Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 06, 2021

Aiming At China U.S., UK Launch Ethnic Guerilla War On Myanmar

If you wonder what is happening in Myanmar there is no need to look further than these maps.

China needs oil but its sea main supply route through the Strait of Malacca is vulnerable.


Pipelines through Pakistan and Myanmar provide for alternative routes.


The pipe, road and rail lines through Myanmar are not only in China's best interest but also a great chance for Myanmar to further develop. They are in its national interest.

The U.S. and its allies are hostile to China. Threatening to cut its oil supplies is probably the most powerful tool in their box. Any alternative supply routes for China make this tool less powerful. The idea then is to prevent the possible use of these routes.

Since its foundation after World War II Myanmar was ruled, sometimes more sometimes less brutal, by its anti-colonial military.

The first U.S. plan to gain control over Myanmar was to install a 'democratic government' that would do its bidding. In 2010, under pressure of U.S. instigated color revolutions, the military conceded to allow a civilian government but kept much of its constitutional and economic power. In 2016 the U.S. preferred candidate Suu Kyi, the daughter of the former military leader and Father of the Nation Aung San, was installed at the head of a new government.

But Aung San Suu Kyi turned out to be a nationalist and soon failed in the eyes of the U.S. regime changers. She was as friendly with China as the military and was equally aggressive against Myanmar's many ethnic minorities. Her eventual fall out with the military was not over those issues. The military owns key industries in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi, and the 'civil society' people behind her, wanted a place at that trough.

Elections in 2020, which excluded voting in many ethnic regions, brought overwhelming support for Aung San Suu Kyi. This alarmed the military as it feared that its main source of income would soon be endangered. On February 1 it launched a coup and put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

This brought a new chance for the U.S. to intervene. It immediately re-activated the 77 'civil society' organizations in Myanmar which it is financing through the CIA offshoot National Endowment for Democracy. Protest were launched together with attacks on Chinese companies and property.

As I described it at at that time:

So this is evidently a color revolution effort against the military.

What is irritating with it is the speed with which it took off. Color revs usually require years of group building and leadership preparation. They need monetary and communication support as well as political directions from 'advisors' in 'western' embassies. Here it took only ten days to launch it.

In 2005 the Bush administration cultivated the Myanmar 'civil society' and Suu Kyi, who was then under house arrest. It popped up in the 'Saffron color revolution' in 2007 and with Cyclone Nargis in 2008 when the Bush administration tried to use Responsibility to Protect (R2P) nonsense to get a military foot on the ground.

But that all is a long time ago and after Suu Kyi had come to power there was no necessity to keep those efforts alive.

Then again - under Myanmar's 2008 constitution the military was still effectively in charge. Together with Suu Kyi's large win in the latest election there may have been an long planned 'western' attempt underway to finally unseat the military from its privileged position and to pull the country out of China's orbit.

But the chance for that eventually to happen is practically zero. Some 70% of Myanmar's population lives in rural areas. The protests occur only in the three big cities Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw and are relatively small. The military is ruthless and will have no trouble to take the protesters down.

Whoever launched this nonsense should be held responsible for endangering those people.

As I predicted the protests, and the strikes the color revolution apparatus induced in form of a Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), have since petered out:

Although Thiha didn’t want to abandon CDM, he also didn’t want to lose his job amid a tanking economy. After weighing it up for a few days, he decided to get back to work.

“I have a loan from a microfinance company that I need to repay and a family to support – a wife and a five-year-old daughter,” he said. “It wouldn’t be easy for me to get another job, particularly as I’d have to change my career.”

There were just a handful of staff present when he turned up at his branch on April 20, but the number grew each day; by the April 29 deadline, about 80 percent had returned, although they were not yet wearing their KBZ uniforms.

It’s a scene being repeated around the country, as tens of thousands of striking bank workers slowly get back to work.

This U.S. induced color revolution attempt against the military coup has failed.

Now it is time for plan B - the Syria model: "If we can't have it we will destroy it!"

A major Burmese ethnic rebel group has claimed to have shot down a helicopter belonging to the country’s military. The incident comes amid continuing protests against the recent coup that ousted Myanmar’s civilian government.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said the helicopter had been shot down on Monday in Myanmar’s northernmost province of Kachin. The aircraft is said to have been destroyed after Myanmar’s military launched airstrikes against the rebels.
Footage circulating online shows the helicopter – likely a Mi-17 transport-assault aircraft – sustaining an apparent hit from a portable anti-aircraft missile launcher.

The Kachin (red) in the north east and the Karen (orange) in the south east have a long history of fighting against the Burman (dark violet) majority and for autonomy within Myanmar. During World War II Burma's National Army under Aung San fought on the side of Japan to kick the colonial power Britain out of Burma. Britain, which at that time also controlled India, used the Kachin and Karen to wage a guerilla war against Japan's Burmese proxy forces.


Under the great Quad project to fight China those old ties have now been reactivated. Former Indian ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar explains the project:

[T]he operative part hidden from view concentrated on the creation of a “government-in-exile” (a National Unity Government.) Alongside, Britain’s MI6 sought to bring together Myanmar’s main ethnic separatist guerrilla groups, encouraging them to take advantage of the chaos to open a second front.

Indeed, some degree of proximity has since developed between the Burman protesters in Yangon and Mandalay on one side and the non-Burman minority ethnic groups on the other side. Despite a history of mutual antipathy, they have a convergence today to bleed the military. It is an improbable coalition of Buddhists and Christians, but as an American analyst cautiously assesses, it is doable:
At any rate, by mid-April, the first major armed attack on the military took place by the Karen National Union, Myanmar’s oldest rebel group (which was originally created by the British colonial power as its proxy.) Such attacks have since become commonplace.

Today, the so-called National Unity Government announced its intention to establish a Federal Union Army — a military force of defectors from the security forces, rebel ethnic groups and volunteers. This would be a watershed transforming the anti-military agitation to an armed confrontation with the military. Myanmar is entering the crucial stage where Syria stood in 2011.

The Man Portable Air Defense (Manpad) missile used by the Kachin against a Myanmar army helicopter did not come out of nowhere.

It must have come from the MI6 or CIA through Myanmar's wide open borders with Quad member India. (Fielding provisions for the Karen near the Thai border are likely more complicate as the Thai military is itself under U.S. color revolution pressure and would not like to help with such efforts.)

There are more ethnic groups on both sides of the Indian border that can and will be used to wage a guerrilla war against Myanmar's military. With free supplies of modern weapons available to them they can create significant damage.

Meanwhile the Juan Guaido like exile 'National Unity Government' will be used to pretend that there is real opposition to the military government. The 'Federal Union Army' will be a copy of the 'Syrian National Army' - a lose assembly of mercenaries and diverse warlord groups. 'White Helmets' like propaganda organization will likely also soon appear.

The hope is to ignite a wide ranging civil war that will make any Chinese projects in Myanmar impossible to implement.

Bhadrakumar finds that the project is well coordinated:

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar not less than three times in as many months since the military takeover in Myanmar. To be sure, India’s cooperation is crucial for the success of the Anglo-American enterprise in Myanmar.

Myanmar figured prominently at the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London on May 3-5. Jaishankar travelled to London and met with Blinken. Neither side divulged details, but a Deutsche-Welle report flagged that “China was at the top of the agenda as the G7 foreign ministers discussed a range of human rights issues. Addressing the Myanmar coup and Russian aggression was also on the docket.”

It added that the G7 ministers watched a video from Myanmar’s National Unity Government  to “update the ministers with the current situation on the ground.” The joint communique issued after the London meeting devotes much attention to Myanmar (paras 21-24). It expresses “solidarity” with the National Unity Government and issues call for comprehensive sanctions against the Myanmar military, including an arms embargo.

