelling and killing by the thousands a closely related population might upset the Bangladeshi people to the point they wouldn't hesitate to take some future revenge on Myanmar.

Since the pipeline and Silk Road projects were probably not as advanced back in 2011-12, when the current violences erupted, I think these are possible additional factors to take into consideration. Even if a very recent jihadi threat would be an emergency deserving to be dealt with as soon as possible, explaining the 2017 level of violence.

I also wonder if this will be contained and beaten down, or if it's going to be a long-lasting local jihadi guerrilla (like in Southern Philippines). I also wonder if they'll stick to Rakhine or will try to stage some terrorist actions deeper into Myanmar - tourism is growing a lot and brings a lot of money. But that might be harder if the Muslim population is so few in the rest of the country. Most of the rising tide of tourists also comes from China - so in a way, if some of the jihadi backers want to stick it to Beijing, it might be interesting to expand the range of operations, but on the other hand, it might be a terrible idea if China is so upset it sends massive aid to Myanmar's government to crush the rebellion.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 4, 2017 5:15:15 PM | 7

The Clash of Civilization is real. Conflicts between peoples spreads in an arc across Eurasia. It is appearing in second generation of disadvantaged Muslims in Europe through the Middle East to Burma, Thailand and the Philippines. There is a blackout of it in corporate media. It is not by happenstance that the Rohingya are coming to Minnesota to work in poultry processing plants.
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/refugee/karenref09.pdf


The return to tribal ethnic fanaticism is the human response to growing economic inequality, over population, war for profit and climate change.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 4, 2017 5:19:24 PM | 8

Disappointing article from B, who I regularly praise on SyrianPerspective.com where I often cite the high quality and analytical excellence of his work.

Even if the US is exploiting real ethnic grievances and tensions in the area it shouldn't be used to demonize and vilify the Rohingyas.

1. Before 1982 they were citizens of Myanmar and their citizenship was simply removed.

2. The Bamar ethnic group that rule Myanmar despise other non-Bamar ethnicities including the Karen, Kachin (heavily Christian), Shan and others. Their problem is not exclusively with the Rohingyas and they have destroyed many churches as well as having expelled Indian Hindus in the past.

3. A Rohingya statelet in northern Rakhine or even containing part of the northern Rakhine coast would be no great impediment to China having a sea connection via Myanmar as the Myanmar coast is far longer than northern Rakhine.

4. Pakistan is a close ally of China, as well as the Myanmar regime, which it has agreed to sell its fighter jets to. In fact Pakistan has its own part of the Chinese OBOR plan which is the CPEC which includes the southern Pakistani port of Gwadar.

The bottom line is that the Rohingyas are people of Myanmar and should not be ethnically cleansed and genocided or treated like trash.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Sep 4, 2017 6:17:24 PM | 9

thanks b... informative article... another one of those some guy gets trained/educated in saudi arabia, from pakistan and is involved in jihadi.... thank you wahabbi freaks for another shitfest in another part of the world... i guess i need to thank the cia first and foremost for propping up that crazy medival circus called saudi arabia... all that oil money put into educating these whack jobs is more of what the world needs according to the war party...

"Ataullah abu Ammar Junjuni, a Jihadist from Pakistan. (ARSA earlier operated under the name Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement.) Ataullah was born into the large Rohingya community of Karachi, Pakistan. He grew up and was educated in Saudi Arabia. He received military training in Pakistan and worked as Wahhabi Imam in Saudi Arabia before he came to Myanmar. He has since brainwashed, hired and trained a local guerrilla army of some 1,000 Takfiris."

lets put new lipstick on the same friggin mess and call it by some new name...

@ 9 muslim dude... i guess you are for jihadi light or something... do you practice the religion of saudi arabia too?

Posted by: james | Sep 4, 2017 6:41:14 PM | 10

I imagine the US views the Chinese Silk Road project the same way the British viewed the Berlin to Baghdad railway pre WWI. To me it looked like a win-win project for all those involved - of course, the Chinese winning more but hey they are financing it. This situation does sound like the new and improved 21st century way of throwing a monkey wrench into the project. The infrastructure proposed,spread out over thousands of miles,going through many countries would be very vulnerable to any jihadis operating in the area. A lose-lose project that the US Empire and it allies fund more and more. As has been mentioned by others - the US is excellent at turning countries into rubble. "They make it a wasteland, and call it peace." Tacitus

Posted by: gepay | Sep 4, 2017 6:43:12 PM | 11

james @10--

I'm well acquainted with Muslim Dude from the SyrPers website and can say in no way whatsoever does he dabble in the pseudo Islam promoted by the Sauds.

I thought the chaos in Myanmar would be used by the Outlaw US Empire for the purpose described, which effectively proves there was never any real attempt by Trump to make good on his pledge to cease seeking Full Spectrum Dominance.

However, I'd really like to see Trump attempt to sever trade with China. Would he be "deposed" as rapidly as Assange seems to think? https://www.rt.com/news/401929-assange-trump-trade-china/

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4, 2017 7:05:46 PM | 12

Andrew #5. The Kosovo precedent also came to mind. In 1890 the Serbs made up 60-70% of the Kosovo population but by 1990 it had dropped to less than 20%. Lower birth rate and near unchecked immigration from Albania did them in. Once it became clear the US policy was anti-Serb all was need was for a Kosovo lib army be formed that started killing Serb traffic cops. Efforts by the Serbs to put down this violence resulted in the US declaring war on them.

It does look somewhat bleak for the Buddhist majority in Myamar -- caught in the middle but on the wrong side of the US.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 4, 2017 7:16:23 PM | 13

Islamists have to realize that they can't put the caliphate tent up wherever they want. Seems pretty cut and dry. That'd be like if a breakaway Christian church established it's own "caliphate" in the middle of the US...oh say in Utah and instituted illegal marital rights like polygamy and was just plain wacky. Not gonna happen!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 4, 2017 8:14:40 PM | 14

Tony Cartalucci has written a number of well researched articles on Myanmar. According to the article in the the first link it was the NED candidate and her followers that prevented the military government renewing Rohinga citizenship.
https://journal-neo.org/2015/03/05/myanmar-meet-aung-san-suu-kyi-s-saffron-mobs/
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/myanmars-driver-president.html

Looks like the US/Uk are playing both sides in a deliberate attemt to create an ISIS type problem in Myanmar. On the one hand denying them citezenship to creat unrest, on on the other side, introducing wahhabi's to gather them up.
Some time ago, it became very noticable to me, that although five-eyes were encouraging Europe and Asia Pacific countries to take in huge numbers of refugees, they were taking none or very few in themselves. Some time ago, there was suddenly a massive number of Ruhinga refugees in boats that US was urging various countries to take in. Who supplied the boats?
The large and predominantly muslem movements of refugees seems to have been engineered to move jihadi's around via large numbers of undocumented migrants/refugees.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4, 2017 8:18:01 PM | 15

@12 karlof1.. thanks.. i don't like calling out someone like that, but i couldn't understand where they were coming from.. i fully agree with muslim dudes last line... i think this is true for many people of the world.. i see this sickness saudi arabia is spreading around the globe as serious cause for concern.. looks like they are at it here too under the guise of nationalism...

"One of the several dozen videotapes obtained by CNN from Al-Qaeda's archives in Afghanistan in August 2002 allegedly showed fighters from Myanmar training in Afghanistan.[6] Other videotapes were marked with "Myanmar" in Arabic, and it was assumed that the footage was shot in Myanmar, though this has not been validated.[4][7] According to intelligence sources in Asia,[who?] Rohingya recruits in the RSO were paid a 30,000 Bangladeshi taka ($525 USD) enlistment reward, and a salary of 10,000 taka ($175) per month. Families of fighters who were killed in action were offered 100,000 taka ($1,750) in compensation, a promise which lured many young Rohingya men, who were mostly very poor, to travel to Pakistan, where they would train and then perform suicide attacks in Afghanistan.[4][7]"

from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rohingya_Solidarity_Organisation

Posted by: james | Sep 4, 2017 8:28:29 PM | 16

b ended his post with: The Rohingya are now pawns in the great game and will suffer from it.

