September 26, 2007

Myanmar Military Shoot Protestors

The military junta in Myanmar has begun shooting the monks whose protests have filled the streets for over a week. According to a French diplomat, bodies and blood can be seen on the ground, but it still has not stopped the demonstrations:

The Myanmar military opened fire on crowds of protesters in Yangon, almost certainly causing casualties, a French diplomat in the city said Wednesday.

"Shots were fired by the security forces, first in the air, then at the demonstrators. We cannot know if many people were injured but we can be sure that blood was spilled," Emmanuel Mouriez, number two at the French embassy, told French radio RTL.

"We have several witness accounts describing people lying on the ground," he added.

The counteroffensive started with teargas and cracking heads. When that and a few dozen arrests did nothing, police started firing warning shots above the protestors' heads. That also apparently failed to move the monks off the street, and the police started aiming lower.

This will have one of two results. Either it will act as a Tiananmen Square moment, where the protests shut down from fear of the government, or it will serve as a death blow to the junta. Killing people openly for peaceful protests is the last resort of tyrants, and when it fails to work, the people find their power to overthrow the tyranny.

Early reports have the protests continuing. Let's hope the junta reads the writing on the wall.

UPDATE: Jon Swift is relieved that he doesn't have to care about this, gauging from the blogospheric reaction. Nice tweak, Jon. I don't see why this issue has to take a partisan bent here in the US, and I don't think it will.


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Comments (6)

Posted by SonnyJim | September 26, 2007 8:30 AM


Why do you insist on calling Burma by that name?

Posted by mikey | September 26, 2007 10:09 AM

This is a regime that is so paranoid over an invasion, they moved their capital in secret. We're keeping our embassy in Rangoon (Yangon, to them) because we are not going to go along with and spend money on this nonsense.

Don't be surprised by anything they do at this point.

Posted by Jeff | September 26, 2007 10:10 AM

Because Miss Teen South Carolina would have problems finding it on the map if it were referred to as Burma.

Insofar as the monks, one has to wonder what the junta thinks it can gain by shooting monks. That about as much a no-win situation as I can imagine.

Posted by Seven | September 26, 2007 12:14 PM

Captain, The only reason this has continued is because the Burmese lack the resoluteness required of tyranny. There are no protest parades emanating from mass graves; the skulls of Tiananmen Square are part of the pavement.

One or two dead is a tragedy; one or two million is a historical/statistical footnote. As Sir Winston Churchill said: "Virtuous motives, trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness."

Posted by SonnyJim | September 26, 2007 1:12 PM

BY the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"

Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat -- jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:

Bloomin' idol made o'mud --
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd --
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin' my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.

Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

But that's all shove be'ind me -- long ago an' fur away,
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."

No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay . . .

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?

Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be --
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;

On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

Rudyard Kipling

Posted by eaglewings | September 26, 2007 4:59 PM

Once the Buddhist monks get involved things are serious. Their peacefulness in truly being martyrs unafraid of death (in contrast to homicidal islamofascists) give them a moral superiority that cannot be measured. Sort of like the anniversary in Little Rock we celebrate today, when the moral superiority of nine african american schoolchildren shamed the nation into sanity. I hope Burma gets shamed into sanity as well, or it will accelerate along the path blazed by Mugabe in Rhodesia.

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