The birth pangs of insurgencies are never open to public view, as intelligence agencies get the actors into play. The Myanmar situation has reached that point. This is the first big bash of post-Brexit UK (“Global Britain”) on the world stage. As so often in modern history, London will lead from the rear.

Countermoves to the U.S. and UK plans will come from Russia and China. A week before the coup Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had visited Myanmar. On March 27 Russia's deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin was present at the annual Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyidaw.

Russia has oil interests in Myanmar and sells weapons to its military. It is preventing any measures against Myanmar at the UN Security Council. In a sign that it knows what's at stake it has warned that sanctions against the military could lead to a full blown civil war.

China has so far stayed quiet on the issue. It will try to keep a low profile. Any open Chinese intervention is out of question but Chinese help may become important if or when Myanmar's government comes under financial stress.

It is sad to see that another little country, which wants nothing but to be left alone, will soon get destroyed in the 'western' attempt to keep China down. A proxy war between great powers no one but already rich people will benefit from.

Posted by b on May 6, 2021 at 16:44 UTC | Permalink


Absolutely convincing. Thank you for the information. The Second Cold War is in full swing.

Posted by: pnyx | May 6 2021 17:23 utc | 1

What can go wrong

Posted by: svaya | May 6 2021 17:24 utc | 2

One might say the attempt to use Afghanistan as the primary area to deter China's development has failed and thus Myanmar becomes the second choice, but that's much harder since the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals don't control Myanmar's government or military, or have the sort of physical presence as in Afghanistan. Thailand as mentioned also has issues. The Cold War against Chinese and South East Asian development has now commenced. India had better watch out for it is ripe for similar destabilization.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2021 17:31 utc | 3

jesus b, but i think you are correct here.. "It is sad to see that another little country, which wants nothing but to be left alone, will soon get destroyed in a proxy war between great powers." it is all about proxy wars with these freaks and there can be no peace with maniacs in power... thanks for the overview..

Posted by: james | May 6 2021 17:34 utc | 4

@karlof1 - india with modi, lol... what's not to like about that for a neocon??

Posted by: james | May 6 2021 17:35 utc | 5

China may be quiet on the public stage but don't expect them to sit idly by.

@karlof1 #3: The US Navy have recently pissed off India with their FoN bullshit. I'm a little surprised on why. I guess Modi didn't do what DC wanted him to do.

Posted by: Ian2 | May 6 2021 17:38 utc | 6

Last line, "It is said to see that another little country"
- I think you meant "sad" and not "said", right?!

Posted by: Seeji | May 6 2021 17:56 utc | 7

There is a gaping hole in your analysis which is China has been the privileged partner of the KIA for years, going as far as arming them. All their weapons are chinese. This is verifiable.
As for Suu Kyi, she is the best thing that ever happened to China since they NEVER had a good relationship with the junta.
You can even go find the junta asking the US to counterbalance Chinese influence back in 08 and 10-11. All on wikileaks.

I can tell you read the Grayzone article and I'm sorry to say that unlike most of their reports this is very poorly sourced and written by a person which never reported about the region previously.

This is a lot more complicated than you paint it.

Posted by: Loic | May 6 2021 18:09 utc | 8

2 SITREPs on a single day! Bernhard, you are on fire!

M.K. Bhadrakumar blog post yesterday was really great, a must-read. Your SITREP adds even additional analytical depth.
And yes, the road ahead is sadly clear. Seems the Anglo-Saxon neocons and libs can't live a single day without regime changing.
Like locusts, they migrate from one state they failed onto the next. 101st time's the charm they must think..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | May 6 2021 18:16 utc | 9

Maybe the lifting of the patent protection on corona virus vaccines is part of a deal between Ind and usa? Counterinsurgency support in exchange for full cloning rights to the vaccine will be one of several items Ind might have demanded from usa in exchange. Of course, this is just wild speculation based on nothing concrete...

Posted by: St Gothard | May 6 2021 18:35 utc | 10

The Russian Sinologist analyzes the events in Myanmar from the point of view of the anti-Chinese policy of the West. The role of Russia is also considered.

Posted by: alaff | May 6 2021 19:22 utc | 11

While I totally agree with you about the perfidy of the imperialiat powers using the ethnic stew that is Myanmar to conduct a proxy war aimed mainly against China, I don’t see Myanmar as “another little country, which wants nothing but to be left alone”.

It is utopian to believe in the age of imperialism that any country can truly just be “left alone.” More so even when that country is really a colonialist deconstruction effort. The mixture of national and ethnic groups, the intense exploitation of the poor and peasantry, and the brutal rule by a comprador-like military caste shows this is a country ripe for revolution and civil war. That’s the underlying material cause why this version of a “color revolution” came together so quickly. The tinder is there.

Of course, the various people of Myanmar have nothing to gain with allying with the US or UK. Sadly, China seems content to let the generals rule — or Aung San Suu Kyi — if it served their needs. That is not internationalism, and short-sighted, as it drives many in that country into the arms of the imperialists.

The “Syrian option” that the US/UK appears to be pushing in Myanmar is a tragedy for the people of that beleaguered land, just as it has been for Syria. Without a countervailing force to work for the liberation of all oppressed peoples, it’s difficult to imagine things turning out differently. But much thanks to you and others who are trying to rouse public opinion in an effort to blunt this terrible atrocity and avert a disaster that would render Myanmar crippled for a generation or more.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | May 6 2021 19:34 utc | 12

@ 11 alaff.. thanks for that excellent article from the russian perspective.. it is very thorough.. thanks.. i quote some of it below...

"The fact is that the Myanmar opposition calls the defense of the oil and gas pipelines that go through Myanmar to the Chinese province of Yunnan and then reach the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as the reason for China to introduce its troops. It is no coincidence that the conclusion of the Sino-Iranian 25-year agreement on cooperation for the purchase of oil is among the events. A significant part of the oil that went through the Myanmar oil pipeline was from Iran. It was also no coincidence that Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met last year near the Myanmar border in anticipation of the conclusion of this deal.

Obviously, the Iranian events and the events in Myanmar are linked, as is the blocking of the Suez Canal. All this is connected by some kind of common logic. China is shown that, in fact, its stability, its ability to defend itself and its economy — China’s economy imports 75% of all world oil, [since] China produces its own oil in insufficient quantities — is questionable."

Posted by: james | May 6 2021 19:58 utc | 13

but it's the "military junta" that's the criminal org and not the legit gov't, b/c of that junta's "human rights violations", incl no "elections" whereby a Burmese Biden or Trump can be "voted" into office?

btw, the "ngo's" on the US domestic front are the "non-profits". lots of church involvement, lots and lots of money flying around, lots of advertising and self-promotion, lots of high-fructose gruel for the ever-growing FEMA camp of diabetic, mentholated Oliver Twists out there.

people used to have the capacity to think of how the rulers' body relates to the imperial (ruled) body, even if only via metaphor and analogy. thus the crap coming out of Caesar on his throne becomes the sewage of empire (Juvenal), as his virtue and example might (cough cough) prove its savior (Vergil). The US body, at the level of individual and system, is connected to Myanmar via their lifeblood, oil. Americans drive everywhere utterly heedless to their environment and their own bodies (same thing, you dumbasses), the same way the military bombs everything. it's a mad max road warrior fury road 24/7/365 in their individual and public lives.

oh wait, another asian hate crime in the US news...