The great game makes pawns of all of us to some degree and its only the level of suffering that differs. The great game is played by the "winners" in our world. The great game was built centuries ago by the winners coming out of the feudal era when laws institutionalizing private property and inheritance were created.

When does the extension of the divine right of kings into ongoing ownership of private property through inheritance outgrow its usefulness in a world of 8 billion people?

Why does the great game process not detail the effects of having a small cabal of families control the basics of economic interface for centuries?

The world of pawns are all Rohingya to the elite.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 4, 2017 8:38:09 PM | 17

"Disappointing article from B, who I regularly praise on SyrianPerspective.com where I often cite the high quality and analytical excellence of his work.

"Even if the US is exploiting real ethnic grievances and tensions i"n the area it shouldn't be used to demonize and vilify the Rohingyas."

If it isn't right, it's natural for everyone to have blind spots, and I find liberals to have the worst blind spots when they're sympathetic to a vague minority group outside of 'the West.'

"1. Before 1982 they were citizens of Myanmar and their citizenship was simply removed."

Was this a consequence of political transition, armed insurgency, public opinion, or something else? It's important to explain the situation if you want us to take you seriously.

"2. The Bamar ethnic group that rule Myanmar despise other non-Bamar ethnicities including the Karen, Kachin (heavily Christian), Shan and others. Their problem is not exclusively with the Rohingyas and they have destroyed many churches as well as having expelled Indian Hindus in the past."

This is just an appeal to a vague 'pathology of the state,' and not an explanation. Violent bigotry is a problem the world over. Why is it the way it is in Myanmar?

"3. A Rohingya statelet in northern Rakhine or even containing part of the northern Rakhine coast would be no great impediment to China having a sea connection via Myanmar as the Myanmar coast is far longer than northern Rakhine."

So, a U.N. mandated partition is your solution? Have fun being disappointed.

"4. Pakistan is a close ally of China, as well as the Myanmar regime, which it has agreed to sell its fighter jets to. In fact Pakistan has its own part of the Chinese OBOR plan which is the CPEC which includes the southern Pakistani port of Gwadar."

This implies a fundamentalist Islamic state, or any state, is genuine and consistent in its geopolitical and financial allegiances. If you look at Syria, you see that implication is, at least, up for debate.

"The bottom line is that the Rohingyas are people of Myanmar and should not be ethnically cleansed and genocided or treated like trash."

The bottom line is Myanmar is one of one hundred conflicts in the world, and is only discussed because special interests in the U.S. see a value in making it an issue to discuss. If I remember correctly, far worse 'ethnic cleansing' is being committed by foreign (resource extraction) companies in Colombia (millions forced from their homes over the last decade), and the army, militia, and police assisting them, however, I don't see the U.S. calling for partition, and I don't see China telling the U.S. it will militarize half of South America if reform isn't made and the settlement of a single conflict (or the conflicts in Honduras and Venezuela) isn't reached.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 4, 2017 8:55:28 PM | 18

@9

Above comment is directed to you.

@17

Unfortunately, understanding and answering broader economic and political questions (globally) has been replaced by apolitical (or semi-political) morality in liberal circles.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 4, 2017 8:59:08 PM | 19

WHICH SIDE SHOULD ONE SUPPORT?

It looks like the Empire has not decided yet which side to support in the Rakhine conflict. Some of the latest headlines:

BBC News, 25 August 2017:

Myanmar tensions: Dozens dead in Rakhine militant attack

Attacks by militants on police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state have left 71 people, including 12 security personnel, dead, the authorities say.

The Independent, 1 September 2017:

Burma: More than 100 Rohingya Muslims massacred in Rakhine state, reports claim

More than 100 Rohingya Muslims are alleged to have been killed in a massacre by Burmese security forces and Buddhist vigilantes.

One word of advice: One half of the massacre videos and photographs from Rakhine are fake. Never trust a photo from an unknown source. Start with a Google image search. In most cases this will reveal the fakes. If the photos are authentic, then Google will surely know about them and return a better source.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 4, 2017 9:12:23 PM | 20

I too would like to support what Muslim Dude wrote. Of course amerika and its obscene collection of slimy carpet-baggers and anything for a dollar camp-followers have gotten themselves into what they consider a good game that has a possibility of them hitting the main chance, scumbags be scumbags, but we do need to remember that those human beings currently referred to as Rohinga were invited into Arakan at the behest of the leader of the indigenous population way back in the 16th century. They weren't all followers of Islam either - there were Hindus as well as other religions practised by the artisans which successive Kings of Arakan encouraged to move into their peoples' nation, which in todays's terms we would call proudly multicultural.
Indigenous Arakanese are some of the first followers of the Buddha and they practiced their religion in the fashion the Buddha taught the philosophy. This is the one which too many westerners imagine is the belief systems of Thailand Burma and Indochina. Unfortunately it isn't. Religions become corrupted by politicians the moment they agree to become 'established' and allow themselves to be used to buttress the typically self interested choices of the ruling elite.

Regrettably for the Arakanese, the Burmans to the south east (alleged by some to be the descendants of Mongol invaders themselves) had reinterpreted Buddhism in just such a way to better meet the needs of their leaders. The Burmans, one of the earliest adopters of what we now know to be Buddhist fascism, invaded Arakan in 1784 deposing the enlightened rule of the inhabitants and imposing burman rule from afar.
The invasion was bloody and the capital city was razed to the ground.
Since then the traditional colonial practice of divide and rule has been used relentlessly in an attempt to drive a wedge between the muslims, hindus and buddhists, but the innate pacificism of the Arakan culture has made that pretty unsuccessful. I would be interested to see any evidence of Rohinga attacks upon the local population because I cannot imagine any such attack would have a motive much less support from Rohinga themselves.
Attacks upon the Burman imperialists - yes that is conceivable as a way of either self-protection or vengeance.

This is a really delicate situation one that must be resolved local free of interference from KSA, amerika or Naypyidaw. I'm sorry b but I do not trust the Aung San witch as far as I could spit her. She isn't merely a deceitful political opportunist, like her father she considers Burma=burman and is likely the driving force behind the oppression of Burma's islamic people.
Those of you who have been led to believe that the so-called Rohinga are johnny come lately immigrants would be wise to consider that many of these families have been living in Burma longer than whitefellas have been in amerika, there is one major difference tho - unlike amerikan whitefellas, Burma's islamic people were invited to come by the indigenous population of Arakan.
Now I know that my desire to see the usual assholes stay outta this is just pissing in the wind, but I do reckon that the impetus to pick one side and stick with it come what may because it appears ostensibly, at least, to the side that is resisting amerikan imperialism is appealing to many of the MoA community hell I would/will be ecstatic on the day the whole rotten imperial edifice ends as all empires inevitably do.
I'm also aware that my posts pointing out that Kurds have a righteous sense of injustice, or that the feeling in 2010 among many Syrians that the ruling elite were stealing from the poor to give to the rich was understandable, have provoked a mob of emotional responses and ad hominems because the world's current mess is somewhat easier to come to terms with if protagonists can be neatly divided into 'the good guys' and 'the baaad motherfuckers'. The thing is though divvying everyone up into such neat moralistic categories does make finding a fair solution a helluva a lot more difficult to achieve.

ps the claim that the 'other' side is 'winning' because their debauched practices have them breeding much faster is as old as racism itself. I'm wary of all such claims because they almost always turn out to be deceits promoted by one side to engender fear among people whose support they need to garner in order to advance themselves.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 4, 2017 9:24:08 PM | 21

The Rohingya are in fact being persecuted, martyred, killed and displaced for decades now and that's not fabricated. They are people with literally no rights at all and have for long been free game to anyone who felt the urge to kill some stateless Muslim without risking to face prosecution ; actually the 2013 HRW article was pretty correct in its title: "All You Can Do is Pray". It was about time to address this issue and put pressure on the Burmese authorities to solve this problem lest we get a new Jihadistan in Myanmar with thousands of foreign jihadists pouring in (since non-western human relief alone doesn't seem to matter anymore and doesn't make enough for a valid excuse to act genuinely in this cynical era we're living thru).
Why now ? Well, better late than too late... or is it ?

