Burma burns

posted at 4:04 pm on September 28, 2007 by Bryan

In the past few years satellite imagery has uncovered or helped document all kinds of interesting things: The giant new Chinese submarine, for instance, and the genocide in Darfur. Now satellite imagery is being used to monitor the violence in Burma.

Satellite images confirm reports of burned villages, forced relocations and other human-rights abuses in Myanmar, scientists said on Friday.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science said the high-resolution photographs taken by commercial satellites document a growing military presence at 25 sites across eastern Myanmar, matching eyewitness reports.

“We found evidence of 18 villages that essentially disappeared,” AAAS researcher Lars Bromley said in an interview.

“We got reporting in late April that a set of villages in Karen state had been burned. We were actually able to identify burn scars on the ground — square-shaped burn scars the size of houses,” Bromley added.

The junta can cut off the local internet and silence bloggers, but it can’t blind satellites. It also can’t stop all of the on the ground journalists by killing one of them. Here’s a video on the government’s crackdown that emerged back in April. It’s graphic, but worth a watch.

Like North Korea’s gulag archipelago, photographed and reported on four years ago, Burma’s brutal crackdown can’t be swept under the rug.


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Burma needs to go the way Romania finally did.

I like that you are naming it Burma in defiance, Bryan and MM!!!

The rest of the world needs to unite. This is very dire and significant for all our freedoms. Left needs to get on board too.

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Also, key, this is a very decisive moment for which direction China wants to take. All eyes are on you too!

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:11 PM

And we take our freedom for granted.

There are people in this and other free countries who want to give away their freedoms while those who live in repressive nations fight to gain what we have.

Tony737 on September 28, 2007 at 4:20 PM

I went over to Counter Punch just to see if they found a way to blame this all on Bush. They do have a few articles on Burma, but they practically give the government the white glove treatment even though they know it’s a military dictatorship.

Random Burma Fact: China is the largest supplier of weapons to the Burmese Military Junta. Burma is China’s water outlet to the Indian Ocean.

gabriel sutherland on September 28, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Also, key, this is a very decisive moment for which direction China wants to take. All eyes are on you too!

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Entelechy, your heart is in the right place. And I wish that China concerned itself with such matters. But, after Tiananmen Square, it AGAIN became clear that neither China, nor the world, gave a flying rat’s ass about freedom. All America did was increase its trade deficit with China, and all the world did was give the Olympics to China.

The extermination of those who seek freedom is irrelevant to the world. Trade is all that matters.

Heavy sigh.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 4:28 PM

What does the worthless U.N. have to say about all of this ?

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Good point about China, Entel. I really did believe that they’d overthrow their commie dictators like the Russians and the East Euros (Romanians!) did. Someday they will, but until that day…

Tony737 on September 28, 2007 at 4:30 PM

man this is very disturbing, i had no idea it was that bad and getting worse. :(
freakin UN is useless

trailortrash on September 28, 2007 at 4:44 PM

What does the worthless U.N. have to say about all of this ?

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 4:30 PM

They were going to put out yet another ‘condemning’ resolution today…as if that/they matter. It’s all just fluff, by a good chunk of potentates.

OEYC and Tony, China wants the cake and eat it too – it doesn’t work like that. Their lower classes, who’re into the multi-millions, have not benefitted from the up-swing, and will some day, hopefully sooner than later, demand to be heard. They can’t shoot them all.

Burma and Cuba must be free in my lifetime!

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:45 PM

I don’t really know what the issues are in Burma, and being too lazy to research the matter I’ll ask the question. What are they fighting about?

Are they fighting over ethnicity, religion, form of government…?

jaime on September 28, 2007 at 4:50 PM

They can’t shoot them all

There are far more efficient ways of disposing of large numbers of undesirables…I daresay we’ll see some creative use of them before long.

Ochlan on September 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM

…which the UN will “strongly condemn” before returning to the luncheon that was so inconsiderately interrupted by the screams of the dying.

Ochlan on September 28, 2007 at 4:58 PM

We could ask Bono to give a concert.

Limerick on September 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM

OEYC and Tony, China wants the cake and eat it too – it doesn’t work like that. Their lower classes, who’re into the multi-millions, have not benefitted from the up-swing, and will some day, hopefully sooner than later, demand to be heard. They can’t shoot them all.

