Aung Sung Suu Kyi Movie with Michelle Yeoh

For those of you who like historical movies, or for those of you who are hungry for yet another AF/WM movie, check out The Lady with Michelle Yeoh. I read about it on 8A. Check out the blogger’s thoughts, and also check out the opinion of the commenters.

I agree with the commenter xxxtine, who writes: “It is through the help of her husband Michael Aris, on the outside in England, that got her the recognition and ultimately the Nobel Peace Prize. No one would’ve known about her otherwise, or cared to hear if he wasn’t trying to get his wife freed.” What is true of Amy Chua is true of Aung Sung Suu Kyi and is true of Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan–if there isn’t a White man involved with the subject matter, the Western world often doesn’t give a shit. It’s sad but true.

As for Aung Sung Suu Kyi, I like what she stands for, and there’s no doubt that she has some powerful tenacity and personal strength, but I wonder if she’d really make Burma a better place or whether she’d burn the place to the ground and mess it up worse than the military government ever could. Historically speaking, the U.S. government doesn’t always do the best job of picking leaders of other countries.

Anyway, the movie looks well done. And Michelle Yeoh really looks like ASSK.

Edit 5:30: Awww, fuck. I didn’t read the full DailyMail article before posting. You too, Michelle Yeoh?

Michelle Yeoh with her fiance

Michelle gradually fell in love with her subject with whom she had so many similarities. Like Suu, Michelle went to school in the UK; her Hong Kong based parents moved here when she was 15 and she attended the Royal Academy of Dance. She is also in love with a Westerner. The actress was briefly married to Harvey Nichols billionaire Dickson Poon but has been engaged to French Formula 1 boss Jean Todt for five years.

Her huge engagement ring sparkles as she describes how, like Michael Aris, Jean gives her the freedom to do as she chooses.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2084268/The-Lady-Michelle-Yeoh-brings-story-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-big-screen.html#ixzz1jll8wdpk

That’s another thing the Western world does. Equates Whiteness with freedom.

51 thoughts on “Aung Sung Suu Kyi Movie with Michelle Yeoh

  1. Byron, with all due respect I think you might be having an off-day, blogging wise.

    I wonder if she’d really make Burma a better place or whether she’d burn the place to the ground and mess it up worse than the military government ever could.

    Is there any evidence at all to show that she would do the latter? One can see straight away that she’s not a Robert Mugabe. The junta that she would be replacing is one of the very worst dictatorships in the world. The worst-case scenario under her rule is that things don’t get better than they are.

    Historically speaking, the U.S. government doesn’t always do the best job of picking leaders of other countries.

    Would she not be picked by the people of Burma? As I understand it she would have a pretty popular mandate. I think she’ll enjoy the sort of goodwill Nelson Mandela did when he assumed office.

    “That’s another thing the Western world does. Equates Whiteness with freedom.”

    I’d argue that you are equating Jean Todt with Whiteness.
    Yeoh was married to Dickson Poon for 5 years. Immediately after they married, apparently he insisted she retire from acting. I’m assuming Todt has not insisted she do that.
    Now, I’m not going to equate Dickson Poon with Asianness. I’m going to assume that he’s probably a somewhat controlling guy who happens to be Asian. But I’m not surprised that Yeoh appreciates him being less controlling, given her previous marriage.

    In any case, I’m not surprised the film focuses largely on the love story. The story of ASSK the opposition leader is one thing, but the fact that she chose to sacrifice her relationship for her country makes it even more compelling. Especially when she was effectively choosing to stay under house arrest when she could have been in the UK with her husband.

  2. Woo hooo! Another WM/AF. I can’t wait for this one. I’ll put this one on my must see list of 2012.

  3. @es

    Agree with too much focus on this particular demographic, but you have to admit that’s one ugly white dinosaur.

    @bigwowo

    Boycotted.

    But let’s look at the good things. Gianna Jun is happy dating a Korean dude her age and hasn’t followed the brainwashed/braindead tradition of white loving.

  4. I agree with Eurasian, Byron, the US didn’t pick her. To say she would be worse than the dictatorship (her being her party also) is laughable.