Posted by: Conglomera | Sep 4, 2017 9:38:46 PM | 22

Then there's this angle:

"Myanmar is Southeast Asia's largest opium poppy-growing country and the world's second largest after Afghanistan. Shan State remains the centre of Myanmar's opium activities, accounting for 92 per cent of opium poppy cultivation, with the rest located mainly in Kachin State. In Lao PDR, the UNODC survey confirmed opium poppy cultivation in the three northern provinces of Phongsali, Xiangkhoang and Houaphan"

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2013/December/golden-triangle-opium-production-rises-22-per-cent-in-2013-says-unodc.html

Posted by: Stumpy | Sep 4, 2017 9:58:40 PM | 23

james | Sep 4, 2017 6:41:14 PM | 10

What a stupid ignorant reply to Muslim Dude.
I've been following this from Thailand for more than 14 years; and Muslim Dude gave some good and accurate information.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 4, 2017 11:19:13 PM | 24

Buddhist are not innocent Friendly Fuedalism - The Tibet Myth

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 4, 2017 11:36:03 PM | 25

@24 v arnold.. thanks for your feedback..

Posted by: james | Sep 4, 2017 11:43:40 PM | 26

BTW the Dalai Lama admitted he was on the payroll of the CIA in the 1950s.

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 4, 2017 11:49:47 PM | 27

Peter AU 1 | Sep 4, 2017 8:18:01 PM | 15

'Tony Cartalucci' (not his real name) is a whack job with very opaque sources of support. Just about everything he writes is bullshit, you can almost set your watch on it.

Posted by: qualtrough | Sep 4, 2017 11:53:09 PM | 28

Debsisdead | Sep 4, 2017 9:24:08 PM | 21

Terrific comment; thanks.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 12:10:58 AM | 29

Political correctness in alternate media discredits it. Everything that China or Russia do is correct and US and Israel are the evil. While it is true in many cases, tying everything up with this theory will be the downfall. b mentioning Rohingya problem as a minor ethnic conflict is an understatement. See this documentary to gauge the Buddhist mindset in Myanmar.

http://en.unifrance.org/movie/43554/the-venerable-w )

"Over the centuries and the last decades there have been several violent episodes between the immigrants and the local people". How are they still immigrants after centuries?

If you rape women, burn villages and kill whole families, then how do you expect people not to turn extremist?

The bottomline is that rohingya must be accepted as Myanmar citizens and given citizenship. Otherwise different extremist organizations will exploit the situation. This whole issue must be resolved by involving Rohingya muslims; if they are satisfied with their lives in Myanmar, US or any other country will not be able to use them for their own purposes. Chechnya is a wonderful example. Otherwise insurgency will bleed Myanmar for decades.

Posted by: Bilal | Sep 5, 2017 12:43:40 AM | 30

The link is this : http://en.unifrance.org/movie/43554/the-venerable-w

Posted by: Bilal | Sep 5, 2017 12:45:07 AM | 31

qualtrough | Sep 4, 2017 11:53:09 PM | 28

You put up nothing to backup your crap.

Have you lived in Myanmar for some time? In trying to evaluate what is occurring there, I have not seen a post fom somebody who lives in the area and studies the various factions.

This piece from Bilal @30 "If you rape women, burn villages and kill whole families, then how do you expect people not to turn extremist?" makes a lot of sense. Import wahhabi clerics at the same time and bingo.
You look to be full of shit mate.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 1:25:07 AM | 32

@ james
I would have to put in a word for muslim dude as well. It is really a fucked up complicated world we live in.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 1:28:10 AM | 33

One of the great disappointments, for me, is the role now being played by Aung San Suu Kyi.
She has done little to nothing to stop the vilence against the Rohingha.
The Thai daily papers, especially the Nation, have painted her in a quite bad light.
I, personally, have lost a huge amount of respect for her...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 1:39:23 AM | 34

V. Arnold
"One of the great disappointments, for me, is the role now being played by Aung San Suu K"

She has been the NED candidate from the word go. She was good mates with the mad monk here in oz until he fell off his wall.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 2:03:29 AM | 35

Petri Krohn @ 20

....In most cases this will reveal the fakes. If the photos are authentic, then Google will surely know about them and return a better source.

...and why should I trust Google which supports or part of the Empire?

Posted by: OJS | Sep 5, 2017 2:05:04 AM | 36

Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 2:03:29 AM | 35

What is NED?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 2:34:16 AM | 37

Petri Krohn | Sep 4, 2017 9:12:23 PM | 20

Your image search link does not work.

@OJS.. Petri Krohn has the runs on the board from The Gouta "Assad gasses his own people" bullshit.
Any image search will most likely do the job, but back when Au was getting involved in iraq/syria I did an image search for 40 thousand refugees trapped on a mountain, and there was none.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 2:34:19 AM | 38

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 1:25:07 AM | 32

I have lived next door for 30 years. I have traveled there a dozen times over the years. I studied the politics as a graduate student and studied the language for three years (don't claim to speak it!). But that is neither here nor there. Tony Cartalucci is about as reliable a source as Alex Jones.

Posted by: qualtrough | Sep 5, 2017 2:39:25 AM | 39

V Arnold "NED" National Endowment for Democracy.

qualtrough thanks for your reply. Studied as graduate student in what institution? Studying politics and language is no substitute for living with the people and understanding the culture?
Myanmar, as with other countries seems to be sandwiched between the hegemon and soverign states who give the middle finger to the hegemon.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 3:01:46 AM | 40

OT and just an ignorent thought. US multi culturalism means bending over, spreading your arse cheeks and acepting multiculturalism. A multi polar world on the other hand means standing face to face with other cultures and respecting the?? Is this the case?


Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 3:11:51 AM | 41

They put Suu Kyi into power because they knew she and her deranged, violent followers would be the gasoline to the Saudi-funded militant fire. They also know that she is more likely to go along with the actual, ultimate goal - US troops in Myanmar right on China's border.

Also, the vast majority of Rohingya are not involved in the violence - they are caught up in the middle of it. Most have lived in Myanmar for generations and had previously lived in harmony with everyone else in Rakhine, just like Muslims all over Southeast Asia.

It is tempting to hammer this into some sort of "Islamist" narrative - but the truth is the number of "Islamists" vs. the 1.4 billion adherents of Islam doesn't even make up 1% of 1%.

It is critical to get as much correct as possible in the beginning of any crisis because the further the crisis goes, the further off target we'll all be if the basic facts aren't right.

Posted by: M. Martinez | Sep 5, 2017 3:40:43 AM | 42

Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 3:01:46 AM | 40

"NED" National Endowment for Democracy.
Oh Shit; didn't know that. But it's become obvious she's compromised.

I agree with your response to qualtrough; living with, and learning the language (speaking), of the people is extremely important. But he (qualtrough) should be given some credit for his knowledge over that span of time. Aso, I vaguely recall Cartolucci as a compromised writer/reporter.
Language is a window into the culture; it's been a critical part of my living here.
Last Sunday I was a surrogate father for a family friend's daughter (her father died when she was 14); what an incredible honor.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 3:44:03 AM | 43

Based on the comments, it seems the Syria narrative has been rejected, only to be relegated to places like Myanmar.

No coherent historical timelines (including or excluding the question of British and Japanese colonialism), no assessments of conflicting classes or (class-based) political parties, organizations, militias, or civil institutions, generic statements on generic state oppression of a minority, 'something must be done (and never explained in practical terms, and never applied consistently, especially anywhere the U.S. has special interests),' 'China needs to be less practical,' 'ignore Israel, because the U.S. shouldn't be involved when it has genuine influence over a conflict, but should be involved when it can't find the respective conflict on a map,' maybe a question or two regarding blow back, a banal remark on the U.S. trying to establish military barriers to obstruct Chinese trade routes, no realistic frameworks regarding international diplomacy ('just apply some pressure,' which just means import and credit restrictions, or nothing diplomatically relevant), and finally, banal remarks like 'most Muslims and Buddhists are innocent in the conflict,' and we all float on.

