The recent Burmese bloodbath in suppressing protestors have drawn hypocritical outcries by the US president and UK prime minister respectively, who still have their feet inside the invaded, bloodied countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. Former Asst Secretary of the US Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts, argues that the least democratic minds are the ones who are spouting the most democratic platitudes.

Shame has vanished from Western "civilization." Hypocrisy has taken its place.

On September 28, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown could be heard on National Public Radio decrying the use of violence against democratic protesters by the government in Burma. Brown declared the British people's revulsion over the violence inflicted by the Burmese government on its people. But Brown said nothing about the violence the British government was inflicting on Iraqis and Afghans.

George W. Bush also struck the blameless pose when he declared: "The world is watching the people of Burma take to the streets to demand their freedom, and the American people stand in solidarity with these brave individuals."

Bush and Brown do not have the same sympathy for the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither Bush nor Brown stand in solidarity with those who are demanding their freedom from foreign occupation by American and British troops. Indeed, Bush and Brown, as commanders in chief, are on a killing spree that makes the government in Burma look extremely restrained by comparison.

Why were British soldiers sent to kill Iraqis and Afghans? September 11 had nothing whatsoever to do with the UK. No doubt but that the corrupt Tony Blair was paid off to drag the British people into Bush's Middle East war for American/Israeli hegemony, but Brown has done nothing to terminate Bush's use of the British military as mercenaries.

The NPR announcers also supported the Burmese people, but they, too, show little disturbance over Bush's five-year old wars that we now know were based entirely on lies. Al Qaeda is not the Taliban, and Iraq had no WMD. Neither country was a threat to the US. Now that we know this, why does the media still give Bush and Brown a free pass to use violence against Iraqis and Afghans?

To oppose a war when you accept the government's reason for the war is an indefensible position. The Bush regime knows that if people will believe its 9/11 story, they will believe anything. Propaganda silences facts, and Americans fall for one set of falsehoods after another.

To cut to the chase, what is the difference between Bush and Brown on one hand and the murderous Burmese government on the other? Bush and Brown are actually worse. They pretend to be democrats concerned with what people actually want. The Burmese government doesn't pretend to be anything but a military dictatorship. Moreover, the Burmese government is clean by comparison as it hasn't committed acts of naked aggression - war crimes under the Nuremberg standard - by invading other countries and attempting to occupy them.

Despite all the killing Bush has accomplished, he thirsts for yet more blood. Iran is in his and Israel's sights. All indications are that Bush is going to attack Iran. Propaganda, demonizations, and crass lies are pouring out of the Bush regime and its media and academic propagandists such as Columbia University president Lee Bollinger. Both parties in Congress have lined up behind the coming attack on Iran. The despicable senator Joe Lieberman even snuck language into a bill to give Bush the go ahead.

Who is going to stop Bush from a third war crime? Not his vice president, Not his national security adviser, not his secretary of defense. Not his secretary of state. Not Congress. Not the US military. Not the corporate fat cats. Not the Israel Lobby. Not the bought and paid for "allies." Not the anti-war movement. Not the American people. Certainly not the media.

Americans are content with whatever crimes their government commits as long as the justification is Americans' safety.

Americans' willingness to murder others out of fear for their own safety is a result of September 11. The antiwar movement is impotent, because it has accepted the government's 9/11 story. To oppose a war when you accept the government's reason for the war is an indefensible position.

The Bush regime knows that if people will believe its 9/11 story, they will believe anything. Propaganda silences facts, and Americans fall for one set of falsehoods after another. The alleged 9/11 hijackers all came from countries allied with the US, principally Saudi Arabia, but Americans believe the government's lies that Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Syria are responsible. Americans have been convinced that without "regime change" in these countries, the American superpower will remain helpless in face of stateless Muslims armed with box cutters.

Americans have been brainwashed to believe that Muslims hate us for our "freedom and democracy," whereas in fact the problem is the US government's immoral foreign policy and interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries. Bush's message to the Middle East is clear: Be a puppet state or be destroyed.

In the meantime, to prevent democracy and civil liberties from getting in the way of making Americans safe, Bush has set aside habeas corpus, due process, right to legal representation, privacy, and the separation of powers mandated by the US Constitution. Otherwise, Bush says, we will lose the "war on terror." Bush says he has made Americans safe by ridding them of these constitutional impediments to their safety. And once American bombs fall on Iran and Syria, those countries will be free and democratic, too, like Iraq and Afghanistan.

In leading Americans to this conclusion, Bush has sunk the United States to a new low in human intelligence and morality.

Note: Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

Other articles by Paul Craig Roberts:
American Economy, R.I.P.
The War Criminal In The Living Room

More War On The Horizon
China Is Not The Problem
China's Threat To The Dollar Is Real
In The Hole To China
A Free Press Or A Ministry Of Truth?

THE ASEAN CHAIRMAN & THE SANDMAN


General Lee Hsien Loong and General Than Shwe [right]. Burma supplies sand to $ingapore for its building needs.

Last week, Asean was kicked into issuing a statement against Burma's crushing of street protests in Rangoon. Asean's stated policy is non-interference in member states internal affairs but the protests occured while the UN was having its annual heads of states meeting and Asean was thrust into the spotlight.

Here are both statements from Asean's current chairman, $ingapore. We note the irony in General Lee Hsien Loong's polite request for Burma "to work towards a political solution for national reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy".

On Saturday Sept 29, the police in $ingapore turned down a request for a peaceful protest on Oct 5 and 6 against Burma:

"Meanwhile, the [$ingapore] police said they had rejected an application for a permit to hold a 'Yellow peace walk for the people of Burma' on Oct 5 and 6 in Toa Payoh."
[click here]

If $ingapore won't even permit a peaceful protest how exactly are the Burmese generals expected to behave?