    @N
    I suggest reading this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

    You are going to boycott a movie about a strong Asian leader who has sacrifised so much (and when are there ever movies about an real Asian in the West?) because of who she married?

  5. East timor got “democracy” and independence, at least enough independence to own its own offshore drilling platforms, but how are the east timorese doing now? Iraq and afghanistan have also gotten democratic governments, have the people in those nations been enriched?

    We should admit that the practice of setting oneself alight is a peculiar affectation that asians inflict on themselves in order to get white sympathy, LOL.

    The focus on aung san suu kyii and the burmese democratic movement distracts the attention of the layperson away from gaping holes in the understanding of burmese political history. The period after the british left is especially murky.

    I would be most grateful if someone could direct me to good articles and books relating to burma and its role and struggles during the cold war, as well as its relationship with neighbors such as china, india, and thailand.

  6. @Lingyai

    If you actually know and can read a different language, there’s plenty more Asian Women that’s done way more than she had done. I’ll let you decide why she gets a lot media coverage than the ones who’ve sacrificed and achieved more.

    I’m boycotting a WM/AF movie ‘about’ her, not her. If you really give a f*ck about her and her ‘ambitions’, go join a mercenary group and rescue her from her desperate situation, not watch a f*cking movie.

    But as mentioned before, there’s plenty of other Asian women that’s worth admiring about more. If the only way that a story is told about Asians in the west is if it involves a white male, than no, I don’t we need it at all. There’s something called subtitles.

    @raquel

    Can’t agree more.

  7. wait, are there any black thugs and asian hookers in this movie? do they escape in a rice mobile while drifting? if not, then I’m not seeing it.

    Mr. Todt…such a looker! smokin! Was Michelle Yeoh the one that dated John Cusack? I forget…all these White bf’s look alike……

  8. Just a random, unrelated topic: the most recent Glee episode had a scene where Becky, the (white) girl with down syndrome, was looking for potential dates–and being very discerning about it.
    One guy grins too much, she reasons, making him look like an insane person. Another candidate’s mohawk apparently looks like a squirrel glued to his head. And the next guy’s flaw is, well, that he’s Asian. Her inner monologue (voiced by Helen Mirren): “No Chang do. I’m no rice queen.”
    Ah! Of course! Now imagine her rejecting a black man on the grounds of her “not having jungle fever.” That would have gone down well.

  9. ” The worst-case scenario under her rule is that things don’t get better than they are.”

    This is indeed the worst case scenario because it kills people on the inside. 😀

  10. Dudes! Michelle is old. They should have got some young cutie. It still looks like a good movie. Her body is still hot. Don’t boycott this. Let her have a good movie before she retire.

  11. i dont get her life. Her father fought for independence from english rule, then she turns around and basically moves to england, gets married, has kids, then just ups and leave them. what? What sane person does this? To me, ASSKs “sacrifice” just makes her look like a shitty mom. Normally, this shouldn’t matter (lol, right?) but when you want to get into politics like she has, its kinda hard not to look like a tool for western imperialism.

  12. Somehow, I feel any leader who was in bed with their former colonialist is grounds for suspicion. She is very pro-West and probably will use it to her advantage and make Southeast Asia a more divided place – think MidEast. I hope SEA won’t be a battleground for a proxy war between China and the West like during the Cold War. I don’t see anything remarkable about Suu Kyi.

    I guess Burma will have a white man in “their white house”.

  13. The British divided Burma and foster ethnic tensions that continues today. I think ASSK is nothing more than a tool to continues to divide the area. Every time the West holds up these puppets as some beacon of ‘democracy’, all the while when they rule the area, they tramples the rights of the people left and right. Her children are British citizen. Her loyalty more towards Britian than Burma.

    It is a shameful history.

  14. Well you see Harry the problem with making statements like that is that some people will say that it’s just your own opinion, with the implication that its bigoted. That’s why I would like some good sources, so that I can confront people with facts and implications. That’s not what I’m going to do now though, because I know practically nothing about Burma’s history during the cold war! It’s like the whole country fell into a memory hole and was replaced with a vision of Immanuel Goldstein.