I see why I gave up on the political left. Without a Lenin, or even a Stalin, we are literally useless.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 3:51:15 AM | 44

I'll add; that after Aung San Suu Kyi was released I didn't follow things in Myanmar as closely.
After all, we here, have had our share of political intrigue; two military coups in 8 years; and the violence leading up to both of them.
But out here (about 60K to Myanmar border) we only knew from the news; nothing changed for us.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 3:55:32 AM | 45

Its interesting that RT carried a 10 minute news report on the Rohinga yesterday.
The story interviews fleeing refugees, Bangladeshi border guards and aid representatives (US Christians) who unanimously called for intervention and access by the press.
The only mention of the Myanmar government was a statement that Suu Kyi had issued callous tweets condemning the (Muslim) terrorists, there was no government voice aired, or sought.

The crisis has been going on for years. Several years back boat loads of Rohinga refugees were either returned to Myanmar or imprisoned on Pacific island gulags by the Australian government with no public discussion of the reasons these people fled.

Posted by: Bolt | Sep 5, 2017 4:10:40 AM | 46

@debsisdead I'm sorry b but I do not trust the Aung San witch as far as I could spit her.
I don't either. Where did I say something different.
She isn't merely a deceitful political opportunist, like her father she considers Burma=burman and is likely the driving force behind the oppression of Burma's islamic people.
I agree.

@anonymous - Thank you for listing all the points and analysis missing in my 1,500 word piece. Where please do I find that 50,000 words book you wrote yesterday? The one that is seen as THE encyclopedia of Myanmar with all its history, people and class conflicts?

Posted by: b | Sep 5, 2017 4:35:57 AM | 47

anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 3:51:15 AM | 44

Myanmar/Burma was most assuredly NOT colonized by the Japanese; the British most assuredly did colonize Myanmar/Burma. Lao, Cambodia(Kampuche), and Vietnam were colonized by the French.
Myanmar, Thailand, and most S.E. Asian countries were invaded/occupied by the Japanese during WWII.
Thailand has never been colonized and is quite proud of that fact.
Obviously, you are not a student of history or definitions, as well.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 5:08:34 AM | 48

@47

I was addressing the know-it-all-faux-moralists in the comments, not your article.

I know nothing about Myanmar, and never claimed to know anything substantial. That's why I said nothing substantial. Unlike most people on the internet, I'm not afraid to admit total ignorance and have no strong opinions, and I'm not afraid of being educated by my superiors (presuming any legitimate scholars exist on the internet).

I was (somewhat) offering a basic framework for the comments to focus information (they may have had that I didn't) through (maybe influencing someone who can disseminate that information to other progressive outlets better than we can), but really, I was just venting. I know these people have no information. It probably doesn't even exist. Who genuinely cares about Myanmar?

A genuine question: do you think the Burmese nationalist state can accommodate a minority like the Rohingya (like the Syrian nationalist state attempting, in some places, to try Vietnamese-like re-education of fundamentalist militiamen, who have disarmed and are willing to accept therapy, naturally resulting in the encouragement of their limited social base to respect and participate in Syrian civil institutions), or is it religious-ethnic bigotry in Myanmar is just a state pathology, and not the typically excessive state response to (partially foreign-sponsored) insurgency?

@48

I was presuming discussions about any colonial influence, generational or short-term, direct or indirect, including issues like the effects of inter-colonial trade on macroeconomic development and the effects of Japanese military occupation on the post-war development of civil and state institutions.

A banal example: Nazi colonialism in Russia was very short lived, but it wasn't unsubstantial in its many effects on Russian civil society, macroeconomic thought, foreign policy, and overall development.

I thought this seemed obvious enough, but it seems it wasn't.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 5:33:23 AM | 49

@5, @6 - Andrew Korybko

Excellent pieces Andrew!

What is missing is the Jihadi connection. The role Rohingya played in the CIA war on Afghanistan and how the Jihadis, with the same masters as ever, are now back in Myanamar.

Anyway - A must-read for anyone looking into the strategic background and history of the various conflicts around Mynamar. Highly recommended.

Posted by: b | Sep 5, 2017 5:34:39 AM | 50

V Arnold and others
Catalucci has been posting articles on Myanmar since long before any others become aware of the great game being played out there.
Like I said in my previous post, it's a fuckin complicated world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 5, 2017 6:09:31 AM | 51

thanks b & Andrew Korybko,

Also,
According to Gearoid O Colmain ,
Myanmar is another chapter of the

Weapon of Mass migration.

BTW,
There's regime change in Kenya,
China watch out !

Posted by: denk | Sep 5, 2017 6:13:54 AM | 52

Bhadrahumar has a similar take on this issue:

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2017/09/05/why-india-should-give-seamless-support-to-aung-san-suu-kyi/

I have to admit, I was in the other camp until I read B's piece here. Of course, once Human Rights Watch started to chime in, that's a broad clue as to what may be going on...

Posted by: xpat | Sep 5, 2017 7:01:08 AM | 53

Some "facts" in the article are very dubious. Repressions against Muslim in Arakan/Rakhine are ongoing for decades, and the "immigration" from Bangladesh seems unlikely. This is not the first wave of refugees TO Bangladesh. Especially recently, Bangladesh has dynamically increasing textile industry that employs millions, and Rohingas are escaping to Bangladesh and Thailand -- in Thailand they are employed in conditions of virtual slavery. The discourse of "demographic danger" and "blocking pipelines" are typical nationalist propaganda.

Buddhist extremist in Burma and Sri Lanka show that every religion can be construed as the justification of a "holy war". As an agnostic I would not say "distorted religion" (what is a correct one, huh?).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 5, 2017 7:58:16 AM | 54

anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 5:33:23 AM | 49

Weasel words...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 5, 2017 8:07:07 AM | 55

Maybe this documentary could provide a more nuanced interpretation?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6642870/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_1

Posted by: Mina | Sep 5, 2017 9:16:28 AM | 56

thanks for the many comments once again and for b making the post.. i was unaware of this topic and remain receptive to learning more.. nothing is as it seems. it appears more complicated then not.

Posted by: james | Sep 5, 2017 10:25:52 AM | 57

Thanks, b, for yet another thought-provoking article. In the words of dear old Oscar, "The truth is never pure and rarely simple".

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Sep 5, 2017 10:52:45 AM | 58

How sad that Reuters should be cited on this site, and sadder still, quoting information from International Crisis Group - better look at the funding of the ICG . This post really undermines MoA.

Posted by: Concerned | Sep 5, 2017 11:00:39 AM | 59

This is the worst article ever on this site. It shows clearly that when we are ideologically driven we WILL twist facts to fit our narrative. And if someone questions our presentation (as Muslimdude did with FACTS) we WILL attack his integrity (as James immediately did). Some of the commentators did correct a number of the errors but they still called this a good article.

How can people who have been there since the 16th Century not have citizenship? HELLO!!!! Actually they DID have citizenship till the 1970s when it was taken away.

I have in the past recommended this site to friends as a alternate news source. I cannot do that anymore. Facts here are subservient to a leftist point of view.

On the plus side for the 'faithful', this is in all likelihood my last comment on this side. I won't trouble you anymore. Arguing with a ideologue (right or left) vexes the soul and is of no help to them.

Posted by: Khalid | Sep 5, 2017 12:16:16 PM | 60

A little disappointing. The US has been aggressively pursuing a policy of detente and normalization of the Myanmar junta for some years now. It has seemed like little more than a nuisance to have the Rohingya problem in that context. Darling Aung San Suu Kyi shamefully approved of the massacres repeatedly, and this didn't end her romance with the West. This "golden-triangle" region gov't is basically a narco-regime, too. Their head of state is intimately involved in the trade, while next door in Laos CIA sponsorship of opium growers fed US military addiction to the same during the Vietnam war.