Posted by: jason | May 6 2021 20:01 utc | 14

If I were in Beijing, I'd be furious at the Burmese (let's face it, they're not exactly friendly to most other ethnies) military. There's hardly any winning move for China now that these fools took full power. The sure thing is that it's not China that pushed for the coup, as B said, Suu Kyi had good relations with Beijing and was happily joining the Belt and Road, if only to improve the quite limited Myanmar infrastructure. For their own selfish reasons, they offered a great opportunity to the US to meddle once again in the country, and it didn't take much time to see facebook posts and protesters accusing China of being behind the coup and of fully backing the military. On the other hand, China can't let the junta drop and push to allow NDL to come back to power without some serious updates on its global "no interference in other countries' inner affairs" policy (though that would be the best move to try to not be more alienated from Myanmar people or to go back into their good graces). Were I Xi, I might seriously consider paying hitmen to take down the head general on principle, letting the others stay in charge.
That said, I'm not surprised some ethnies took arms once again. There's barely been a month without some action in some part of the country, since independence, and some of these wars were bloody for a long time.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 6 2021 20:31 utc | 15

China will provide what it learned fighting for, and gaining control of Hong Kong, to the Generals.

The enemy of my enemy, is my friend.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | May 6 2021 21:03 utc | 16

Thanks for the informative write-up.

I don't see much chance for success here. It's not for won't of trying. Think about the whole Rohingya issue. I woudn't be suprised if the usual suspects have been trying through that vector - having failed to achieve much.

ASEAN isn't getting invovlved - Chairmans statement (Point 8):

"...We expressed our concern on the situation in Myanmar and called on all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to exercise utmost restraint as well as flexibility. We also called on all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution, through constructive dialogue, and practical reconciliation in the interests of the people and their livelihood. In this regard, we expressed ASEAN’s readiness to assist Myanmar in a positive, peaceful and constructive manner."

I do hope all parties sit down and start some kind of dialogue. Fighting a guerilla war isn't going to get them anywhere - just look at the Rohingyas of Rakhine State. We're still getting boats from Myanmar, as Muslims there (wrongly) think that Malaysia will offer them safe harbour (search: Malaysia deports Myanmar nationals despite court order).


Posted by: Andy V | May 6 2021 22:05 utc | 17

Thanks b, crisp and spot on. A return to international geopolitics instead of distracting BS like identity politics, endless COVID blah, and 'how the NYT is a CIA/blob newsletter'(well duh). This is what I have and always will come to MoA for.

Posted by: Patroklos | May 6 2021 22:08 utc | 18

@ Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 6 2021 20:31 utc | 15

China has already officially stated (some weeks after the coup) that it would not interfere in Myanmar - as long as other countries also didn't interfere. Which, of course, means it will eventually interfere in Myanmar, but it will be reactive, not proactive.

Needless to say, China is in a very comfortable position in Myanmar. Both main warring factions are nationalist, both are in favor of the BRI. The only bad outcome would be if Myanmar really fell into a Syrian scenario. I know jack shit about Myanmar, but, extrapolating from the Rohingya fiasco, my feeling is that a Syria situation in Myanmar is much more difficult, if not borderline impossible: Syria is, like Libya, a truly artificial nation-state: there is a mosaic of peoples and ethnicity in Syria that were forcefully grouped together by design of French imperialism; albeit the same was tried with Myanmar (then called "Burma") by British imperialism (including the forced immigration of the aforementioned Rohingya from Afghanistan), it seems there is an ethnicity with a clear supremacy over Myanmar, both numerically and by territory. The Burmese ethnicity has a common history, has a language and has a religion (Buddhism) and a sense of national unity not present in Syria and in Libya. Even though they are not Great-Russian level of dominance over their territory, they look to dominate enough of it (the most important part), and, most importantly, they have full control of the Armed Forces (Tatmadaw).

To make things worse for the British, the proxy forces they control are mainly located in the northwest of Myanmar, therefore they would be able to rattle, but not stop, the BRI route. The important piece that could once and for all stop the BRI from going through Myanmar is the Rakhine, which would block the port - but it was lost when the American Rohingya proxy forces was easily defeated by the Tatmadaw. That left the British with the remaining option of using more proxy forces in Karen and other parts of Myanmar so as to fragment it so much that a route to the port is rendered unfeasible. But that's more difficult, as you would have to adventure outside the border with India, where the Her Majesty's Intelligence and Armed Forces would have a lot less power (absent or more precarious LoCs). A much harder task: from having to win just one coin toss, you now have to win some four coin tosses consecutively.

And all of that not considering, of course, the inevitable Russian, and thereafter also Chinese, influences, which will certainly mow down the Karen and Kachin forces.

But, even if the UK is able to stave all of that off and, say, achieve to block the BRI with just the Kachin forces (which is mathematically possible), you still have to face the fact that China's West, albeit growing and developing at an amazing speed, still is sparsely populated and relatively underdeveloped. The route through Myanmar as planned by the BRI project would be just a single line of communications going through a vast emptiness for kilometers and kilometers of distance for decades to come. It is easy to attack and disrupt - but it would also be easy to defend and monitor. And we know damn well that the undisputed lord of that vastness is the PLA, which, contrary to the USAA, would be defending Chinese infrastructure in Chinese territory, therefore with higher efficiency and morale. Also, as the BRI will take decades to be finished, and if the Tatmadaw do its homework (keeping the Rakhine and Myanmar in one piece), China could simply spend the next decade focusing on building the port in the Rakhine while the British pawns are gobbled up one by one through a war of surgical precision and attrition (Fabian strategy). It would still slow the BRI down, but not by a catastrophic amount of time.

The West, if it expects to win this one, will have to achieve a spectacular victory in blitzkrieg fashion, a la Battle of France in 1940. Or, alternatively, hope for a schism within the Tatmadaw (i.e. division among the Burmese themselves, as a people), which I'm not talking about because I know nothing about. I'm also excluding the possibility of a direct American intervention, which would certainly win the war for the West. All things kept within the inertia, China has time on its side.

Posted by: vk | May 6 2021 22:55 utc | 19

1. China should pull an Erdogan and use their locality advantage to muscle out our color guards. The Chinese are way too polite.

2. Covid and India, same neighborhood, why isn't anyone helping India in their hour of need, is the U.S. too self-absorbed, are China and Russia being locked out by the U.S., other?
I do find this baffling. India is an important country, and both China and Russia would benefit by scoring brownie points here.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | May 6 2021 23:25 utc | 20

Where's the money for the color revolution operations coming from? I mean actual verifiable financial transaction streams, from what point within the financial system to what other point? Where are the distribution points? Who is recieving? What is being done with disbursements on the streets? Are these mechanics in any way similar to, say for instance, the blm street operations in the states?
It would be hell's own shakes of a coincidence if they weren't.

Posted by: Josh | May 7 2021 0:03 utc | 21

Freak occurance theory does not really go over to well with rational human beings, who are willing to be honest with themselves.

Posted by: Josh | May 7 2021 0:07 utc | 22

Today in neocon Washington Times: China looks to establish a naval base in the Atlantic (gasp!!!).

I guess only the USSA is allowed to garrison every corner of the Earth. Who woulda thought...

Posted by: K_C_ | May 7 2021 1:20 utc | 23

Thanks for the precis, b.
When SBS had a budget and mobility, back in the '90s and Noughties, they produced regular reports on Myanmar and lionised and 'adopted' Aung San Suu Kyi as a heroine. But I could never make sense of what was going on there. Then earlier this year there were news reports that the 'protesters' were vandalising Chinese businesses and I thought "Yikes! Hong Kong redux!? It then became all but crystal clear that the effing Capitalist Crusaders are behind all the Malarky in Myanmar.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 7 2021 1:20 utc | 24

Recent news: U.K. and France Call in the Navy in Channel Islands Fishing Dispute

I guess Ukraine and Myanmar will have to wait for Western attention.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 7 2021 1:21 utc | 25

Posted by: vk | May 6 2021 22:55 utc | 19

vk, you are wrong to claim "Syria is, like Libya, a truly artificial nation-state: there is a mosaic of peoples and ethnicity in Syria that were forcefully grouped together by design of French imperialism"

The French and British divided the Arab world, including Syria, in order to amend the title deeds to Palestine in favour of Political Zionism.