    What I do know is that the organisers and financers of the last big one KNEW for sure that it would have provoked the junta to open fire on the crowd. To me, this was a very cynical use of human lives.

  15. And by the way, for anybody who clicked on Lingyai’s link, did they notice the notice posted on Wikipedia about SOPA and PIPA?

    Or is this also going to be yet another thing not even remotely touched on by the Asian American blogosphere?

  16. It’s up, Raguel. As always, you could always write something and send it in. Your last submission got lots of traffic.

    Linda,

    I actually thought it looked more like Wendi and Rupert. I wonder if Jean supports SOPA. Rupert does. But you’re right; it’s hard to tell them apart!

  17. N:

    If you actually know and can read a different language, there’s plenty more Asian Women that’s done way more than she had done.

    I agree with you, but I can’t read Chinese very well. Can you post the names of some of these women? It’s amazing how the heroes in other countries change completely when crossing the Pacific!

  18. Eurasian,

    Thanks for the convo!

    I have to disagree completely on the “equating with Whiteness” thing. I don’t think it’s my biased reading, rather I think it’s a not-very-subtle innuendo that the Western media is always throwing at us. If you look at the way the article was written, the author talks about being “in love with a Westerner,” and in the very NEXT paragraph, talks about how Jean “GIVES” her freedom. Isn’t it a bit strange to think about a boyfriend GIVING an accomplished grown woman freedom? And doesn’t it strike you as a bit more than coincidence that the “freedom” thing comes directly after mentioning that she is dating a “Westerner” and comparing it to another Asian woman who did the same? I can’t imagine a similar article saying the same thing about an accomplished White woman who happened to marry an old dude with money–certainly hardly anyone said that Anna Nicole Smith’s husband gave Anna freedom (and Anna was probably less accomplished than Michelle). This Asian female innuendo strikes me as both sexist AND racist, especially since it’s the underlying theme of so many AF/WM media portrayals.

    I do see your point on the ASSK-as-politician thing, and as with most political questions, we just don’t know–she could be a brilliant leader. I would argue though that there’s a lot that ASSK has going against her. First, is the democracy thing–Amy Chua, before she was the Tiger Mom, argued in “World on Fire” that exporting free market democracy breeds instability. Burma is a poor country, and it’s unlikely that anyone could turn it around with straight democracy without strong redistributive measures–and we don’t know where ASSK stands on this or what she would do. Second, ASSK’s main role has been that of a symbol who inherited her father’s work, not as a fundraiser, military leader, organizer, political thinker, etc. Even in the movie, it shows her being chosen by some anonymous Burmese government dude who serves as background for the love story. It doesn’t take away her tremendous heart and perseverance, but we haven’t seen evidence that she can lead outside of her role as a figurehead. We know she’s very strong and has a great following, but we don’t know anything beyond that.

    I think I halfway agree on the U.S. choosing a leader thing. Yes, she supposedly won the election, but if you look at the U.S. run U.N.’s actions and how the Western world has bestowed so many different awards on her, I think it’s hard to accuse us of simply sitting back idly.

    That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying that she couldn’t do it, but there isn’t much evidence that she could, and so I usually take it with a grain of salt.

  19. @bww

    Once I get a bit of time, I might write up a piece and sent it through to you. There’s too little recognition of the achievements of Asian women in general.

  20. “There’s too little recognition of the achievements of Asian women in general.”

    Which is why I find it odd that when an Asian woman does get the recognition she deserves, certain comments on this thread smack of a desire to belittle her accomplishments, and it seems to be principally because her husband is white.

  21. ES, do you have any good information about Burma during the Cold War? I would like to know Burma’s position vis a vis Thailand and Laos. I heard there was a secret war in Indochina at the time, where many millions of tonnes of high explosives were dropped into Cambodia and Laos, killing millions and starving and malnourishing the rest. I would like to know what Burma was up to during that time. Would you have any pointers?

    Actually now that I think about it, I’ve never met a single Burmese person I could converse to and ask about this. 8(

  22. Also ES, could you tell me about Aung San Suu Kyii’s accomplishments? I had a look at the wikipedia link. She’s basically just a democracy figurehead who was put under house arrest, and who got media support and attention. I could see no references to her actually organising or leading anything. Is wikipedia mistaken? Does it need to be updated? Wikipedia is not good for everything, you know. I can’t find any intelligble history of Burma during the Cold War. Just dry rote factoids strung together that can’t help me understand the era.

