In connection with the Free Burma initiative, I’ve reaquainted myself with Rage Against the Machine. I learned that RATM has reunited when Audioslave disbanded in February 2007. Zach de la Rocha had a low-key musical career and once more joined Morello, Commerford and Wilk for some great music and political activism. When RATM appeared, I was listening to a lot of punk music and had gone to a few Van’s Warped tours. I was rollerblading on vert and street and had just started university in Sherbrooke.

It seems to me that the song Freedom is most appropriate for what is happening in Myanmar. RATM wrote this song for the Leonard Peltier cause.

Is the current situation in Myanmar enough to warrant a full call to arms?

Mistreating Buddhist monks is one of the most heinous acts that I can think of, especially killing them or detaining them. They are monks. Naturally, the Holocaust is something different. From the reports, I don’t believe that something as grotesque as genocide is happening in Myanmar, but it’s enough to wonder how much policital and revolutionary inertia the Saffron Revolution can generate.

The latest reports tell of raids at monasteries and incredibly harsh sentences handed down to detained monks. It’s believed that the state controlled media and propaganda machines from the military dictarship is squashing the reports on how many deaths have occurred. Until now the official death toll is only 13. However, it’s believes to be a lot more than that. The Daily Mail reports that the deaths are in the thousands. This comes from the defector Colonel Hla Win. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Past events have shown that the international community is slow to react to such issues, including genocide. The UN will only act too late. The US or ASEAN won’t do anything either. Actually I think that China could be the only party who could really interfere, but will they? The Politbüro is communist and they traditionally don’t really like religion that much (Anyone remember Nepal?).

Thailand also has a junta in power, yet I doubt that anything will ever happen like it did in Myanmar. The Thais revere their monks. Naturally this doesn’t imply that the Burmese do not revere their monks, it’s just a sad state of affairs when the military dictatorship raids monasteries. The military in Myanmar is shooting themselves in the foot by moving against the monks. It will create sympathy for the Saffron Revolution everywhere.

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.