February 4, 2021

Myanmar Coup

“Myanmar police have filed charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for illegally importing communications equipment… The move followed a military coup on Monday and the detention of Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi and other civilian politicians. The takeover cut short Myanmar’s long transition to democracy and drew condemnation from the United States and other Western countries.” Reuters

Both sides condemn the coup:

The world’s governments should make clear to the junta that its actions are illegitimate and doomed to fail. Civilians detained this week, including Suu Kyi, should be freed and the elected parliament allowed to convene. The U.S. has sounded the right notes so far. It should coordinate with allies in Europe and Asia to aim sanctions at junta leaders and military-linked enterprises. Myanmar’s typically circumspect neighbors should underscore that they’ll deplore any violent crackdown on protesters. China might see an opportunity to gain influence at the expense of the U.S., but it should recognize that anger, instability and economic stagnation in Myanmar don’t serve its long-term interests.”
Editorial Board, Bloomberg

“Myanmar may seem far away and of little consequence to America. But it has been a symbol of the continuing global competition between democracy and authoritarianism, and remains a geopolitically important nation. The coup and current crisis cannot be ignored by the United States, even if Washington’s options for influencing what happens in Naypyidaw remain limited. At a minimum, it demands a clear and unified front by America, Europe, and Asia’s democracies, with a willingness to isolate the new regime, provide aid for any refugees, and confront those nations that abet Myanmar’s descent into illiberalism.”
Michael Auslin, National Review

Other opinions below.

See past issues

From the Right

From the Left

A libertarian's take

“The situation in Burma, like so many other conflicts and controversies around the world, isn’t Washington’s problem to solve… Naypyitaw matters to America mostly as a geopolitical battleground with the People’s Republic of China, but Burma’s geographic position, on China’s southern border, gives Beijing an enormous advantage. The humanitarian concerns are real, but there is little Washington can do to rescue a nation that has spent the last 58 years under full or partial military rule. Both India and Japan, with much greater economic investment than America in Burma, are better positioned to compete commercially, and in turn battle for political influence…

“The return to military rule is a tragedy. The consequences could be truly catastrophic if conflict between the Tatmadaw and various ethnic groups flares anew. However, rather than confront Burma, a former British colony, Washington should back allies and friends as they take the lead.”
Doug Bandow, American Conservative

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.