    I think that’s what’s missing from Wikipedia, that link that can help you really tie everything together and understand.

    My line of questioning has nothing to do with her sex or choice of spouse, by the way. If you look at my posts, in general I do say that its not good to focus too much on such things. In this case I guess I am just skeptical. 🙁

  23. I also see that Aung Sann Suu Kyii spent much of her life overseas, as her mother was very active within the diplomatic community.

    What a coincidence. Do you know who else spent most of their early lives overseas in places like London, living in the lap of luxury, and then returned to their home country spreading the gospel of democracy and saving her own people from a pitiful condition like a new messiah?

    Does Benazir Bhutto ring a bell?

  24. N,

    Thanks! I’ll put it on the front page when you send it. It’s so vitally important that we have that information. The powers-that-be make no effort to publicize those women.

    Raguel,

    That was my reasoning behind saying that I didn’t know if she would make things better. It has nothing to do with her marrying White (for me, at least!). On the 44s, I had nothing but positive things to say about Vicki Shu Smolin, who totally rocked when that radio controversy came out. As for ASSK, we’ve never actually seen any kind of organizing or fundraising, etc. Her claim to fame is being a figurehead who became well known because her husband was a White guy living in England and publicizing her case (and in this case, that fact is instrumental to her place in history.)

  25. in other hand, as far I now this movie is based on Aung Sung Kyi real life, so I can’t blame orientalist filmmakers for putting an asian female with a white male, in this case they have a good and valid excuse

  26. @Chen
    She is a shitty mom because she is trying to change her country for the better?
    Would you say the equivalent for a man? I doubt it. Damn that Mandela for being a shitty father!

    @Harry
    Her children are British citizen. Her loyalty more towards Britian than Burma?
    Really? so if your kids are different citizenship than you, you can’t advocate change in the country of your family and your birth?

    @Raguel
    Yeah she spent time overseas, so what.
    We live in a global world. Sometimes people need to leave to purse opportunity that is not available at home. What if she stayed in England to lead her fight. Then maybe people would say look at that ASSK, she is protesting from the “lap of luxury”! But no she came back to try and help her people. She is damned if she does or damned if she doesn’t it seems with some people here.

    Is she somewhat of a figurehead? Yes but so in someways are all leaders. You think Mandela was the only person who was responsible for bring about change and black self rule in SA?

    ASSK has sacrificed more than any of us here ever will. Did her help her cause that her husband was white and a Brit? Yes but so what, doesn’t make her struggle less legit.

  27. Well, I know that Yeoh spent part of her childhood in Britain to study ballet. So the argument that she moved there to abandon her Chinese family is false.

    I don’t know much about her accomplishments. But Aung has sacrificed so much to pursue her office, so you’ve got to give credit for that. I don’t think it’s fair to judge in one way or another based on a lack of evidence.

  28. @ Raguel:

    “could you tell me about Aung San Suu Kyii’s accomplishments? I had a look at the wikipedia link. She’s basically just a democracy figurehead who was put under house arrest, and who got media support and attention. I could see no references to her actually organising or leading anything.”

    What would qualify as an impressive achievement to you?

    ASSK seems to by revered by most overseas Burmese people I’ve met. She was under house arrest for the best part of 21 years, during which time she survived what appeared to be an attempt on her life by government-backed thugs. Bear in mind that she could have walked away at any time and lived a comfortable life in England with her family, but she didn’t, I assume because she felt a responsibility to the Burmese people. She knew that if she left she would probably never be allowed back in.
    That sacrifice – trading family and freedom for a notion of duty to your people – is one that no one should have to make, and what makes her story so compelling.

  29. @Bigwowo:

    “Her claim to fame is being a figurehead who became well known because her husband was a White guy living in England and publicizing her case (and in this case, that fact is instrumental to her place in history.)”

    If you’ve ever heard her speak, and I assume you have, you’ll know that her fame is more to do with her impeccable English, coupled with her obvious grace, intelligence and class. Her late husband may have helped bring attention to her, but she makes a powerful symbol based just on her personality.