Posted by: Paul | May 7 2021 1:47 utc | 26

Don't believe either @ 9 says
"Seems the Anglo-Saxon neocons and Libs can't stand a day without regime-change".
Is "Anglo-Saxon" the new left "bad"? Whatever happened to the Zionist addendum to that terminology? The Biden administration has a disproportionate level of Jewish participation, unprecedented since the Johnson years. Cass Sunstein is the newest appointment, and his wife Samantha Power is the originator of the R2P doctrine, so be prepared for the "humanitarian intervention" ruse for an ongoing war in Myanmar. Biden is Obama#2 and wars are their forte. They are cruel diversions from degenerating domestic and fiscal situations. They are an easier ideological spin.
Apparently geopolitics are also preferred by M.O.A. readers like Patroklos @18, who likes b's "crisp and spot on" assessment of this particular geopolitical looming conflict. I do too, but as I transition away from "the left", I find leftist ideology more and more repugnant, and not simply "bullshit". That seems like a "nothing to see here" response.
I realise that it must be difficult for academics these days. Best to stick to geopolitics.
John Helmer has some very interesting observations and opinions to say on this topic in a radio interview he gave with Chris Cook on Canadian radio station CFUV 101.9FM.(Gorilla Radio).
This can be located at Dances With Bears: "The war for chaos on the Myanmar and Donbass fronts." Sorry, but to link you will have to D.I.Y.

Posted by: Australian lady | May 7 2021 2:09 utc | 27

China's Sanctions on Western Stink Tanks:

Halford Mackinder's geopolitical plaything, also known as, 'The Great Game' is now transparent to everyone.

Posted by: Paul | May 7 2021 2:22 utc | 28

ERRATA to my @ 19:

Don't know why in my mind I considered Myanmar to border China to the West. It doesn't. In fact, Kunming is a big city. Huge brain fart.

In that case, terrorist attacks on the border will be more effective, but the LoC of the PLA would be even easier, albeit maybe more complex, depending on the sophistication these British proxies were to have.

Don't change the fact that the key to the Myanmar BRI route would be the port. The reason for that is the port is the point of contact between the BRI and the sea, where the USA reigns supreme. On land, it would get dirty and bloody, but ultimately manageable. I don't see Russia, China and most importantly the Tatmadaw, after the Kurdistan episode/lessons, allowing two de facto independent States in northern Myanmar closing it off of its most important neighbor.

Unless the USA-UK manage to take Rakhine out of Myanmar, China can bid its time. That's my bet.

Posted by: vk | May 7 2021 2:25 utc | 29

China cuts economic contact with Australia:

But Australia continues to provoke China:

The Philippines needs medical help not wars and warships.

Posted by: Paul | May 7 2021 2:46 utc | 30

"Where's the money for the color revolution operations coming from? I mean actual verifiable financial transaction streams...

Josh | May 7 2021 0:03 utc | 21"

The U.S. govt. It has no connection to BLM funding. I know this is not a satisfying answer, but the reach of U.S. banking extends all over the world, even to remote places like Afghanistan. And then you have the next layer, briefcases filled w/$100 bills of cash. If you give a Slovakian a briefcase of $100 vs Indian Rupees, they will take the USD, actually most Indians would take the USD.

Our Treasury Dept and ability to throw money around is our last, best weapon for regime change. I can't give you times and places anymore than tell you exactly how rivers make it to the ocean.

US funded NGO's that toss money around ...
NED - National Endowment for Democracies
USAID - has been corrupted as a regime change institution

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | May 7 2021 2:54 utc | 31

Josh @ 21, CJC @ 31:

I'm sure that if Bellingcat can learn to use Bitcoin to buy mobile phone data hacked from private phone databases in Russia to be able to provide stunning revelations about Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov's travel itineraries over the past 7 years, someone in the CIA or the NED, or at the US State Dept has learned how to use cryptocurrencies to pass money to US Color Revolution darlings.

Posted by: Jen | May 7 2021 3:12 utc | 32

That map is mislabeled. Not sure who made it, but what it calls the "Burma" majority is actually the Myan/Mien (as in Meeyen, but with one syllable) majority.

"Burma" was the name of the colony under British rule, and was originally adopted by the nascently independent country precisely to reflect the multi-ethnic makeup of the territory--as in, it wasn't simply the Myan majority that was leading the country, but all ethnicities participating equally. "Myanmar" was adopted by the military junta to emphasize the fact that the country was being (violently) ruled by the Myan majority.

The name in Chinese is--and always has been, since ancient times--"Mian-dian", which literally means "The Mian (people and the tribes on their) outskirts".

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 7 2021 3:16 utc | 33

The Anglo Americans are truly, as Pepe Escobar once put it, are the Empire of Chaos.

The Anglo Americans have nothing positive of substance to offer but rather can only maintain their jealously guarded world domination by sowing chaos against other nations.

Only through division, conflict, and chaos can the Anglo Americans prevail.

The Anglo Americans personify the malign ideology that it’s easy to tear shit down but so much harder to build them up.

As William Blum once put it, America must Kill Hope and destroy the “threat” of a good example. This is what the so-called “Cold War” was really about: destroying the threat of an alternative development path to America’s global capitalist system.

Killing Hope

Destabilization of the Eurasian continent and its primary countries of China, Russia, etc. is thus a fundamental driver of the Anglo American Empire of Chaos.

Ukraine, Syria, Baltics, Taiwan and now Myanmar are merely “pressure points” that the Anglo American seek to exploit as part of this larger Eurasian destabilization/balkanization campaign.

This issue also reveals a broader reality that many “antiwar” people in the USA and the West refuse to understand—namely, the nature of American war is not merely conventional or nuclear war.

America’s preferred way of waging wars of aggression is through proxy Hybrid Wars.

Harold Pinter explains:

“Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed.”

Essentially, America is afraid to go mano-a-mano with its enemies but rather favors waging a cowardly British-style proxy Hybrid War on the cheap.

America is thus not waging a “New Cold War.”

America is waging a Hybrid World War in everything but name.

Yet, you will hardly any section of the “antiwar” movement protesting America’s Hybrid Wars—or even admitting that the USA is currently waging a Hybrid World War in everything but name.

Posted by: ak74 | May 7 2021 4:25 utc | 34

Good sh*t b. Always got the wide view on these conflagrations.

Posted by: Jezabeel | May 7 2021 4:45 utc | 35

Below is an ending quote from a ZH hit piece about China and how the "regulation" of Ant is going to negatively impact social and medical services for poor and rural folk

It's just another example of how Beijing's crackdown on big tech will benefit state-controlled industries like banking, along with China's cities and municipalities, who could use the premiums to offset all the off-the-books debt they have accumulated.

Isn't in a good thing if state controlled banking benefits by the regulation of big tech? matter which country one is in.....isn't Biden, the blessed, proposing an increase in corporate tax and won't it hit high tech hardest?

And about those municipalities in China making local decisions about infrastructure projects that address immediate employment needs.....isn't that what governments are suppose to do?

ZH does project the meme that people are here to serve corporations (the REAL people/s) along with the rich instead of the other way around occasionally they report some truth in spite of their bias.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 7 2021 5:27 utc | 36

Christian J. Chuba | May 6 2021 23:25 utc | 20:

China have made numerous offers but India had remained silent for some time. I believe they're slowly opening up to China's offer. I haven't read anything regarding Russia.

K_C_ | May 7 2021 1:20 utc | 23:

About time. Give the Empire a taste of their own medicine.

Australian lady | May 7 2021 2:09 utc | 27:

Thanks for the heads up.

The war for chaos on the Myanmar and Donbass fronts. As of now, the web server is down (Error: 521). Maybe it'll be back up later on.

But this direct link will work: Gorilla Radio April 11th, 2021 podcast

Posted by: Ian2 | May 7 2021 6:34 utc | 37

Anybody using Wikipedia as a source deserves to be ignored.

