It's disgusting to hear about the slaughter of all those people in Burma. I keep thinking about what happened in Cambodia, how 25% of the population were murdered by Khmer Rouge, and I wonder how things will really unfold for the Burmese as they have no ability to overcome the corrupt government that has bedeviled them for decades.
I keep thinking of Gandhi's methods and the fact that in order for passive resistance to work, there needs to be some sense of shame on the part of the agressors. In cases such as Khmer Rouge or asshats like Hitler or Pol Pot, there's no question of shame, no matter what anyone in U2 says. The peoples' ploughshares will not keep them alive.
Burma is a multi-nation state and most of these ethnicities don't recognize the military government that's been terrorizing them, but that certainly won't keep that government from oppressing them all. It's a mess, and I hope the people will rise en masse and overthrow the goons, but the average Burmese citizen has to rely on the good intentions of the gubmint, and the gubmint relies on their monopoly of fire power and so it goes and has gone, really, for decades, with little hope of change.
There's a movie based on a true story of an American doctor who got stuck in Burma (in the 80s, I think) called Beyond Rangoon. Laura Bowman was traveling and missed her flight out of Burma and got stuck there during a military crackdown. I'm sure there's no end of over-simplification and embroidery in the film, but the man who plays the professor-turned-tour-guide is reenacting his life, basically, and his role in Laura Bowman's story.
I don't have anything brilliant or insightful to say about this, but I do keep remembering other times in recent history when it's been impossible to intervene, when we knew what was happening at that very moment somewhere else and all we could do is sit on our hands. During the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, I remember news images of thousands of bodies floating from Rwanda on the river Ruzizi and spilling out into Lake Tanganyika. Unthinkable.
I wish people weren't so crappy to each other. But since so many obviously have their caps set to run roughshod over the rest of civilization, I am a firm believer in having the means of self-defense at the ready and in the hands of the common man. I think we all need to look to the world, watch and learn, and refuse to accept the kind of bullshit other nations are being forced to accept, be they European players overrun by religious fanatics or a disarmed public who must do the bidding of the military junta du jour.