    I have no idea what her policies would be as a leader. But at least for a few years, she will have the goodwill of the populace which will be essential to unify a country that has been trashed by the junta. The value of such a figurehead should not be underestimated in the transition phase. The respect held for the struggle and sacrifice of men like Nelson Mandela, or Xanana Gusmao in East Timor, was an important factor in holding together their burgeoning societies that could have easily fractured.

  30. tbh, if you place your country (which to me is abstract) ahead of your own flesh and blood, then there is something wrong with you and yes I’d say the same thing if it was a guy. I’m sure she is a cool person in her own way but I shouldn’t be forced to admire her for that.

    It makes you wonder why she pushes for western sanctions when it only hurts her people. These actions make me think she is secretly working with the Chinese as it only strengthens their hand in the region.

    I hate that besson gave us crap like the transporter and now this. He really should work on making a sequel to Leon or the fifth element instead.

  31. @Chen
    “if you place your country (which to me is abstract) ahead of your own flesh and blood, then there is something wrong with you and yes I’d say the same thing if it was a guy”

    Under that reasoning:
    all soldiers = bad parents and something wrong with them

    those who fought and died for civil rights = bad parents and something wrong with them

    Nelson Mandela = bad parent and something wrong with him

  32. E.S.:

    Exactly! She’s a great symbol. She’s graceful, beautiful, eloquent, has impeccable English, and was married to a White man (sorry, but again we have to put this in here since the world would’ve ignored her otherwise), which Western people love her for. She’s clearly powerful and has a great sense of responsibility. As Lingyai said, she has sacrificed more than any of us ever will (let’s hope that remains true, for our sake).

    But I’m not arguing against the symbolism of ASSK. My only question is whether she’d make the country a better place if she were in charge. Amy Chua, in one of her non-Tiger-Mom books, found that no country has ever made a leap from undeveloped to full successful democratic capitalism. That’s not to say that ASSK couldn’t do it, but she’d be fighting against incredible odds. I’m just skeptical that democracy at this point would make things better, especially as ASSK doesn’t seem to have relevant experience in being in-charge. She IS a leader because of the symbolism of what she represents, but she’s an unknown in terms of how she would promote the economy, create laws, etc. As you mention, we really don’t know what she stands for other than democracy–and based on Chua’s studies, it’s uncertain whether that’s even the best thing for Burma right now. Surely the military junta is doing a bad job, but would she be a better leader? That’s the question. We don’t know.

    Also–I know people are mentioning Nelson Mandela, but I think it’s a little different. Mandela’s most famous achievement was his fight against apartheid, which was something he did VERY early on in his career. He was providing aid, coordinating activities, founding activist groups, etc., even before he went to prison.

  33. @ BigWowo:

    It’s really not possible for ASSK to be worse than the junta. Some authoritarian regimes crack down on freedoms but deliver relative prosperity, while some democracies bring freedom but also economic ruin. The Burmese junta have brought the worst of both worlds. They have waged war on ethnic minorities, stolen from the people to fill their own pockets and build useless monuments to their own prestige, and delivered the lowest growth rate in SE Asia and a health care system ranked by the WHO as the very worst in the world.
    I anticipate that ASSK will have a lot of foreign goodwill and assistance in getting things done, as well as the backing of her people. I’m sure it won’t be perfect – she’ll come with high expectations that she probably won’t be able to meet – but really, the only way is up.

    @ Chen:
    “if you place your country (which to me is abstract) ahead of your own flesh and blood, then there is something wrong with you”

    Ok, instead of the abstract “country”, think about it as being the flesh and blood of 58 million people.

  34. @ES

    If she had married a British Indian instead of a white bloke, would the same movie had been made? If she had married a Chinese National in England, would she get the same recognition? If the roles were switch and instead it was an Asian GUY that did exactly what she had done, would Hollywood have made a movie about him?

    And why not?
    Because if a white man never saw it, it never happened?

    Are they going to make a movie about Min Ko Naing anytime soon?
    Why isn’t Ka Hsaw Wa’s story made into an epic love story?