Burma and Cuba must be free in my lifetime!

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:45 PM

That’s my point – change, if it comes, will only come from within. The world doesn’t give a rat’s ass about freedom, either in China, or in Burma. Freedom only comes, because the People demand it from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 5:08 PM

If that poor woman is counting on the UN to take action, she’s gonna have a long wait.

My prayers go out to the people of Burma.

The Ugly American on September 28, 2007 at 5:16 PM

Freedom only comes, because the People demand it from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 5:08 PM

OR the USA imposes it from without. See IRAQ, Afganistian, Europe, Japan.

unseen on September 28, 2007 at 5:25 PM

Commenters are writing as if they’re expecting someone to come up with a practical way to stop or reduce the mass murders in Burma. I’ll just mention, then, that it seems daisy-cutting the capital would save more lives than it would take, destroy an especially disgusting oligarchy, give their surviving subjects the liberty at least to fend for themselves, and instill fear in most other tyrants and would-be tyrants. No one’s likely to daisy-cut the capital of Burma, of course, but no one’s likely to do anything else effective either.

Kralizec on September 28, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Freedom only comes, because the People demand it from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 5:08 PM

But sometimes the people have no means to fight back. You can’t go hand to hand with trained military carrying AK-47′s. We should arm them and provide supplies. We should do the same in Darfur.

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 5:36 PM

We should arm them and provide supplies

Yep…we’ve got a great track record of doing just that

Ochlan on September 28, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Good point about China, Entel. I really did believe that they’d overthrow their commie dictators like the Russians and the East Euros (Romanians!) did.

The Chicoms, and other communist government, know full well what happened in the former USSR and Eastern Europe, and are determined not to let the same thing happen to them.

Bigfoot on September 28, 2007 at 5:42 PM

I recall reading an article some time ago that quoted someone, I think that he was an Israeli historian, who said that if someone where going to pick a country that was under a dictatorship, overthrow the dictatorship and try to turn the country into a functioning democracy as we in the west know them, one could not have picked a worse candidate for successful democracy than Iraq.

Using compare and contrast, it would seem that Burma, would be one of the best candidates and yet … … ….

MB4 on September 28, 2007 at 5:58 PM

I have no idea how reliable this is:

September 28, 2007
Rangoon: ‘army mutiny’ reported
Troops refuse to fire
on crowds

Reports from Rangoon suggest soldiers are mutinying. It is unclear the numbers involved. Reports cite heavy shooting in the former Burmese capital.

The organisation Helfen ohne Grenzen (Help without Frontiers) is reporting that “Soldiers from the 66th LID (Light Infantry Divison) have turned their weapons against other government troops and possibly police in North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are defending the protesters. At present unsure how many soldiers involved.

MB4 on September 28, 2007 at 6:24 PM

The UN wont do a flaming thing because it is a question of national sovereignity. We must remember that the UN is not (thank God) a ruling body that can enforce laws. If a country does not want the UN Blue Helmets to come in for any reason, then the Helmets cannot come in. The UN is based on VOLUNTARY surrender of national authority to the UN before it can become effective. Hence, they cannot force their way into Burma, unfortunately. The only thing they can do is pass resolutions and invoke sanctions that hopefully other nations will go along with.

But, let’s face it…UN means UNecessary.

As to the shooting of Buddhist monks, their being arrested, and the Buddhist temples being raided by the Burmese Army, Burma is primarily a Buddhist country (it has been said that Burma is the land of Buddha no matter what). The soldiers are also Buddhist. Burmese Buddhist monks live by begging for money, food, whatever. Now, the monks have been rejecting the offerings of the soldiers in the name of liberty and freedom. By not accepting donations from the soldiers, this is a form of excommunication directed towards the soldiers by the monks. Hence, the soldiers are now frustated combined with the anger of combating the cries of freedom from tyranny by the civilians of Burma.

Hopefully more soldiers will mutiny and help protect the civilians. Perhaps if they can make contact with the indigenous people like the Kachins, Jingpaws, etc., who reside in the jungle, they might have a good chance of survival and to fight those soldiers who are chasing after them.

My God, what a shame that this is going on. How horrible.