Having lived and worked in Myanmar, it makes me so sad to see the people of the country get used by powers who don’t give a sh*t about them. Never met a nicer people including from several of the minorities.

Myanmar vs Burma: the Myanma people I worked with and met told me the name was changed by the Thatmadaw (military govt) to reflect less focus on the Bamar majority and to distinguish from the former colonial name Burma, something they supported in general.

From my firsthand experience in the country, the earlier poster has it backwards. (Never seen a single minority map of Myanmar label the Bamar as Myan)

Posted by: Blues guy | May 7 2021 6:45 utc | 38

Myanmar is going to be headache if it devolves into a Syria type situation.

Posted by: Smith | May 7 2021 7:06 utc | 39

Well, you'll know when the CIA/MI6 has decided to go all-in: it'll be when Bellingcat starts taking a hard look at human rights violations in Myanmar.

Not yet, so I assume the spooks are still warming up.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 7 2021 7:19 utc | 40

@ alaff

"In this case, Russia has a great future in the XXI century — the century of confrontation between China and the United States, at least in the next few decades. It is precisely on the strategy of non-intervention in major conflicts, while waiting for the United States and China to enter into a decisive battle, Russia can occupy significant space for its influence, incl. restore its influence at least to the extent of the late USSR."

This russian guy, he's already saying this, even if it's true, it's revealing the Russian's ace in the hole, or in case of not being true, breaking the temporary alliance between China and Russia.

The USSR failed because China teams up with the US, do not let it happen again, doofus.

Posted by: Smith | May 7 2021 7:25 utc | 41

Do thank you for the good work you do!!
But do think the most important thing you left out..
Its about the Rare Earth Metals that are found in Myanmar , and the us$ and others wants to control it.
Now the Rare Earth Metals go to China , the Chinese do have a contract for that and that is what the us$ and others dont like...
The us$ and others want to control the Rare Earth Metals....
So therefor they put in all there ngo's to work now in Myanmar.. did read that more than 200 ngo groups are working on it...
Even the famous "Milk Tea Alliance" is active there in burning Chinese Factory's , this alliance comes from Thailand , Hong Kong and Taiwan.. so you do understand who is paying them...

Posted by: HTG | May 7 2021 8:15 utc | 42

There is no way China can protect its sea lines of communication even if given 20 years to build up defenses. However, it is possible to within 20 years clear the road of gas guzzling cars. Would that solve most of the problem of importing oil by sea? Or are there too many other uses for oil?

I know China also imports a lot of gas from Australia and Qatar but I left it out of the question to focus on oil.

Posted by: sahel | May 7 2021 9:40 utc | 43

Christian J. Chuba | May 6 2021 23:25 utc | 20

2. Covid and India, same neighborhood, why isn't anyone helping India in their hour of need, is the U.S. too self-absorbed, are China and Russia being locked out by the U.S., other?
I do find this baffling. India is an important country, and both China and Russia would benefit by scoring brownie points here.

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 7 2021 9:41 utc | 44

That damned "You have been waiting too long to make a comment; go out and come back again!" Has messed up my post by leaving out: "Is this what you were looking for?"

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 7 2021 9:45 utc | 45

Piotr Berman | May 7 2021 1:21 utc | 25

Recent news: U.K. and France Call in the Navy in Channel Islands Fishing Dispute

Cherche le NED!

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 7 2021 9:54 utc | 46

Unlike most here I don't see China as the good guys, nor necessarily bad, just another power looking after its own interests, and those probably do not coincide with most readers here. Just because the US acts malevolently and only in the interest of its power brokers why assume its opposition are saints? Tibet and the South China Sea are expansionist, China may not have a history of conquering other states but it certainly had one of establishing tribute states. These included Brunei, Cambodia, Siam, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Tibet, Vietnam, Ceylon.

Myanmar is complicated, again not many good actors, just those seeking power including the corrupt military. The life of Myanmar conscripts was not a joyous experience. Additionally Thailand is planning sea-rail connection system through the middle of that country, there is only one beneficiary. Thailand was given limited vaccines by China, on the condition they would be used for Chinese Thais first, no racism there at all.

Posted by: Rancid | May 7 2021 12:20 utc | 47

Thailand was given limited vaccines by China, on the condition they would be used for Chinese Thais first, no racism there at all.
Posted by: Rancid | May 7 2021 12:20 utc | 47

This is highly improbable. It is a typical rumor that may be circulated by opponents -- weird stories are generated across the globe after all.

Thailand is quite special in terms of ethnic connections with China. In south-east Asia, Chinese minorities seem to be created in two ways -- traders and related people (craftsmen, soldiers, mariners) and recruited labor. It seems that what is now Thailand, particularly what is now the capital region, was a major trading hub, and Chinese population was huge. In 18-th century, a rich Chinese trader became the king who created a long-lasting dynasty. As a result, a very big percentage of Bangkok region people claim Chinese origin (quarter to half), but culturally, they are Thai (Syamese). So "Chinese" in Thailand are basically middle/upper class, culturally distinct only in the sense how upper classes differ from the lower ones. Surely, they would get a better access to vaccines in any non-egalitarian system, so even if Chinese authorities and companies were inclined to give preferences to their distant cousins, it would be TOTALLY unnecessary. And how such contracts would be formulated?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 7 2021 12:56 utc | 48

"Myanmar is complicated, again not many good actors, just those seeking power..."

A challenge: a list of 5 countries where it is not the case. Why not a prize of 1000 USD for the longest list... but there will be some scrutiny.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 7 2021 13:00 utc | 49

Piotr Berman @48:

Exactly. The Sino-Thais are getting preference not because of their Chinese ethnicity, but because they belong to the "amart" -- the wealthy and powerful elites.

Curiously, rumors are circulating that the creme de la creme in Thailand -- think: the family of Chief Air Force Marshal Foofoo of blessed memory -- are getting vaccinated with a shipment of Pfizer, although that drug has officially not been approved or imported into the country, and said family is making a sweet profit off the approved import of AstraZeneca.

Posted by: corvo | May 7 2021 13:22 utc | 50

Myanmar previously hurt inside badly by allowing Indian terrorist groups, from ULFA to the NSCN to PREPAK, to set up bases in its territory after Industry went all out to support the Living Saint Aung San Suu Kyi in the early 1990s. It can very easily do so again and not one thinking person would blame it.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 7 2021 13:53 utc | 51

*India, not Industry.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 7 2021 13:54 utc | 52

MofA is so consistent. Any gorillas in a military uniform gets it support just as long as the USA opposes it. Does it matter that ordinary working people in Myanmar have their own class interests that force them to oppose the military? Apparently not. There's a word for this: crypto-Stalinism.

Posted by: Louis N Proyect | May 7 2021 15:08 utc | 53

@ Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2021 17:31 utc | 3

Well possibly we have plowed the field in Afganistan.
China could now do some bridge building rather than demo and if Taliban can create order its lose-win-win.

That's whats got Hill's nickers in a twist.
Maybe she will have to copter in on them.

BTW, karlof1 -
Thanks so much for the reference to The Cambridge History of Russia.
I've got some reading to do. You add a lot of substance to the discussion.

Posted by: jared | May 7 2021 15:13 utc | 54

Now it is time for plan B - the Syria model: "If we can't have it we will destroy it!"

Unfortunately that is precisely what is happening. The US/UK propaganda system has been indoctrinating Myanmar citizens with their filth very successfully for decades, so they have sown their field well.

Quite a few (civilian) people are avidly looking forward to civil war. This is especially true in northern Shan State, which may well be the most critical key to the project. The joint oil/gas pipeline from Kyaukpyu to Kunming runs right through this region, and there are already about half a dozen well established rebel groups in this region alone. They have quite widespread support from the civilian population, and are strongly supported, trained and armed by the US, UK, and - I am told - other NATO countries even Germany. They have an established ability to inflict painful casualties on the Burmese army.