It has become something of a trope to criticize Saudi geopolitical positions in the context of US global imperialism. It should be remembered that things are not black and white, however. The US and China have long been working partners while they attack each other out in the open. Aung San Suu Kyi still represents a step forward even though she is a scoundrel (and a coward, if you think she has any decency). Maybe there is something to the claim that the Saudis are manipulating things, but the same is true in Palestine, and it doesn't make the Palestinian cause any less important or credible.

Finally, this is a propaganda war, and the villains are obvious. The anecdotes coming out of Myanmar are typical - the expulsions continue, their villages burned, and supporters of the government make vague claims against the Rohingya. In fact, all the evidence points to virtually no resistance for years. There is no excuse for attacking the Rohingya as some part of a "Saudi-manufactured" crisis. Myanmar is a brutal, genocidal regime and they don't need any help in that enterprise.

Posted by: Dean | Sep 5, 2017 12:22:56 PM | 61

@60 khalid... i didn't read any mention of The ARSA Jihadists in muslim dudes post... i agreed with muslin dudes last comment, but it seems like a lot of info is missing here..

Posted by: james | Sep 5, 2017 12:27:32 PM | 62

@55

Sorry for having humility on a topic I haven't studied. Should I start talking out of my ass, like most of the people on this blog do?

If I remember correctly, over a handful of times I've seen your banal comments, I've shut you up on Palestine, North Korea, and Venezuela, so you're not one to talk about confidence.

By the way, I'm not surprised most of the people here claiming to know more than they do shrivel up the second I ask them basic questions. Stop being so confident if you can't answer them, and stop appealing to my confidence, I don't have any on this topic, and I'm willing to be convinced on 'joining' either side, since I don't even know what the exact conflict is (because everyone claiming to know doesn't know either and no one is willing to explain).

It'll be a relief when this conflict gets fully ignored and the press and internet liberals stop pretending to care about this poor country, and we can move on to something we can actually contribute to (like how to convince the general public that a Second London Declaration, following the U.S. and Ukraine conceding to the Second Minsk Accords, is the only way to ensure peace in Europe).

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 12:38:49 PM | 63

@60

"This is the worst article ever on this site. It shows clearly that when we are ideologically driven we WILL twist facts to fit our narrative. And if someone questions our presentation (as Muslimdude did with FACTS) we WILL attack his integrity (as James immediately did). Some of the commentators did correct a number of the errors but they still called this a good article."

I asked him like six questions and got no response.

"How can people who have been there since the 16th Century not have citizenship? HELLO!!!! Actually they DID have citizenship till the 1970s when it was taken away."

According to MuslimDude, it was 1982, and he apparently doesn't know why it happened, or is intentionally keeping me in the dark.

b mentioned it was the British who transferred the bulk of the Rohingya minority to present day Myanmar. Is that true or not?

"I have in the past recommended this site to friends as a alternate news source. I cannot do that anymore. Facts here are subservient to a leftist point of view."

One disagreement, and you leave. Have fun being disappointed everywhere else.

"On the plus side for the 'faithful', this is in all likelihood my last comment on this side. I won't trouble you anymore. Arguing with a ideologue (right or left) vexes the soul and is of no help to them."

Islam is right-wing, that's obvious. Even left-wing Islam is right-wing.

@61

Most of your comment reads like Louis Proyect's Greatest Hits on Syria, so I have nothing to offer there, but is there any (specialist) books or articles you know of that actually go into detail explaining diplomatic relations between the United States and Myanmar (including or excluding China)? I was reading a book on America's diplomatic positions on East Asia since the end of the Cold War, and for whatever reason, Myanmar wasn't even included.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 1:02:28 PM | 64

@ anonymous... i personally enjoyed your post @49 and thought you were being pretty forthright, straightforward and honest... i guess that isn't worth much to some of the folks who post here, or they read it very differently then i.. and i especially like your comments @63/64 and hope you stick around..

Posted by: james | Sep 5, 2017 1:27:48 PM | 65

@65

I might or might not.

Whenever I check out the comment section on a site where geopolitics is discussed, it always boils down to this, and I waste way too much of my time responding to it, knowing full well it isn't changing any opinions, and knowing full well I'm not going to waste time studying the topic for others who don't care enough to study it themselves.

I don't like being apart of the conversation when I'm not well read on the topic, and I've seen what asking questions (or offering frameworks) does, so I might or might not stay (in the comments, I'll still be reading the articles).

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 1:58:34 PM | 66

I have to say that I didn't much like this post by b. Ethnic cleansing, which is taking place now, is never right, even if there is Saudi jihadi support. Recalls Bosnia.

The Rohingya were deprived of their citizenship some time ago. How was that justified? Now they're all being pushed out. There is absolutely no justification for that. The fact that they may have arrived from the 16th century onwards doesn't mean anything. Populations move all the time.

Ethnic purification, which is what Myanmar is enacting, is absolutely to be rejected, even if there were a few provocations.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 5, 2017 2:36:54 PM | 67

@67

In their personal memoirs and a couple New York Times articles or so, it was admitted by the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia, the Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, and the U.K. Foreign Minster (and maybe the Acting U.S. Secretary of State, but I forget) that it was U.S. diplomats who thoroughly persuaded the Bosnian Muslim and Croat Parties to withdraw signatures from the preliminary Lisbon Accords in late March of 1992, encouraging unilateral successions of anti-Serb states previously and in the interim period of Bosnian succession, and then recognizing unilateral succession of a Unitarian Bosnia (ironically, you and your type probably oppose a Unitarian Myanmar) two weeks later, appealing to the Arbitration Conference on Yugoslavia (or the obscure and irrelevant legal principle of uti possidetis, which previously only applied to a single African conflict, which was irrelevant because it was regarding a specific colonial issue and its relation to the right of succession) to refuse recognizing a separate Bosnian Serb state, which the Bosnian Serb leadership (privately and publicly) requested through the first year of the war (mutually, in return for ceasefires, rollbacks, and discussions on mixed communities and borders). Finally, since it seems you like to moralize, over half a million civilian Serbs were 'ethnically cleansed' by Muslim and Croat militia groups (between Croatia and Bosnia) during 1991-1995, not including hundreds of thousands after the two civil wars and the 'ethnic cleansing' by mobs in Kosovo. This is a fair example of what would happen if this existing conflict was militarized by ignorant foreigners.

This is the type of argument b is trying to make and I would like to see.

Ethnic violence is bad. Yes, but apolitical analysis is worse.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 4:23:01 PM | 68

Hmm ...
The Rakhine strife has lot of similarities with the one in Baluchistan where China has also big projects (pipelines and railways) up to he Karakoram over into Xinjiang, albeit it has rarely appeared on the media radar.
Any news on the latest developments over there?

Posted by: vetran | Sep 5, 2017 4:57:01 PM | 69

Sorry B, and even James.

Yes Rohingya, have been persecuted for a very very long time now.

Shame the US is about to use them and throw them under the bus, like they do with Kurds and everyone else.

I think you guys have got it wrong on this one

Posted by: Deebo | Sep 5, 2017 4:59:51 PM | 70

@69

"The Rohingya were deprived of their citizenship some time ago. How was that justified? Now they're all being pushed out. There is absolutely no justification for that. The fact that they may have arrived from the 16th century onwards doesn't mean anything. Populations move all the time."

If we asked 'how was that justified' practically, and not morally, maybe we could find out.

If it's true it was the British military bringing the Rohingya to Myanmar centuries ago, it does matter (to an extent). Understanding British 're-tribalization' in Sudan helped establish links in the early (and late) development of British-imposed civil and economic institutions to 'ethnic violence.'

The earliest nationalist state in Khartoum was continuing the British practices of disproportionately using public spending (hospitals, schools, roads, and industrial projects) to benefit urban areas over rural areas, not equally distributing land plots to minority families (who were majorities in their respective regions) or using eminent domain-like legislation to justify a state monopoly (inviting foreign companies to buy up land shares and sponsor projects or sell capital goods, benefiting the major cities), and refusing a substantial percentage of representation for the Fur in the General Congress (proportionate to the percentage of the general population of the Fur of Sudan). This was continued over decades. The resulting conflict was often sponsored by ignorant foreigners.

