Yesterday, I signed an Amnesty International petition for our government to do more and for the U.N. to do more--although President Bush did use his speech at the U.N. this week to protest the brutal regime and to call for new sanctions. Although, why he has stepped up against Myanmar/Burma and has remained essentially silent on places like the genocide in Darfur is beyond me.
It seems from this side of the globe that there is little that a concerned average citizen can do to prevent the brutality in Burma. I've signed petitions and bought fundraising items to help free the imprisoned democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, etc., and I pray. there seems little else to do.
In the meantime, I ponder things like why is it that the human rights abuses of Sadaam Hussein were (and still are) used as a major justification for the war in Iraq and the atrocities of Myanmar/Burma or the government of Sudan merit economic sanctions at best? The answer is obvious, of course, Myanmar, Sudan, Rwanda or any number of other places were atrocities occur but remain largely ignored by our government are in places that are not sitting on a giant reserve of a natural resource like oil or in a location crucial to American foreign policy. America's language about caring for human rights is used in a cold and calculated manner to advance other interests and rarely for justice's sake alone.
If the regime in control of Myanmar is as bad as Bush said this week at the United Nations, why aren't we invading or attacking? Similar language was used to describe Sadaam Hussein's burial policies and to urge people to support the war. Such appeals should automatically make us suspicious, because in reality, our government, no matter the party, will do what it feels it needs to do for its own best interest--if that topples a regime that brutalizes its people all the better, but don't look for us to invade or threaten military action when only human rights are at stake.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that we invade Myanmar, although I would support peacekeeping troops in Darfur, or that we go and invade every country that has a dictator, all I am trying to do is point out our nation's hypocrisy.
As Christians, if we really believed the people of Myanmar were our neighbors, would we do more to support them? Probably. What more could we do? I'm not sure.
Grace and Peace,