Even some private citizens running businesses say they want to - deliberately - completely crash the Myanmar economy to make ordinary Myanmar citizens desperate enough to come out on the streets en masse. [Indirectly linked to that and as an aside - I have some suspicions - not directly supported by evidence - that the absurdly suicidal economic policies waged against the Myanmar economy in the name of Covid-19 by the previous government might also have been aimed at largely destroying the Myanmar economy with the aim of hurting in particular the army financial interests (with, if that is the case, apparently little care for the heavy toll on ordinary workers in the country's cities)].

This morning a Buddhist monk in Yangon was starkly emphasising - with apparent glee - his belief that the situation is moving irrevocably towards civil war. I asked him directly: "Do you WANT civil war?" He said very firmly and decisively: "Yes, I DO want civil war."

Such people are stark raving mad. The US propaganda system has trained them well. Standing on the edge of a precipice, if the US say "Jump! Don't worry, the safety net below will catch you!" - many of these idiots will jump immediately without hesitation, crashing to their deaths as the safety net is just a lie. This is happening now, many of these people are already jumping.

The parallels with the self-destructive actions of the terrorist-vandal protestors in Hong Kong are astonishing. All the public hospitals in the country are closed, all the schools are closed (after one year of closure due to Covid), all hospital workers and teachers are on strike. Who are the ones who suffer most from this if not the strikers themselves? The military have their own hospitals. I assume all the military leaders will be sending their children to private scholls, which are probably also not striking. Bombs are being thrown at ... SCHOOLS!!! It is total insanity for the ordinary Myanmar people to support this.

For long (well before the military takeover) it has been true that every well-grounded warning elucidated on the military-controlled media were dismissed out of hand by most of the population as the "lies" and "propaganda" of the media, therefore they have become completely impervious to reason.

The level of pro-US indoctrination is overwhelming, but I have just an inkling that maybe a sizeable proportion of the population might quite soon turn against the outrages of this movement in its entirety - I just don't know.

Those central Burmese in favour of civil war fantasise that they can rely on the ethnic groups in Shan State, Karen State and Rakine State to conduct their war against the Burmese army on their behalf (augmented, it is true, by apparently thousands of young Burmese who have recently fled to the jungles of Karen State for military training), and not then declare their independence from Burma. IDIOTS! There is nothing the insurgent armies want more than indepedence from Burma. It is extremely unlikely that the insurgencies will succeed in doing anything but ravaging their own communities and causing widespread death and destruction to both sides; but in the most unlikely event that they could win against the Burmese army*, the notion that they would relinquish their long-cherished opportunity for complete national independence from Burma is absurd fantasy.

* Why is failure of the insurgency completely guaranteed? Given that the Myanmar Shan are avidly pro-American; and if succeeding to establish such independence would need foreign military assistance to maintain it - i.e. leading to a guaranteed US military presence; and given that critical strategic Chinese infrastructure runs right through the middle of the area; and given that China has a sizeable population of Chinese Shan on their side of the border liable to be incited to disturbances - it should be quite obvious that the chances of China massively intervening are greater than the chances (already certain anyway) of an intervention in Taiwan if Taiwan shoud declare independence.

"If we can't have it we will destroy it!" says it all.

Posted by: BM | May 7 2021 15:16 utc | 55

Some ignorant idiot troll above pretends that the word Myanmar means the Bamma ethnic group. Probably spouting lies straight out of VOA, RFA, BBC, Guardian, NYT and Washington Post.

The truth could not be more completely opposite. The word Myanmar is identical (allowing for two trivial orthographic ideosyncracies) to the word used for the region in at least two different Pali Buddhist texts dating from the first century AD. At that time the Burmese ethnic group did not even exist in the region at all, and did not arrive in the region until several hundred years later. The term likely applied to ethnic groups now referred to as Pye, or possibly one of several Mon-Khmer related groups or their antecedants (Mon, Palaung, Pa-au etc).

Posted by: BM | May 7 2021 15:29 utc | 56

... and by the way the word Mien or Mian refers to the Hmong not the Bamma, and is considered by the Hmong to be derisive at that.

Posted by: BM | May 7 2021 15:31 utc | 57

Myanmar a new Syria?

What powerful Western cabal is itching to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to make that happen?

AFAICT the Empire simply wants to interrupt oil flow. And all they need to do so is a local patsy resistance that can be blamed when a pipeline goes BOOM!

Bonus: another anti-China propaganda narrative.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 7 2021 15:39 utc | 58

Who are this Rohingya? They are the inhabitant of this area of the earth from early 100 AD.The place has changed hands a few times and has changed religion also But for 1400 years it maintained its independence.After that it became an area of contending influences between Bengali Muslim rulers and central Burmese Buddhist rulers .The later wanted to absorb it and the former prevent the efforts while the area itself flourished as a center with diverse cultures and religions and language. Arab and Portuguese culture also seeped into the area . The invasion oof this area by Aurangzeb who was trying to free a fugitive sheltered by the kingdom of Arkan created a difficult position of this country's future and 50 yrs later attack by Burmese central kingdom to cature and absorb the area led to dispersion of the local Rohingya muslims to British dominated Eastern India .Interestingly East India went to war against Burma to Burma prevent from forcing the dispalced muslims return to Rohigya ( Unbelievable today but human was need for all kinds of labors and agricultural and artisan works ) .Few skirmishes follower and Arkan ( Rakhine ) was swallowed by Britain. In partition time this area was claimed by Pakistan but was over ruled and was already y promised to Burma . People moved back after last Anglo Burma war .Rohingya genetic,architectural and cultural studies put them firmly in the area .They are not foreigners .The other is non- Muslim Rakhine,they are Buddhist but they never accepted the suzerainty of central Burma .They have AA- the liberation army for Rakhine .Often they work with Rohingya because their common history goes back to 100 years.

Now the borders of Burm a(Myanamr ) is populated by non Burmese Ethnic groups who share culture religions languages with China,Thai,with India ( different tribal groups ) . Mynamar is finished as one country any way. Militray can't win and if civilians come to power on the back of the makeshift army improvised by the Burmese and other ethnic groups in current situations,the age old hatred between Burmese and non Burmese will break out and play out in most gruesome form once they defeat the military. May be Rohingya will have a chance to go back .China will have to pay money to all these outlying splinter states to get to bay of Bengal.

Posted by: KA | May 7 2021 16:44 utc | 59

b is really struggling to explain domestic events in Myanmar as driven by foreign actors.

Posted by: Ben | May 7 2021 17:05 utc | 60

So is U.S. going to pack up it's traveling circus and take on the road to Myanmar?

I imagine the CIA will have prepared the site.

Posted by: jared | May 7 2021 17:56 utc | 61

BM @55, 56 & 57--

Thanks for your reports! Clearly, that monk is no longer Buddhist. Agree that the Outlaw US Empire has wanted to initiate an R2P intervention since Obama but Trump likely stalled the process. With Afghanistan lost as in intervention platform, Myanmar presents the best second option; although as with Korea, China won't stay idle long. Myanmar's government could ask China for assistance as Syria did with Russia if the situation destabilizes further. One way this differs from Syria is Myanmar isn't bordered by two existential rivals--Turkey and Occupied Palestine. And nobody's going to fall for the "moderate rebel" bullshit again. Sealing the border with India to stop infiltration of terrorists and weapons will be hard but must be attempted, with the Thai border needing similar treatment. Somehow Myanmar society needs to sort itself out, but its multiethnic dynamic makes that process difficult in the best of times and invites the sort of destabilization coveted by Evil Anglos who care nothing for the Myanmar people just as they cared nothing for Afghans.

jared @54--

Thanks for your reply! I'm pleased at least one barfly found that reference work to be of use.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 7 2021 18:24 utc | 62

@ 47 rancid and @50 corvo

The US govt and its associated local compradores are in full attack mode on one of the most successful PUBLIC health responses to COVID in the world. Thailand has been working on self-sufficiency in vaccine production and patiently watching for health issues in any and all of the experimental treatments. The compromised Thai language media is full of lavish praise for the "Rolls Royce" vaccine from Pfizer and denigrating the government's incredibly effective public response. All this is coming from the usual sources (Taksin, red shirt media and foreign funded NGO).

