The recent disasters in China and Myanmar prompt me to make the following observations.
It is interesting that China willingly and openly welcomed aid from other countries following the earthquake that devastated their countryside, knowing full well that bringing in people from outside also brings in new ideas. And new ideas are, ultimately, what will cause the overthrow of any tyranny. Which is why the military dictatorship currently in power in Myanmar doesn’t want any outside assistance.
But one of the reasons given for our invasion of Iraq was so that we could help democracy begin and grow in the Middle East. It may not have been high on the list but it was always given in support of the other reasons.
Why is it then that we have done nothing against the military regime in power in Myanmar? That regime is clearly as repressive as was Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, perhaps even more so. The generals in Myanmar are clearly only interested in preserving their power and doing so at the expense of the people.
I would not be surprised if we were to compare the list of crimes committed against the people of Iraq by Saddam Hussein with a list of crimes against the people of Myanmar by their present government and find them eerily similar. But our actions are nowhere similar; why is that?
In creating reasons for invading Iraq, we created a mythological “axis of evil” in order to justify our actions. If we are truly against the evil that is present in this world, why are we not actively and openly working to overthrow the military dictatorship of Myanmar?
As we approach Memorial Day, 2008, let us remember what it is meant to represent. It is not, as many people think, a three-day weekend created for the sole reason of celebrating the start of summer. It is meant to be a time to remember those who have died in the cause of freedom and in response to the threat of freedom.
Those who have read my blog know that I am opposed to war, especially as a solution to the problems of society and the world. Wars in the past have been fought for many reasons and this country has gone to war on more than one occasion because freedom was threatened. This weekend is to be a time of remembrance for the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for that reason.
But until recently we have never sent troops in harm’s way before our freedom was threatened and the reasons that have been given only serve to dilute the cost that so many of our military have paid with their lives and wounds (link to current combat casualties and wounded).
And what the tragedy of Myanmar shows is that our reasons for invading and “liberating” Iraq were shallow, self-centered, and misleading. If we are going to say that we will respond to any perceived or actual threat to our freedom, what shall we do when the freedom of others is threaten or taken away?
Something to think about-
Cross-posted to RedBlueChristian.com