  35. @N
    I am not sure what your point is. We all agree that having a white british husband helped her cause (and the people of Burma) .
    Should others be recognized, and have movies made about them? Yes.
    That doesn’t mean ASSK isn’t a great figure and sacrificed more than any of us ever will, and isn’t worthy of a movie.

    If Obama’s mom had not been white and he basically grew up with white family it is unlikely he would be President today. This doesn’t mean his accomplisment isn’t still a big deal. Is there work still to be done? Yes. but there is no need to tear down people who have done good work even if they represent the ideal you want 100%

  36. Eurasian,

    Some of the problems with premature democracy:

    a) anarchy
    b) no centralized control or incompetent control of the economic system, which can cause starvation, riots, or worse
    c) ethnic strife
    d) money overruns politics (even worse than what we’re accustomed to!)
    e) high crime because of anarchy

    I think it’s hard to say that it’s not possible for ASSK or anyone to do worse than an incumbent power. Bad or good, we can acknowledge that they’re at least holding it together. Just think about it this way–if Burma had NO government, would they be better off?

    “I anticipate that ASSK will have a lot of foreign goodwill and assistance in getting things done, as well as the backing of her people. “

    That’s the issue–“getting things done.” Her resume doesn’t have much in the way of getting things done. Has she ever run a company? Had any management experience? Organizing? Fundraising? Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher all had major self-initiated accomplishments under their belt before they stepped into leadership. We’ve all seen politics at the national and local level where a person’s goodwill disappears fast. People also change when given power. Don’t get me wrong–hope is a very good thing to have. But hope in itself is not enough. We can appreciate ASSK’s personal strength, but we really don’t know if she can lead a nation.

    N,

    Who are those people? Front page post!

  37. @Lingyai

    I think you’re the one missing the point. This whole post was about the movie afterall.

    It’s even funnier that you brought up Obama, don’t you see how idiotic the situation if you think that he wouldn’t had been elected if he didn’t have a white mother?

  38. I think what I’m also saying is that we could feel safer with ASSK if:

    a) She had some kind of experience in activism or business or managing something, or some kind of executive leadership position.

    or if it’s not possible to have that,

    b) she had a platform other than just “democracy.” Democracy in and of itself isn’t a recipe for success. Kinda like Lee Kuan Yew said about different systems for different countries.

    Again, not doubting the symbolism. But it’s scary to think of turning an entire country over to someone who doesn’t have this experience.

  39. @bww

    Those are Burmese blokes associated with the Burma movement, I’ll have to do a lot more research for the piece on Asian women. But it’ll have to be after my postgrad uni work are done.

  40. @bww

    And ironically, one of the rare democratic successes in the region that is Singapore behaves much closer to a socialist country with high levels of government intervention and low levels of political freedom.

    And as something brought up earlier, it’s ironic that one of the reasons that she was chosen as the figurehead was because her dad was a hero in Burma’s independence from Britain.

  41. @ BigWowo:

    New governments following independence or a major power struggle often have the sort of challenge you mention. Often the new leadership is made up of freedom fighters who can organise a military force but don’t know how to govern civilians. The key is in having the right advisors and appointing the right people.
    One thing that will help ASSK is hopefully the return of many of the exiles from abroad, which has caused something of a brain drain in Burma.

    One thing in Burma’s favour is that I don’t think it has major divisions that will tear the country apart without strong military rule. The newly minted democracies from the Arab Spring will have this problem, eg. secularism vs fundamentalist Islam. Burma has ethnic conflicts but they are largely a product of the dictatorship and so have a good chance of abating.

    “Democracy in and of itself isn’t a recipe for success. Kinda like Lee Kuan Yew said about different systems for different countries.”

    True, though of course Lee Kuan Yew would say that. Like many countries in SE Asia, Singapore’s democracy is a sham.

  42. Eurasian,

    Lee Kuan Yew has always been upfront about Singapore’s hybrid system. To the best of my knowledge, he has never claimed that it is democratic in the same way as the U.S., which is why he spoke about different systems for different people. If Singapore were a democracy like the U.S., they might not be as successful as they are right now. Top-down approaches may be better for small city-states.