Same old same old which you probably know but fail to mention.

Posted by: Rawang | May 7 2021 18:51 utc | 63

Why are Russia & China enabling and funding the British & Dollar Imperialism?

Russia has positive trade balance with Britain and its imports declined from $9 billion to $5 billion per year, and exports around $24 billion. In which currency is the UK paying Russia? Russia’s overall holding are approx 30+ billion pounds ($16 billion long term investments). So Russia is enabling Britain’s growth and imperialism. China exports around $75 billion to the UK? How about China’s imports from the UK? Who is funding and enabling British Imperialism?

Britain (U$A too) has run a deficit on its international trade for nearly 40+ years in succession around $200+ billion per year. How does it pay without impacting its currency? Which nations are giving Britain funds to enable MONETARY Imperialism? How about the Dollar Imperialism? Which nations are funding and enabling the Dollar Empire?

When will the Russian and Chinese media expose the monetary imperialism? This monetary imperialism drives the chaos, ENSLAVEMENT and pursuit of hegemony in our world.

Are you enabling or ending imperialism and enslavement?

Posted by: Max | May 7 2021 18:59 utc | 64

I think we're ignoring an important factor in Myanmar.

One ethnic group, the Bamar, is 65 to 70 percent of the country's people: Myanmar's total population is 51 million, and 35 million are Bamar. The next largest group, the Shan, is around 4 million. Roughly one million Muslims (the Rohingya of recent fame) live in Myanmar.

The electoral map in b's article exaggerates the minority sizes; perhaps their territories are as large as pictured, but their populations are not. In the map, the size of the central part (called "Burmese", i.e., Bamar) does not reflect the domination of the major ethnic group.

What can we conclude from this? The CIA-instigated insurgencies can roil parts of Myanmar, but plunging the whole country into chaos will be difficult.

Posted by: Cyril | May 7 2021 19:41 utc | 65

Many thanks to B.M. @55, 56, and 57.
Your comments are very interesting for our understanding of the various ethnicities and their attitudes in Myanmar.
Best of luck, and please keep us informed.

Posted by: Australian lady | May 7 2021 22:29 utc | 66

This is why reason why the chinese rate Xinjiang at their top danger, because of the "multiethnic" society.

Ethnic conflict that rises in civil war is a hella drug.

Posted by: Smith | May 7 2021 23:05 utc | 67

@ bm.... thank you... keep us posted...

Posted by: james | May 8 2021 1:17 utc | 68

another badly researched story, b. The Chinese are encroaching on Myanmar and are actually just moving into and around the country as though they own it. The people don't want them and will try to push them out before they are swamped and overrun.

Posted by: don't believe it | May 8 2021 1:38 utc | 69

Apparently geopolitics are also preferred by M.O.A. readers like Patroklos @18, who likes b's "crisp and spot on" assessment of this particular geopolitical looming conflict. I do too, but as I transition away from "the left", I find leftist ideology more and more repugnant, and not simply "bullshit". That seems like a "nothing to see here" response.
I realise that it must be difficult for academics these days. Best to stick to geopolitics.
Posted by: Australian lady | May 7 2021 2:09 utc | 27

Imo, the word "left" has been captured, redefined and dragged through the mud by the Right Wing Cranks who redefined it. 'Left' used to represent the desires and aspirations of the Working Class. Now it means whatever the Right Wing Cranks want it to mean and it's ALWAYS used as a smear against anyone the Right deems a threat. Some of the viewpoints attributed to the Right's imaginary Left are preposterous, to put it mildly.

Neo-Liberalism (aka Privatise Everything) was never going to succeed whilst Trade Unions, with Rights, Voices and Votes were allowed to exist. Hence the campaign, which commenced circa 1970, to smear, delegitimise, and then revoke Union Rights and privileges. It should be obvious that in 2021 the only people who use the term 'Left' as a smear are the Greedy Assholes or their Political Tools.

The cutest thing about the successful destruction of the Union Movement is that 4+ decades of Wage Freezes has left workers with insufficient financial resources to withdraw their labour in pursuit of Justice.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 8 2021 4:20 utc | 70

China and several ASEAN countries already have meetings with some implicit agreements. They will not allow any direct military interference by foreign powers. So I think the chance of Syrian model where foreign military propping up certain groups will not happen.

There are of course plenty of possibility for ethnic and civil wars. The key is to stop the flow of illegal weapons into the country. Given that China control the borders to some of the most militant minorities, it might be able to assert some influences. Clearly Myanmar will not be safe nor stable in the near future, but it will NOT be the next Syria, because it is close to China.

Posted by: d dan | May 8 2021 4:43 utc | 71

So sad this happened to Myanmar, visited Yangon back in 2019, it felt like Vietnam back in the 90s, but still the people were good, I love their milk tea and bought some cheap jade bracelets.

Posted by: Smith | May 8 2021 5:24 utc | 72

Clarity on the name:

"Myanmar" is the high classical (formal) adjectival form of Bamar: basically the equivalent of "The Honored and Official Union of the Bamaran" (like, "American"). Also, the name change happened only in foreign languages; the name in the native language didn't change; that remains "The Myanmar Region":

And yes: the name "Burma" was originally kept precisely because it referenced no particular people; the name is an English invention that is not used by any group in Myanmar, while "Myanmar" would be the equivalent of what, in English, we would say "Burman" as in "Burman Ethnic Group" (note that it's an adjective, not a noun); so, Myanmar is a stupid name even in the Bamar language:

Aung San Suu Kyi (and her father) pushed to keep the name "Burma" because it's more inclusive and less formal:

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 8 2021 5:51 utc | 73

what a rotten deeply flawed conspiracy laden analysis.
i have lived in myanmar for 10 years, I'm Australian.
There have been protests and accompanying military atrocities all over Myanmar, even in quite small villages. The cdm movement is far from fizzling out as you claim. Almost all hospitals and schools

are closed as are government depts

Posted by: peter | May 8 2021 8:41 utc | 74

Louis Proyect is so consistent. Any terrorist in a working-man's garb gets his support just so long as the USA is financing them. Does it matter that the terrorists in Myanmar (remember, these are the same people responsible for the atrocities against the Rohingya) are led by elites who have their own NATO-tied economic interests that persuade them to oppose the military? Apparently not. There's a word for this: crypto-Fascism.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 8 2021 15:24 utc | 75

@ Posted by: peter | May 8 2021 8:41 utc | 73

I don't doubt that.

The thing is: there's a distance between protesting against a military dictatorship and wanting your country to be partitioned into two or more countries.

The general point of discussion here is that the West has now come to a point where it has decided Myanmar will become the next Syria. We're debating its feasibility.

Posted by: vk | May 8 2021 15:52 utc | 76

Rawang @63:

Everything you say is true. It's also useless because, as you know, thanks to massive corruption in the Royal Thai Army and Police, superspreaders at illegal events have rendered Thai medical infrastructure helpless except in a desperate catch-up situation.

Pacifica Advocate @75:

Proyect has been one of the most embarrassing things about Counterpunch, right down there with the occasional babblings from the Maitreya cult and Paul Street's incessant ravings to the tune of "Disgusting dollar-drenched Democrats--vote for them!"