Nationalist states have this consistent problem of repeating colonial practices on minorities. South Sudan seems to repeating Sudan.

Knowing that is important (to an extent), in that it influences the diplomatic decision making of the conflicting geopolitical powers involved, who can either find new leverages for genuine reform, or use threats of force or import and credit restrictions (to diplomatically isolate the country being 'excessive' to a perceived or genuine insurgency, which if necessary, requires understanding China's positions, leverages, and offers).

Personally, I think the United States, and Americans in general, should learn to respect the Hippocratic Oath.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 5:30:40 PM | 71

@67

The comment above was directed to you.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 5, 2017 5:31:23 PM | 72

@70 deebo... i am happy to respond when people mention my name.. i come to moa to learn more about the world.. maybe it is a mistake.. i read others comments and try to keep an open mind.. i have seen many posters disagree with b and frankly i think it is a good thing if it is done kindly.. i regret addressing muslin dude the way i did, but since there was no mention of an alternative viewpoint or The ARSA Jihadists in any of it, i thought i would challenge them by saying what i did.. no one is interested in taking any of that up, but are happy to say repeatedly 'b and even james' are on the wrong side here.. i am happy to learn from my mistakes or have someone come along who is more knowledgeable and provide some greater insight.. i read b's post and prior to it, knew essentially nothing on this topic.. foolish me for thinking some folks who take a different view would want to elaborate on it.. instead categorizing me a certain way is all those who come later can do.. oh well.. i suppose it is what i deserve for challenging muslim dude... meanwhile so many are happy to make one comment and leave.. in the case of khalid - he seems happy to say good bye forever.. wow - i didn't realize people were so quick to write off b, or others, but i guess they are..

Posted by: james | Sep 5, 2017 8:09:00 PM | 73

James,
I have been reading MoA for over 10 years. There have been many times I have taken a opposite view but many when I agreed as well.
I could have written 10 pages but chose to point the one obvious thing from b's own writing. 1 MILLION PEOPLE CANNOT SIMPLY LOSE CITIZENSHIP IN THE COUNTRY WHERE THEY AND THEIR FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS WERE BORN. What do you think that was about. It was a precursor to the systematic extermination.
There is a genocide going on in Burma/Myanmar. It has been going on for over 10 years in plain sight of all the world.

Bernhard is a knowledgeable person, he knows all this (it is clear from his writing) and still wrote what he wrote. The egregiousness of painting it as something else by picking things from here and there, so it fits his worldview is the worst type of behavior.


Posted by: Khalid | Sep 5, 2017 11:38:21 PM | 74

@73

James, isn't it fascinating how little to nothing is ever said when people comment here?

I literally gave TWO substantial assessments of separate conflicts (Bosnia, diplomatically; and Sudan, historically), trying to give a parallel to this discussion on Myanmar, and I'm hearing exactly the same three points.

In his infinite desperation, the commenter above needs to resort to rhetoric, avoiding a substantial argument:

Forced displacement, that is based on ethnic identity, and is occurring in a time of insurgency or counterinsurgency, is now equalvent to literal extermination.

If this is the case, every insurgency or counterinsurgency ever (including the late stages of the Partisan Wars against the Axis Occupation, where millions of civilian Germans were displaced) is now a genocide, and genocide is now a universal principle, and if it is universal, Myanmar is not a moral dilemma.

Apparently, the Burmese government chose to idle for nearly twenty-five years after revoking Rohingya citizenship (1982), somehow needing a quarter of a century to plan a forced displacement campaign (2007). Apparently, burning villages is difficult to plan.

Being substantial in your historical or diplomatic understanding is not political nitpicking. 'Moral thinking' is what resulted in the U.S. occupying Vietnam and Iraq, and ironically, millions dead, wounded, and displaced.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 6, 2017 12:43:24 AM | 75

@74 khalid... thanks for coming back and saying all you are saying. it has forced me to take a deeper look into the situation at present in burma/myanmar... i confess to not understanding the complexities and the more i read, the more complicated it seems.. i don't understand what is driving it, other then racial conflict which must have some economic angle to it that i am unable to appreciate.. i recall travelling in malaysia i discovered a lot about malaysia that i wasn't knowledgeable about prior to my trip their..

i hear what you are saying.. basically bernhard by stating in the title of this piece "Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists" is making the plight of the rohingya people of myanmar appear like something it isn't... but, what confuses me here, is my thinking that will always be the way proxy wars are fought and created - some conflict in a local country is the means for making a much bigger conflict where a lot more people suffer or die... so, do i have some of this right, or do you have some insight into what bernhard has done here where he has crossed a line that is completely unacceptable? i am still not seeing it, but i would like to understand why you and a number of posters are so offended.. i am just not getting it, or only very slightly getting it. thanks..

@75 anonymous.. i am just reading your comments now, after i wrote what i did above.. as i mentioned to khalid.. i am not really understanding what the issue is with what bernhard has said... i get it, but only in a very small way.. i understand the rohingya people have been persecuted, and deprived of there citizenship, in spite of there being in the country for many hundreds of years! i note there are some other groups in myanmar that have suffered this fate too
Tibetan people, Anglo-Burmese (Eurasians of mixed Burmese and European—though not necessarily British—ancestry),Burmese Gurkha, Burmese Pakistani, Rohingya people... i see the Burmese Chinese, Panthay and Burmese Indians hold citizenship.. i don't know the basis for why this is, but imagine it is a form of racism where the leadership has created this at some point in it's history..

regarding the thrust of your comments, i think i am seeing this more in line with you, although i am no where near as articulate as you... something is missing in my mind why folks have this conflict in myanmar so clear in their mind about who is who and what is what.. it seems a lot more complicated to me and all i can do is profess ignorance for the most part, although no one is shining any light to educate me more, although you are doing a pretty good job trying in your comments @75.. thanks for your comments.

Posted by: james | Sep 6, 2017 1:31:07 AM | 76

@b #47
I didn't intend to appear critical it was just that I interpreted your spreading the blame for this hideous attack on humans doing the best they can to merely live their lives across to all the junta as being somewhat unfair. AFAIK the overt violence against Rohinga didn't commence until 'princess' Aung took up power. IIRC it was the junta which renamed their nation Mynanmar instead of the preferred Aung appellation of 'Burma'.
She had squeaked in at election after making all sorts of promises to the Southern clans including Southern followers of Islam, I reckon that she figured going after Rohinga would have to do to "scratch that supremacy itch'. As non-citizens, natch Rohinga didn't get to vote and therefore had no need to be appeased.

I do find it interesting that some of the types in this thread who claim Aung's depravity is excusable because the Rohinga are migrants haven't felt an need to discuss the DNA evidence which reveals Bamar or Burman people to be Genghisids, that is they are descendants of Gengis Khan and immigrants themselves. That the language of Myanmar is a type of Sini-Tibetan is a further indication of Bamars' more recent arrival in the region as the Mon people who were likely the earliest arrivals in what we now consider to be Myanmar speak an Austroasiatic language.

Now I'm not suggesting for a minute that the Bamar be tossed back to the Himalayas "where they came from" as xenophobes the world over are wont to shriek, I'm merely trying to point out those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6, 2017 2:24:42 AM | 77

Dean @ 61

Probably one of the most accurate comments here based on what I have been looking at in the last few days -- there is an unanswered question as to how the drug trade may be intertwined with the Rohingya attacks but good info is hard to find. There are nuances in some of the reports out there that Aung San Suu Kyi is in a precarious position as far as the military junta that rules the country and the drug trade. Call it ethnic cleansing if you like, but as expected in impoverished states where a few profit from illicit trade, the Rohingya have something the junta wants or they are getting in the way. By the way, concurrent with the the heroin industry is the AIDS epidemic. True 3rd world issues here, geopolitics aside.