    “The key is in having the right advisors and appointing the right people.
    One thing that will help ASSK is hopefully the return of many of the exiles from abroad, which has caused something of a brain drain in Burma.”

    But appointing the right people is not easy! That’s what I was saying about her lack of management experience. It is really, really hard to evaluate good people and empower them, especially in a country like Burma where people are governed by fear of violence and uprising. In a good functioning governing institution, you also have to be able to fire incompetent or corrupt people. This too is not easy, given that someone you fire today may someday try to lead a coup and assassinate you. The political system in Burma, like the political system anywhere else, is filled with politics, both good and bad. Only the stakes are much, much higher in a culture where violence and uprisings have occurred in the not-too-distant past. She’d have to both govern and protect herself.

    For this very reason too, I’m not sure there would be many returning exiles. Think about it–suppose you left Burma and now live in Australia, where you have a family, live in relative safety, live under a stable government where there are mature industries, and make decent money. Would you go back to Burma? Some might, but it’s a gamble.

    Think also about ASSK’s resume. Much of her empowerment comes from either her father’s legacy or her own appeal to Western powers–not her own organizing, management, fundraising, etc. She doesn’t have experience in this area. Her father is no longer around, and she wouldn’t be able to appeal to the West once in power. Do you think Western powers, already struggling with their own debt and economies, would invest money and manpower to help her run the country? Even if she invited the British back into Burma, they might not come. It’s a very tall order to lead a poor, developing country. At least the military junta has some history in running it. (And though I don’t like that argument, but there’s a lot of truth behind it.)

  43. KONY 2012 = Africa Command propaganda. They started the “hunt” for this new African bogeyman last year. Obama already deployed special forces and military advisors to track down this leader of an army puny and minute compared to the forces still moving about the Congo and Rwanda/Burundi.

    Africa Command’s stated purpose is to “integrate the militaries” of the African nations, but when viewed in the context of what capacities the Europeans and Anglo-Americans have been involved in during the last hundred years, it is worrying because there appears to be a goal of creating a donor continent chronically dependent on Western aid, finance, and military assistance.

    Africa is a rich country, many regions were bread baskets and trading hubs before civil war occurred or local government was overthrown by colonial power. How could the people suffer so much? Now more people will know about “Kony 2012” than they will ever know about the roots of African conflict nor will they ever know of any African leaders apart from Mandela and Tutu in the last hundred years. So sad.

    Just like how people “know” Aung San Suu Kyi = democracy = everything good while not knowing a single thing about Burmese history nor international politics as it relates to Burma and how it will affect Burmese people in the future.

    These new centres of moral legitimisation are just as rubbish as the old ones. People just trade one religion for another to follow mindlessly and stupidly.

  44. Now that Suu Kyii is in power, here we go…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/world/asia/daw-aung-san-suu-kyi-heckled-over-support-of-mine-in-myanmar.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130315&_r=0

    “Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi remains widely admired in the country, formerly known as Burma, for her stubborn campaign against military rule and her sacrifices during her years of house arrest. But in recent months she has alienated some supporters with public expressions of admiration for the military and silence on the army’s shelling and airstrikes against the Kachin ethnic minority group. “

  45. And here we go again!

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/opinion/kristof-nobel-prize-aung-san-suu-kyi-shame.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

    “We applauded Aung San Suu Kyi when she received her Nobel Prize because she symbolized courage in the face of tyranny,” noted Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Now that she’s in power, she symbolizes cowardly complicity in the deadly tyranny being visited on the Rohingya.”

    Another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, wrote a pained letter to his friend: “My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.”

    Amazing that it’s only been five years since she won the Nobel.

  46. Aung San Suu Kyi doesn’t speak up because the people would stop supporting her. That’s what you get in a democracy where popular support for ethnic cleansing is rampant.

    Westerners will never accept the idea, but for these types of countries it’s better to have a benevolent dictator who can indoctrinate the population with an antiracist and anti-nationalist education system and wait for enough generations to pass until commoners are no longer hellbent on “purifying” their nation. Occasional force would be needed to quell insurgencies but persecution is unnecessary.

    Unfortunately, very few dictators are benevolent.

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