The False Dervish on September 28, 2007 at 6:56 PM

Freedom only comes, because the People demand it from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 5:08 PM

But sometimes the people have no means to fight back. You can’t go hand to hand with trained military carrying AK-47’s. We should arm them and provide supplies. We should do the same in Darfur.

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 5:36 PM

The fall of the Communists in Poland, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania and Czechoslovakia, et al., didn’t occur because the People had AK-47s. They didn’t. The Communists had made sure of that. The Communists fell because the People rose up en mass … and I mean en mass. Not Tiananmen Square style, but as a whole and throughout the country. They demanded freedom from the Communists, and when they rose up – as a People – the Communists knew that they were through.

There were outside pressures, without doubt, but, in the end, the Communists fell because the People rose up and cast them off – from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Are we seeing the precursor of what will soon be occurring in Iran?

Hmmmmmm!

pocomoco on September 28, 2007 at 7:31 PM

Mizzima News

MB4 on September 28, 2007 at 7:41 PM

I mean what’s the point of doing anything? We are all gonna be dead from global warming in less than 50 years.

The end is nigh.

TheSitRep on September 28, 2007 at 7:47 PM

Thank you for posting this.

Asher on September 28, 2007 at 8:55 PM

OhEssYouCowboys

The ’89 Tiananmen protests weren’t the only ones going on in the country. Every major city had the same thing going on. It wasn’t isolated in Beijing. It is just that the foreign news was in Beijing at the time. After the crackdown, most of the protestors in the other cities went home, and the leaders were punished.

Tony737

The “Chicoms” are unlike other communist regimes of the past. They have pretty much given up their ideals in exchange for power. If you spend any length of time in China, you will find that today, China is very capitalist–in some ways more so than America. However, they will never admit that. They made a tacit agreement with the people after ’89. We’ll let you have the things (economically) that will make you have a comfortable life, as long as we can stay in power. While they are still very communist in areas of social control, economically, they are pretty open.

That, coupled with an effective state-run media, keeps the people loving them. I would say the people have little desire for a change of systems in China. They only care about the economy these days. (I’ve lived here for almost 5 years)

p40tiger on September 28, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Liberals should be lining up in droves for the military so we can invade Burma. They wouldn’t support an attack and not volunteer themselves, right?

hadsil on September 28, 2007 at 10:21 PM

The fall of the Communists in Poland, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania and Czechoslovakia, et al., didn’t occur because the People had AK-47s. They didn’t. The Communists had made sure of that. The Communists fell because the People rose up en mass … and I mean en mass. Not Tiananmen Square style, but as a whole and throughout the country. They demanded freedom from the Communists, and when they rose up – as a People – the Communists knew that they were through.

There were outside pressures, without doubt, but, in the end, the Communists fell because the People rose up and cast them off – from within.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 28, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Not to take away from your point, it’s valid. But does that mean you would not support providing support to the people of Burma and Darfur ?

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 10:23 PM

Also, key, this is a very decisive moment for which direction China wants to take. All eyes are on you too!

Entelechy on September 28, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Random Burma Fact: China is the largest supplier of weapons to the Burmese Military Junta. Burma is China’s water outlet to the Indian Ocean.

gabriel sutherland on September 28, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Unfortunately for Burma it is close to China. Too close for us to interfere anymore. Close enough to be useful to China as a footpath, a buffer, and for raw materials

That, coupled with an effective state-run media, keeps the people loving them. I would say the people have little desire for a change of systems in China. They only care about the economy these days. (I’ve lived here for almost 5 years)

p40tiger on September 28, 2007 at 10:17 PM

A sturdy system is hard to displace. People caught in systems can have a hard time dislodging them if the system is well tuned. I am praying for these people because they will have to do it alone, and it is possible if they become successful, and turn the military to their side, that China will interfere against the people. Burma could become the next annexation since Tibet

entagor on September 29, 2007 at 12:42 PM

What does the worthless U.N. have to say about all of this ?

Maxx on September 28, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Issuing another pointless resolution maybe?

Check out I.M.A.O.’s Top 10 U.N. Slogans. All too real, but really funny.

http://www.thoseshirts.com/imaoun.html

Texas Nick 77 on October 1, 2007 at 8:42 AM