Posted by: Stumpy | Sep 6, 2017 2:25:39 AM | 78

Today's Bangkok Post;
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/1319383/suu-kyi-denounces-terrorists-silent-on-rohingya-exodus

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 5:56:12 AM | 79

Unlike some on this thread, I'm not energetic enough to do my own historical research into these issues. I come to sites such as this because my overall experience of the world, going back to the Vietnam era, tells me that people like B. are both truthful and knowledgeable in a O(Western) world dominated by massive lies.

And as for massive lies, while I have no direct knowledge of the Rohingya issue, I can't help but feel that we've seen this movie before, and all too recently. While all the elements aren't the same, I find myself recalling the early days of the Syrian "civil" war and the Libyan "uprising". In those cases too, the overwhelming weight of Western opinion was that evil oppressors were crushing innocent people, and MSM mocked claims by Ghaddafi and Assad that they were dealing with armed extremists.

The developing hue and cry among the usual suspects and personal attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi only reinforce this view. I stand to be corrected, but my money's on B.

Posted by: xpat | Sep 6, 2017 6:58:47 AM | 80

xpat | Sep 6, 2017 6:58:47 AM | 80
The developing hue and cry among the usual suspects and personal attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi only reinforce this view. I stand to be corrected, but my money's on B.

It's been apparent for some time, Aung San Suu Kyi is not acting to protect the Rohingya.
She has done little, to nothing, to stop the attacks on them.
b is not a fan of Suu Kyi; your money is well placed expat.
After more than 14 years, 60k, from the border; I'm no longer a fan either.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 7:23:49 AM | 81

@81 - my comment wasn't meant to imply particular fondness for Aung; apologies if that's what it sounded like.

What I was getting at is how quickly Western false narratives home in on an individual to focus all the righteous hatred on. To me, that's what this sounds like.

Posted by: xpat | Sep 6, 2017 7:42:56 AM | 82

xpat | Sep 6, 2017 7:42:56 AM | 82

You may be correct; we'll see how it plays out...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 6, 2017 8:00:45 AM | 83

- I assume "B" wanted o use the word "to stoke" instead of "to stock" ??
- And I assume the saudis are sending money/are involved to/in Myanmar as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 6, 2017 8:07:48 AM | 84

Background on some of the people involved at ground level.

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2017/09/05/why-india-should-give-seamless-support-to-aung-san-suu-kyi/

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Sep 6, 2017 11:42:40 AM | 85


1.1 million Rohingya are denied citizenship and their movements are severely restricted. Nobel Suu Kyi

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 6, 2017 12:27:16 PM | 86

There was a time when Aung Sang Sukyi needed the support of Western liberals i.e. the BBC, to get elected. She has since come up against the reality of governing a multi-ethnic society controlled by the army.

Posted by: dh | Sep 6, 2017 12:42:14 PM | 87

Why is this comment section slowly turning into a 'blame the female figurehead' circle?

What is she supposed to do? Pull a Trotsky and build her own Red Army? Organize masses of landless peasants into a Korean-style Worker's Party? Declare a Partisan-like civil war against her own civil and state institutions?

This level of immaturity is baffling.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 6, 2017 2:25:30 PM | 88

Her intentions may be good but this is what she is up against.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myanmar_Army

Posted by: dh | Sep 6, 2017 2:54:42 PM | 89

@anonymous.. i think the complexity of this issue motivates many, including myself - to find a simple solution.. unfortunately as is the case in many of these situations, there is no simple answer... looking at the dynamic that has been closely followed here at moa on syria is a case in point... the simple answer was - get rid of assad.. the more complicated byproduct of getting rid of leaders - saddam, gaddaffi and etc - highlight just how ineffective these simple answers and solutions are.. of course being a cynical person, i tend to view most of it as the means of supporting the war party - regardless... the military and financial complex always seem to win... the oil industry is also in the thick of it... these different rights group - human rights watch, un and etc. etc. - all seem liable to being manipulated and used by these same industries thanks money, or slanted info presented in the msm and on and on it goes...

you make a good point in your comment! i was kind of trying to do that with the paid for saudi money to the madrassas in pakistan in my first comment, which is how i read b's post, but that never really got discussed any by any... it was all about the plight of the rohingya and i do understand how many can see that too... are they being used? yes - i think they are... do they have a valid issue - yes, i think they do... where is the simple answer in any of it? blaming the women leader might be the easiest answer, however wrong headed it is..

Posted by: james | Sep 6, 2017 4:00:54 PM | 90

@89

If it's accurate to say the Myanmar Army has been engaged in counterinsurgency for almost sixty years, why is everyone so shocked this is happening now?

The Imperial Japanese Army's occupation of Manchuria practically created the bulk of senior officers from the Korean Worker's Party (including the eventual president and his major generals), resulting (if not making necessary) in North Korea's revolutionary militarism.

If fifteen (or less) years of fighting could produce those men, imagine sixty years of non-stop fighting (and on top of that, an apparently far less progressive ideology to guide through the violence).

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 6, 2017 4:20:51 PM | 91

@90

'the military and financial complex always seem to win'

This is why I've increasingly become less and less opposed to nuclear weapons.

'it was all about the plight of the Rohingya'

And that plight isn't even understood or explained. A random person reading through this comment section would end up more informed on the plight of the Fur (historically, practically) than anything on the Rohingya.

'blaming the woman leader might be the easiest answer'

I think the hyper focus on individual personalities is a way of avoiding an eventual discussion about the conflicting classes in American and Eurasian class society, which could actually offer solutions beyond Saudi-American military involvement throughout South Asia (which is what the moralists here are actually calling for, whether they admit to it or not).

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 6, 2017 4:38:39 PM | 92

Lots of comments who accuse me of some kind of slandered view in my piece above. I, frankly, don't get why.

I mentioned that Rohingya have been living there for centuries, that strife against them has occurred many times, that the generals are shitty, that the Aung lady is as racist and fascist(?) as her father. She was build up by the "western" powers as a tools and described as democratic manna from heaven when she clearly never was.

I do not excuse any of that or their behavior.

What I wanted to point out, as fairly as possible, is that the current episode has additional elements that are NOT mentioned in the usual media story you get.

There is a new geo-political aspect and there is a new Jihadi movement propped up from nefarious sources from outside the country. These aspects are important to understand as THEY will from now on drive the conflict.

There are strong propagandist elements in the usual story that is now told. There is no genocide in Rakhine. The level of violence is still quite low. The refugee wave is quite small compared to other events (currently at least 1,500 people flee EACH DAY from South-Sudan to Uganda - this has been ongoing for many months and by now millions have fled the violence - many more people than all the Rohingya in Myanmar)

The Human Rights Watch and other reports are hiding the Jihadi background of recent attacks and they exaggerate the response of the government to those attacks. They do so for a purpose.

Saying such does not deny that injustice is done and has been done for decades/centuries by nationalist/racists Buddhist of the major ethnicy in Myanmar against all minorities in the country.

Yes, there is injustice in Myanmar and there is reason to be concerned about that. But there is also a "third force" of Saudi financed Jihadis that are used by "western" elements to hinder the Chinese projects.

Such "third forces" were the ones that destroyed Libya and Syria. The propaganda schemes used there were the same ones we see now in Myanmar. To acknowledge that is not justifying the general injustice.

Posted by: b | Sep 6, 2017 5:45:29 PM | 93

@93 well said b. Twenty years ago when the Yangon authorities finally allowed 28 day visas for solo travellers, I went to Shan state where I met a very knowledgeable member of the princely household who exposed his views on the dynamics of Chinese Vs Western influence on the Yangon Junta, drug trade in Shan state and contrarily to popular beliefs at the time, thought of Suu Kyi as a mere pawn of the West..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 6, 2017 6:05:24 PM | 94

b @93--

Excellent clarification and addition. The Outlaw US Empire will perform any Evil to keep its Unipolar status--a status that's rapidly losing its foundation based on funnymoney.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6, 2017 6:09:39 PM | 95

Issues over Aung have nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her racism. I watched Aung sell herself to the west in order to develop a base after she realised that the leadership of Burma was going to be awarded to more capable political operators and not just handed over as an inheritance to the offspring of first president General Aung.
If anything the gender issues were from the bourgeois white intellectuals whose attitude towards Aung appeared to be the same as the grubby sex tourists who turned much of South East Asia a type of mega brothel with their delusions about 'attractive yet compliant, uncomplaining' women.

