Obama and Clinton to visit Myanmar on 19. November to “push for Democratic Reform”.
(nsnbc – Christof Lehmann) U.S. President Barak Obama, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will embark on a historic visit to Myanmar on 19. November 2012. It is the first visit of a U.S. American President to Myanmar. Whether it is a friendly visit to the country which is struggling to reform while maintaining national security and integrity is debatable.
The bullet points on the Obama – Clinton agenda are, pushing for democratic reform, economic growth and national reconciliation. What is the implicit meaning of those glossy buzzwords and what does the agenda mean in terms of real politic ? What are the implications in terms of the development of a genuine and independent democracy by the people of Myanmar for the people of Myanmar ? What do they mean in terms of the economic independence of the most rich regional nation in natural resources, and in terms of the so-called ethnic conflicts and national security.
According to the Press Secretary of the White House Jay Carney, U.S. President Obama will focus on continuing the democratic reform, national reconciliation, economic growth, and improvements in the bilateral relationship between the United States and Myanmar. According to the spokeswoman of the State Department Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will accompany the President to Myanmar and it will be Clinton’s second visit to Myanmar within one year. According to Nuland, Clinton will be taking part in a meeting with Myanmar´s President Thein Sein and a meeting with the chairwoman of the National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to Craney, Obama has praised the government of Myanmar with regard to progress in terms of democracy and human rights reforms but Obama also emphasized that Myanmar, which Obama called ”a former pariah nation” still had a long way to go.
While Obama praised Myanmar for progress, Amnesty International opposed the visit, warning that it may strengthen the position of Myanmar´s leaders. Amnesty International demanded that Obama should call for the release of all political prisoners and an immediate stop of the abuse against the Rohingya in Myanmar´s Rakhine State and against other ethnic minorities. In fact, Amnesty International is precisely demanding the real politic agenda of the U.S.A. For analysts who know the U.S.A.´s post-modern instruments of subversion, the bilateral relations and the geo-politic situation surrounding Myanmar the statement of Amnesty is hardly surprising.
To understand the full implications of Amnesty International´s statement it is necessary, first of all, to remember that the Director of Amnesty International USA Susanne Nozzel is the State Department´s and Hillary Clinton’s adviser on NGO – Government relations and that Amnesty International increasingly comes under fire for acting as a foreign policy instrument of the United States. An instrument that lends itself to the engineering of a public opinion that justifies interventionist U.S. Foreign policies.
The latest and most prominent examples of Amnesty´s role as the instrument for interventionist U.S. Foreign policy are the cases of Libya and Syria. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the Obama – Clinton visits implications in terms of real politic.
The two most recent examples of the U.S.A. ”pushing democracy” are Libya and Syria. Before the U.S. – led intervention in Libya the country had a well-functioning democratic system which in many respects was a more direct form of Democracy than that of the USA. According to the United Nations Human Development Index it was the most developed African nation. The United Nations was about to nominate Libya´s former leader Muammar Ghadafi for a human rights award. Womens rights, the rights of religious and ethnic minorities were guarantied. Education, medical treatment, housing and many other services were provided and paid for by the Libyan government. After the intervention under the pretext of bringing freedom, democracy and human rights to Libya the country has descended into a state of civil war. Minorities are fighting each other, women are discriminated, human rights abuses are rampant.
As for the United States; citizens can be arrested on secret charges, secret evidence, detained indefinitely without the right to see a lawyer, to face their accuser or to be brought before a judge. The human rights record of the U.S.A. Includes outrages such as Guantanamo, the torture, sexual abuse and murder of non-convicted civilian prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In cases where the United States finds it convenient it makes use of extraordinary rendition. That is, the kidnapping and disappearance of persons into prisons in third countries for torture or execution. The list could go on and on.
A good advise for Myanmar´s President Thein Sein would be to ask: ”What brand of Democracy is it, that U.S. President Obama and Hillary Clinton want to push in Myanmar”. As for Suu Kyi it would be advisable for her to ask the same question, but it is doubtful whether she dares to bite the hand that feeds her even though the U.S. – Bangladeshi attempt to destabilize Rakhine State and Suu-Kyi´s resistance against too overtly being in the pocket of the west by making statements with well-chosen words, that there are no simple solutions to the complex problems indicates that she is a shrewd politician who may not always want the best for Myanmar but who definitely wants the best for Myanmar if the next best would be equivalent to shooting herself in the foot.
The next glossy buzzword on the US Agenda for Myanmar is economic growth. Now that is an interesting point in deed. When was the last time you have heard anything about economic growth in the USA ?
So lets cut through the crap and be honest. In terms of natural resources Myanmar is the most rich country in the Greater Mekong Region. It is an extremely attractive economic partner for anyone. Who is supposed to benefit from Obama´s economic growth plans for Myanmar ? Myanmar or the USA and Bangladesh ?
Since the discovery of vast resources of oil and natural gas off the shores of Myanmar´s Rakhine State and the establishment of two gas and oil pipeline projects the USA has suddenly become very interested in Myanmar´s economic development; and let us not forget Myanmar´s human rights, freedom and democracy. Neither the one or the other pipeline project, that is, the one that delivers gas via Bangladesh to India and the one that delivers oil and gas to China are particularly lucrative for Bangladesh and the USA.
How wonderful that the USA always can rely on its long standing partner in subversion Bangladesh.
Ever since the discovery of the additional gas resources; ever since Bangladesh became truly annoyed by the fact that all previous attempts to conquer Myanmar´s Rakhine State by proxy or by direct military aggression had failed, both the internally displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh and and the externally displaced Bangladeshi Rohingya in Myanmar had to suffer the abuse of being abused by Bangladesh once again.
The greasy details, the interplay between intelligence services, the United Nations, the Al-Qaeda associated HuJI which has poured into the Rohingya camps over the last years and the USA as well as other western powers geo-politic interest in aggravating the problem have been detailed in two previous articles. Recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand the situation in Myanmar. (See under Related Articles)
In other words, Obama and Clinton have the audacity to pressure Myanmar´s President Sein Thein with the aid of a corrupt Amnesty International. The demand is give citizenship to the Rohingya population that has been displaced from Bangladesh and which Bangladesh refuses to reintegrate into the social structures of Bangladesh. They are after all too handy a tool for the subversion of Myanmar.
President Sein Thein knows as well as Suu-Kyi that Myanmar is being targeted by the U.S.A. And allies. It is not unlikely that we will see a more nationally confident Suu-Kyi, now that the country is implementing reforms. It will be interesting to see whether Suu-Kyi will dare to bite the hand that feeds her to score domestic political points. It would surely also help Sein Thein, and it would most definitely help Myanmar preserve its national security and integrity.