Posted by: corvo | May 8 2021 17:02 utc | 77

A recurrent view in many Buddhist traditions is that whenever the Buddha’s dispensation (P  sāsana) is perceived to be in danger, acts of intolerance or discrimination, and even violence and warfare, can be regarded as justified to defend Buddhism against its enemies (see Bartholomeusz 2002; Jerryson 2011; Turner 2014; Walton and Hayward 2014, 20–23). This defense is what is perceived to justify the contemporary Burmese nationalist movements.2

Burmese Buddhists accused Burmese women who married Indians ‘of “ruination” of the Burmese race,’ producing children of ‘mixed blood’. Such accusations were, Ikeya explains, ‘imbued with biological racism and the eugenics discourse of the “degeneration” of the race’  Later, in 1982, such views were echoed in General Ne Win’s explanation that ‘Racially, only pure-blooded nationals will be called citizens. In a speech delivered in 1979, he talked about the ‘pure blood’ of the national races and raised the issue of the risk of disloyalty of people with ‘mixed blood’

A recurrent theme in 969 and Ma Ba Tha sermons, but also in nationalist books and articles, is a narrative of how the Buddha was a devoted nationalist both in his previous lives as a Buddha-to-be (P. bodhisatta) and in his last life as Gotama Buddha, who defended his ‘race’ and religion. Sometimes this theme is linked to a narrative depicting the Burmese people – the Burmese nation (referring to the 135 national ‘races’) – as blood-descendants of the Buddha’s Sākiya Clan

Burmese popel have changed the religion in the name of preserving it and has used the transformed religion to articulate a complex taht is racial exclusive discriminatory and entitled . How can this nation remain unified ?

Posted by: KA | May 8 2021 19:32 utc | 78

@Rancid 47

I always crack up when I see hippies with their little free Tibet flags, chants and Tshirts. It really cracks me up when I see punks who should know better gobble that dreck up. The Tibetan people were some of the poorest people in the world, forced to tithe to the wealthiest people in Tibet, the priesthood.

Look at the riches of the Potola and contrast that with the toothless peasants who were practically forced labor for these so called Buddhists. Look at the lame Dalai Lama who claims to be spiritual and reincarnated from the same exceptionalist nonentity over and over......who abandoned his own people to live a life of luxury. He has a carbon footprint like the many rich who jet set all over the world. He's a phony. I've met him. He's a nice guy but so are a lot of other fnckers. Point being that Tibet is way better off.

Posted by: Paul Simon LeGree | May 8 2021 20:13 utc | 79

Chinese pipeline through Myanmar = good, Other pipeline through Afghanistan = bad.

Not all oil comes from the ME: Russia's Sakhalin north of China has plenty too:

Posted by: Antonym | May 9 2021 2:34 utc | 80

Posted by: vk | May 8 2021 15:52 utc | 76

I don't doubt that.

The thing is: there's a distance between protesting against a military dictatorship and wanting your country to be partitioned into two or more countries.

The general point of discussion here is that the West has now come to a point where it has decided Myanmar will become the next Syria. We're debating its feasibility.

One of the syrian project's great success is the thorough narrative management which has lead most consumers to believe the Western block's contribution to the conflict to be limited to tweets and cookies. There is a true disconnect between the hard reality of what it actually takes to lead a full blown, multi front, decade long modern war and the public's perception of the belligerents.

Folks will watch clip after clip of ATGM hits against the syrian army, yet never give a single thought of the unit cost of the weapon and the training it requires.

People who are overwhelmed with the logistics of a wedding reception yet show no curiosity at the miracle which brought fleets of toyotas with 23mm cannons into the hands of militants and more ammunition than a small country could dream of.

Homeowners who struggle with an ikea instruction but fail do recognize the engineering feat and equipment behind the kilometres of tunnels in militant held areas.

Now, can this model be transposed to Myanmar? I don't know. Many key elements are still lacking for the time being. For one thing, the narrative front is far from conquered. In 2011, Assad was a household name. Who here can name a burmese general?

This is no minor detail. When a talk-show host can spontaneously throw a joke on gas or chemicals with a small wink at Syria, it means the desired narrative has reached a state where it is self feeding. Relentless news flashes, background noise and memes will create a situation that is conducive to seemingly limitless intervention. With proper marketing, a B52 run on downtown Damascus could be sold as a humanitarian operation.

Posted by: robin | May 9 2021 8:29 utc | 81

Christian J. Chuba @20

You are the victim (or intended result) of MSM misinformation, since this is exactly what it aims to achieve.

The Western MSM simply blocks/refuses to inform you that China and Russia have already provided India way more supplies (Oxygen Concentrators, PPE, Vaccines, etc.) than what US/UK & Co put together.

India was initially NOT willing to accept China's help due to its self-inflicted anti-China propaganda during the border skirmish last year and Indian ruling elites' hubris.

On April 24th, China firmly supports the Indian gov&people in fighting COVID19. We are willing to provide support at Indian's needs, and are keeping in touch with India for this.

April 25th, 800 Oxygen Concentrators have been airlifted today to #Delhi ; 10,000 more in a week.

April 30th, Since this April, China has supplied more than 5000 ventilators, 21,569 oxygen generators, over 21.48 million masks & around 3800 tons of medicines to India

Chinese President #XiJinping on Friday sent a message of sympathy to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India's COVID-19 situation. China is willing to help India in the fight against COVID-19.

For two days in a row, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a message of sympathy and had a phone call with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

But, take a look at the twitter of S. Jaishankar, who thanks profusely and re-twitter Indian reporter's gratitude for "100 ventilators & 95 oxygen concentrators" and his cold, if not arrogant, response to China' FM Wangyi's call and offer of help.

<--- IF you care to read through the replies under his twitter, you'd wonder how thoroughly brainwashed the majority of Indians are!

Indian government and media have thank all the countries, even the smallest ones, for supporting its fighting against covid19, but they do not have the decency and grace to say "thank you" to China, whose workers have been working overtime during the 5-day May holiday.

May 1st, In the past two weeks, 61 cargo flights have been in operation from China to India , transporting various urgently needed medical supplies for India.

Posted by: lulu | May 9 2021 17:26 utc | 82

Another comparison:

Posted by: lulu | May 9 2021 17:30 utc | 83

The US sent 1700 oxygen generators to India. China sends 40,000.

Thanks to the total black out of MSM, even some of the readers of MOA do NOT know how many supplies China has provided for India。

(It's curious that I am not allowed to post the link of the above mentioned numbers on MOA, it simply "eat" away the link! This is not the first time I encounter such problem. Does any of you have had the same problem?)

Posted by: lulu | May 9 2021 17:36 utc | 84

Talking about China, it was hilarious that The US Swamp ordered NASA to step up to the China-bashing plate to 'condemn' China for allowing a 20-ton rocket booster to make an uncontrolled re-entry this week. The bathos, hypocrisy and idiocy were hilighted in a weekly comedy 'News' roundup yesterday.
They showed a clip of a sensationalist commercial TV News anchor breathing a sigh of relief that the space-junk crashed into the Indian Ocean, West of the Maldives Island group and "just missed Oz", then pointed out that the Maldives are 6,000 km North West of Perth, WA.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 14 2021 13:57 utc | 85

The Burmese military aught to invite Chinese Military and teachers into Myunmar to re-edicate those obfuscate youngsters that put their hopes on North Atlantic and Jerusalemic adoration of Mammon and Ba'al and ask them to find out what the real World is all about. It seems they (the Chinese state) have by now been successful at this in Xinjiang --so why not invite their expertise fro quelling (Saudi=)-islamist superstiton and apply their re-education methods to the so-called Buddhist militant millionaritan brood and broth that simmers in ole Burma?

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | May 15 2021 17:48 utc | 86

Sad to see this happening to Myanmar.

Posted by: DHG | May 20 2021 17:44 utc | 87

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