Yeah, now, see – this is what I was worried about when I heard about the military seizure of power in Burma.
Instead of stopping the rise of a Thai-style “resistance,” it triggered it.
They’re all out there doing the Hunger Games sign.
Hundreds of students and teachers took to Myanmar’s streets on Friday to demand the military hand power back to elected politicians, as resistance to a coup swelled with demonstrations in several parts of the country, even in the tightly controlled capital.
In the largest rallies since the takeover, protesters at two universities in Yangon flashed a three-fingered salute, a sign of resistance borrowed from “The Hunger Games” movies, that they adopted from anti-government protesters in neighboring Thailand. They chanted “Long live Mother Suu” — a reference to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained — and “We don’t want military dictatorship.”
“We will never be together with them,” lecturer Dr. Nwe Thazin said of the military at a protest at the Yangon University of Education. “We want that kind of government to collapse as soon as possible.”
Resistance has been gathering steam since the military declared Monday that it would take power for one year — a shocking setback for the Southeast Asian country that had been making significant, if uneven progress, toward democracy after decades of military rule. The opposition began with people banging pots and pans outside their windows in Yangon, the country’s largest city — under the cover of darkness each evening to avoid being targeted. But now people are beginning to take to the streets, including students and medical workers, some of whom are refusing to work.
Students have been central to previous protest movements against military dictatorship.
I know everyone is sick of me saying “I predicted this,” but no one is more sick of that than me.
However, when this military seizure of power was announced, I said: “I hope this isn’t a plan to trigger an uprising that wouldn’t have happened under the democracy system.”
I theorized that some Western intelligence could have provoked the military, which would then be designed to lead to a backlash against it, with all of these convenient “students” showing up to start making demands.
If I was the military, I would meet with Suu, and ask tell her, “okay, what kind of a deal can we make here?”
Because despite the hopes of authoritarian figures everywhere – who, obviously, I do tend to support – there is no way to stop a mob of “students” using force.
That’s what Russia is in the process of learning right now.
I wish that people would just literally read the Art of War, because Sun Tzu actually explained all of this nearly 3,000 years ago.
You have to have some kind of backing of the masses of people. You cannot simply rule through violence. I wish it did work, but it doesn’t, and it never has, ever.
And the problem is, even if it is just a small group of people that is rising up, once you start to crack down on them, more people start to support them, because crackdowns are bad optics. So you end up triggering people who had previously supported you, or at least been apathetic towards you, into being against you.
It’s just… It’s not that complicated.
Well, frankly, if I’m honest: having women in public society does make it more complicated.
This current new uprising in Myanmar is literally 100% women. It’s always 75-85% women, but this is literally 100%.
And yes, that does add a factor of complexity that Sun Tzu didn’t have to deal with.
But look: I’m not running a country. I’m just a guy with a website. Someone, somewhere, should have a group of people in a room, gaming this out.
I’m just going to tell you people right now: go to Suu, ask her what she wants, do the negotiations, and put her back in front of the people. Because if you don’t do that, there is a machine with totally unlimited resources that will completely crush your country.
Suu isn’t some Alexi Navalny figure. She’s shown willingness to work with the military, and even completely destroyed her entire global reputation to defend getting rid of the Moslems. She’s a reasonable person. Tell her you’ll write a new Constitution that splits power between you and her, and doesn’t prevent her from being president like the previous Constitution did.
That is your only option. There is no other possible way out of this.
If you’re not going to do that, then shut off the internet, identify and arrest the leaders of the protests, and hope for the best. I don’t think that will work, but if you’re going to do anything other than get Mama Suu back in front, you have to shut the internet off right now.