Further, $ingapore's Foreign Minister General George Yeo was just in Burma in April 2007. He was there to meet Burmese General Thein Shin and request for sand for $ingapore's construction needs. $ingapore's southern neighbour Indonesia have refused to export sand to $ingapore and have requested an extradition treaty to get back dirty money they claim is kept in $ingapore banks.

According to an April 23, 2007 Reuters report, "One third of $ingapore's high-net-worth investors - those with net financial assets of more than $1 million - are of Indonesian origin, Merrill Lynch and Capgemini said in a report, adding that of these 18,000 have total assets of $87 billion."
click here

Sick Burmese generals do not go to China for treatment. They fly to $ingapore and are admitted to Singapore's General [sic] Hospital. Currently, Burma's Prime Minister Lt-General Soe Win remains under treatment at the General Hospital. General Than Shwe was here in January 2007 for a checkup.

So far no news in $ingapore's nation-builder press about why Burmese generals prefer $ingapore hospitals. Nor any about the impact on $ingapore's sand supply.

The letters below are in full:

29 September 2007

Dear Excellency,

In Singapore's capacity as the ASEAN Chair, I write to express the deep concerns that other ASEAN leaders and I share over the very grave situation in Myanmar.

I have discussed this matter with all the other ASEAN leaders. We are most disturbed by reports of the violent means that the authorities in Myanmar have deployed against the demonstrators, which have resulted in injuries and deaths. The videos and photographs of what is happening on the streets of Yangon and other cities in Myanmar have evoked the revulsion of people throughout Southeast Asia and all over the world.

We agree that the confrontation that is unfolding in Myanmar will have serious implications not just for Myanmar itself, but also for ASEAN and the whole region. Hence, our Foreign Ministers issued a firm statement in New York, strongly urging your government to exercise utmost restraint, and to work towards a political solution for national reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy. ASEAN also called for the release of all political detainees, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I attach a copy of this statement.

The ASEAN Leaders fully support the mission by the Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ibrahim Gambari. He has gone to Myanmar to help all parties involved find a peaceful resolution. I would like to emphasise the importance which the ASEAN countries, and indeed the whole international community, attach to Mr Gambari's mission. We strongly urge your government to grant Mr Gambari full access to all parties in Myanmar, as you have done in the past, and to work with Mr Gambari to try to find a way forward.

ASEAN's concerns are for the welfare of the people of Myanmar, for a return to stability and normalcy, and for Myanmar to take its place among the comity of nations. I hope you will consider these views in that spirit.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed)

LEE HSIEN LOONG

 

28/09/2007

Statement by ASEAN Chair, Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo in New York, 27 September 2007

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers had a full and frank discussion on the situation in Myanmar at their Informal Meeting this morning in the UN and agreed for the Chair to issue this Statement. They were appalled to receive reports of automatic weapons being used and demanded that the Myanmar government immediately desist from the use of violence against demonstrators. They expressed their revulsion to Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win over reports that the demonstrations in Myanmar are being suppressed by violent force and that there has been a number of fatalities. They strongly urged Myanmar to exercise utmost restraint and seek a political solution. They called upon Myanmar to resume its efforts at national reconciliation with all parties concerned, and work towards a peaceful transition to democracy. The Ministers called for the release of all political detainees including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers expressed their concern to Minister Nyan Win that the developments in Myanmar had a serious impact on the reputation and credibility of ASEAN. They noted that Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has spoken to his ASEAN counterparts over the past day, and will be writing to Senior General Than Shwe.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers gave their full support to the decision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Myanmar. They welcomed FM Nyan Win's assurance that a visa would be issued to Mr Gambari in Singapore. They asked the Myanmar government to cooperate fully and work with him. Mr Gambari's role as a neutral interlocutor among all the parties can help defuse the dangerous situation. The Ministers urged the Myanmar government to grant him full access to all parties in Myanmar, as they had done in the past.


$INGAPORE, A FRIEND INDEED TO BURMA


General George Yeo of
$ingapore with Burmese
General Thein Shin [left].
This picture was taken
in April 2007.

 

Here's a fresh report from an Australian newspaper of the $ingapore-Burma axis.

Oct 1, 2007: "Collectively known as $ingapore Inc, they gather around the $150 billion state-owned investment house Temasek Holdings, controlled by $ingapore's long-ruling Lee family. With an estimated $3 billion invested in Burma (and more than $20 billion in Australia), $ingapore Inc companies have been some of the biggest investors in and supporters of Burma's military junta - this while its Government, on the rare times it is asked, gently suggests a softly-softly diplomatic approach toward the junta.

"When it comes to Burma, $ingapore pockets the high morals it likes to wave at the West."

The report also quotes extensively from researcher Andrew Selth, of Queensland's Griffith University.

"Often writing as "William Ashton" in Jane's Intelligence Review, Selth has described how $ingapore has sent guns, rockets, armoured personnel carriers and grenade launchers to the junta, some of it trans-shipped from stocks seized by Israel from Palestinians in southern Lebanon."

Selth says $ingapore also provided the equipment for a "cyber war centre" to monitor dissident activity, while training Burma's secret police, whose sole job appears to be ensuring democracy groups are crushed.

"Monitoring dissidents is an area where $ingapore has expertise. After almost five decades in power, the Lee family-controlled People's Action Party ranks behind only the communists of China, Cuba and North Korea in leadership longevity."

"This centre is reported to be closely involved in the monitoring and recording of foreign and domestic telecommunications, including the satellite telephone conversations of Burmese opposition groups," Selth writes.

The full report by ERIC ELLIS is here in the Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/singapore-a-friend-indeed-to-
burma/2007/09/30/1191090945019.html









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October 2, 2007