If Aung deliberately played to that I guess that was her choice but it sure didn't help those women of Indochina whose power was pretty much non-existent. I cannot accurately describe the sheer awfulness of whitefellas I observed when I used to go up to Chiang Mai each easter for an annual cricket tournament. The cricket was pretty social and beer was drunk which had an horrific effect upon some really twisted men. I ceased going when it became obvious that the behaviour of the whitefellas was getting worse each year as it became less and less about cricket and more and more about truly screwed up whitefellas trying to exact revenge for what they saw as past wrongs from women 'back home' by abusing and abasing women whose vulnerability was a function of their poverty.

None of that is down to Aung but neither should any politician be free from criticism just because of their gender either. We criticise plenty of male scumbag leaders in these pages; are the simple minded pseudo marxist idjits now saying that scumbags who happen to be women should be free of scrutiny. That sounds more like the sort of neoliberal tosh which those scumbags purloined off looney trotkyists of circa 1970. I have no time for either ilk one mob had their heads so firmly up their own asses they had no idea of what was happening in the communities they wanted to bring their limp wristed notions of revolution to, while the neolibs spent so much time in our wallets grabbing all for their corporate masters that they lost touch too.

arseholes are arsholes no gender, race oulture or sexual preference is free of arseholery.

Fucking don't criticise someone because they are female - get real- what next quit being mean to prince salman because he's unwhite?

I hear a snuffling sound under the bridge these last coupla days and far too many are tossing food over the parapet.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6, 2017 6:32:42 PM | 96

The 400 Rohingya rebels fighting the Myanmar Army, who receive funding from donors in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, neither depend on Rohingya civilians nor work with them. The Myanmar Army, then, has little to gain from bombing villages, burning homes, expelling internally displaced people, immolating children, massacring men, and raping women. If anything, such tactics will double, triple, or quadruple the manpower of determined, experienced insurgents.
If Myanmar’s authorities want to prevent a bloody, prolonged conflict along the lines of what has unfolded in southern Thailand, there is only one path. The Myanmar Army must withdraw from Rakhine State, and the government must offer the Rohingya the human rights that they deserve.

Posted by: Ray Bergmann | Sep 6, 2017 7:07:37 PM | 97

@96

If you're addressing me, I'm not sure what you're talking about.

I said 'female figurehead,' because the woman in question is a female figurehead.

Did I say not to criticize specific policy? No.

I said not to hyper focus on personality (Burmese leaders, or any leaders, being racist isn't especially relevant; non-racist, purely practical counterinsurgency can kill thousands, and displace thousands, and displace even millions, such as in Colombia).

How you drew your short essay off a phrase is fascinating. You think my original point about the political impotence of the Burmese State Counsellor was a type of unconscious defense mechanism where I feel need to defend fetishized Asian women? I mean, I'm not opposed to dating an Asian woman, but the female figurehead in question is in her seventies (I googled it). Yeah, I'm not ageist or anything, but I'll stick to other twenty-somethings.

@97

According to Amensty International and Human Rights Watch, the Russian Armed Forces committed all of those crimes and more in Chechnya, however, modern Chechnya (which may have fundamentalist problems to this day) seems better off than modern Iraq and Palestine. Post-war positive development was limited, but possible, and it was achieved.

Modern counterinsurgency is filled with obscure logic. Did I ever say I understood it? Or supported it? The United States (Vietnam), Saudi Arabia (Yemen), and Pakistan (Bangladesh) obviously support it.

How are you sure that if the Myanmar Army concedes to early withdrawal, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan won't continue the militarization of Rakhine State and the Bay of Bengal? Money for military equipment wasn't suddenly stopped for Taliban-like groups in Afghanistan after the Soviet Army withdrew in 1989. Actually, if anything, it increased by billions of dollars, including a pending pipeline agreement with the Taliban government from 1998-2001 (if I remember correctly).

Thinking in terms of 'human rights' presumes the larger geopolitical conflict isn't a significant problem. Rather than wage a war, Russia could have easily conceded Chechnya (and Dagestan, and however much else of southern Russia Chechnya was willing to occupy and annex) to Turkey, but was that policy conducive to a long peace in the Caucasus?

To be clear, I'm not comparing Russia and Myanmar, but a parallel was needed to raise the questions.

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 6, 2017 8:12:58 PM | 98

I wasn't addressing anyone specifically because this board never functions as well as a platform for discussion when posts focus on criticism of other posters rather than as a forum for exploration of issues. I barely noticed your posts which now I have checked them out come across as a sort of negativity about others which doesn't appeal to me. I have just gone back to take a look through this thread. anonymous posts contain a whataboutery (a sort of- worse happens at sea so why worry) which is utterly pointless- the weirdest example was :
Ethnic violence is bad. Yes, but apolitical analysis is worse
Maybe it is an attempt at humour. I betcha refugees all over the planet are splitting their sides.
That stuff comes across as a misguided attempt to patronise others as political naifs and just isn't worth reading

For someone who claims everyone else is being too subjective anonymous sure likes to take an unsupported by anything other that his/her personal perspective, shot at other posters:
nah I'm not going to list em if anyone cares they can hunt them out.
I did find this
Apparently, the Burmese government chose to idle for nearly twenty-five years after revoking Rohingya citizenship (1982), somehow needing a quarter of a century to plan a forced displacement campaign (2007) (sic). I'm assuming you mean 2017 which is 35 years and the delay is down to the much maligned junta's decision to opt for a unified state rather than ethnic conflict. However the contemporary change is most likely down to the Bamar supremacist movement led by Aung which is flexing its racist muscles. The keen mutual appreciation of Aung & Modi is no surprise as both enjoy power by turning the majority's frustration at economic deprivation onto minorities. The Modi creep has been harassing the old school Zoroastrians, the Parsi, this year no minority is insignificant enough to be blamed ridiculed and scapegoated.

Then anonymous posts Why is this comment section slowly turning into a 'blame the female figurehead' circle?

No one had discussed gender as an issue until anonymous brought it up.

I cannot help but notice an undercurrent of resentment in some of these posts. I dunno nor care why but I hafta say that those who view our discussion as a means to preen especially by being negative towards others are goddamned bores.

Myanmar has never been top of my list of nations to study but I have maintained a keen interest in it since I was a kid at uni. We had a number of fellow students from Burma studying with us and I got to know some fairly well. We were forever protesting largely against the Vietnam war and I was interested to know why Burmese students joined in but always stuck a brown paper sack over their heads (eyeholes cut out natch) even though their government was opposed to the amerikan presence as well.

Like it or not the Aung creep is a personality who established herself as a 'celebrity politician' outside of Myanmar because she had little or no traction within that nation. I never had any time for her, nothing to do with gender but everything to do with her decision to attack her home nation in the eyes of england, the nation which was feeling sore because Burma's independence put the kybosh on englander schemes to steal Myanmar's assets.
Aung had been perfectly content to work for the same regime she later became famous for denigrating in england, she worked as one of its staunchest advocates, both as a diplomat and a functionary, right up until the point when she realised she wasn't going to be offered the throne. That was when she spat the dummy.

Who knows whether Aung is a genuine racist? I doubt she knows but she does know what her father showed her, that the simplest (and least expensive) way to get the majority behind you was to unite the majority Bamars against the hated and feared 'other' - the outsider.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 7, 2017 12:11:43 AM | 99

Debsisdead | Sep 7, 2017 12:11:43 AM | 99

Thanks for that very well considered post.
When one is a tonic unto oneself; no one else need reply.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7, 2017 12:46:08 AM | 100

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