For the Freelance Assassination of the Burmese Generals
By circletimessquare in Op-Ed
Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:12:35 PM EST
Tags: morality, flash mob, internet, assassination (all tags)
The problem with nationalism is that it will align itself with and act in the common good of humanity only when its own interests are also served. And of course, if its interests are served by stability, which might sometimes be served by propping up corrupt regimes, such as in Burma and its supply of natural gas to India and China, no action will come at all. Agitation then to get countries to do something is pointless. National governments exist to serve that country's citizens, not humanity. That fundamental structural defect means that nations are unreliable agents of the common good. They will never act for the common good of humanity on principle alone.
However, with the rise of the Internet, we have a wonderful new tool at our disposal for the advancement of justice. A means for all of humanity to coordinate and act on the name of the human good on its own, bypassing the morally compromised and ineffectual national governments.
The UN is also useless, as it is hamstrung by all of the competing national governmental interests in a Tower of Babel. Only when there is broad agreement on some tiny, innocuous, very narrowly defined problem will the UN glacially move towards getting involved. And then, it will be only to tiny, pointless, day-too-late-and-a-dime-to-short effect. Witness the recent murder of Senegalese forces in Darfur: in response, the UN writes an angry letter, and argues about the wording not being too forceful. Wow. Way to go guys.
And so, the good of humanity must be served by humanity itself, bypassing the UN, bypassing national governments, as the corrupt and ineffective false representatives of humanity that they are.
In Burma you have:
- Universal revulsion for the government by the vast majority of its own citizens. And peaceful action by religious monks. And brutal slaughtering and imprisonment of said monks in return by the evil junta.
- Revulsion of the government by almost all governments in the world (but no action). Revulsion of the government by the UN (but no action).
- Uniform universal revulsion of the government by almost all peoples in the world, in all regions of the world. But an inability to do anything (until the Internet).
- Decades of horrible atrocities committed by said government, punctuated recently by a vicious spasm of the murder of civilians merely fighting for the rights much of the rest of the world takes for granted. Nothing more than slaves being reprimanded for daring to question the Generals' will. That will being buying pretty baubles for their daughters.
Than's daughter, Thandar Shwe, married Maj. Zw Phyo Win, an army officer and deputy director at the ministry of commerce in July 2006. A 10-minute video of the couple's marriage was posted on Youtube in November to the fury of Burmese people. The ceremony reputedly cost more than three times the state health budget; the tally of gifts, which reportedly include luxury cars and houses, were worth a total of $50m. The bride was dressed opulently, with glittering jewelled clusters in her hair, diamond ear-studs, and "at least six thick strings of what appear to be diamonds".
At this moment, early October, monks are being slaughtered, starved, falsely imprisoned, beaten, etc. Are we to stand by and do nothing?
No one acts, when action is desperately required, for decades now. Burma's Generals aren't going anywhere. The only way to remove them is via violent action. Most everyone agrees violent action is the only way to remove them.
Except the peaceniks with their heads in the clouds, who don't understand how problems like this work in the real world. For a demonstration of how Burma's military government treats peaceniks, witness its recent wholesale murder of thousands of peaceful peacenik Burmese monks. Does that convince you, dear braindead peaceniks that violent action is required? Or I suppose continued suffering by the Burmese people is better? Because that's what your malformed POV asserts. There is no other choice before you that your rationale winds up supporting. Your inaction serves the Generals.
We have universal consensus that violent action on the Burmese Generals is valid and just and required, earnestly. Well, why can't the Internet serve as the clearinghouse for organizers, bypassing governments and the UN? To:
- meet online
- raise funds (until the account is frozen by the meek selfish government who oversees the jurisdiction the accounts are in. The midlevel government official who takes the command from his superior on down to the administrator who disables the account probably agree that the Burmese Generals need to be taken out. But they don't want to lose their jobs. How is this valid?)
- form and coordinate an agenda:
- Bomb the natural gas pipelines to India and China, waking the giants from their self-serving blindness: they won't get their precious natural gas as long as the generals are around, that they support to get the natural gas. So India and China need to stop supporting them. There should be no precious stability with the Generals around. This point must be driven home by bombing the pipelines. Embarrass the Generals, remove the only raison d'être for India and China supporting them. This point must be driven home.
- Plot assassination on the Burmese Generals, who deserve obviously nothing less than death, according to almost universal consensus in the world.
Four criticisms about this approach here must be addressed:
So what say you humanity? Why can't we just Internet flash mob murder these asshole Burmese Generals? No one else will, and there is no other way out of this evil old impasse. Righteous moral outrage demands that we organize and kill these motherfuckers.
- An appearance of thinly veiled Western neocolonial imperialism.
This idea of an Internet death squad pointed at the Burmese Generals is obviously motivated by universal human moral outrage. But some will kneejerk the Western imperialism charge anyways. It's typical and inevitable and braindead. So the idea is to short circuit the closed minded fools whose brains are stuck in 1907 upfront: membership in this Internet society to kill the Burmese Generals and bomb their pipelines must be tempered to deny many potential Western members. It must be a true UN of action, with members representing all walks of life, especially Indians and Chinese (the powerful do nothing neighbors: show that the true voice of the Chinese and Indian people (which is not Beijing or New Delhi on the question of inaction on Burma) is against the suffering of the Burmese for the sake of their cheaper natural gas).
But regardless of the idiocy of the charge of Western imperialism, all we need is a bunch of wannabe Western soldier of fortune type assholes who couldn't get into Blackwater getting involved here on some sort of Rambo fantasy life.
Furthermore, membership by Burmese isn't an issue. No matter what the membership rules, expat Burmese would fill the membership roles of this Internet society over the brim. This is a given. Nobody wants these evil Burmese Generals dead more than the Burmese themselves.
- Isn't this plot just like Al Qaeda?
Not at all. The methods being proposed here are nothing like Al Qaeda. For gazillions of reasons, but here are two huge ones:
- Al Qaeda kills thousands of complete innocents. On purpose. The only people targeted for death by this Internet society would be the few dozen obvious targets: the actual Generals, and no one else (well, in practicality, that would include any obviously gung ho partisan supporters who would protect the Generals and who would get in the way of an assassination operation). The generals instigate these horrible crimes against humanity and so far remain untouched by any sense of justice, which, according to most any moral code of any culture, requires that these assholes die. As of yesterday.
- Al Qaeda doesn't represent the will of the Muslim world. The vast majority of Muslims condemn Al Qaeda. For no greater reason that the fact that the vast majority of the victims of Al Qaeda are in fact Muslims. So Al Qaeda acts only in the name of its own extremist views. Meanwhile, any action against the Burmese Generals is done in the name of and with the support of the vast majority of peoples in the entire world, most fervently in fact by the Burmese themselves.
- Isn't it the Burmese who will suffer for your actions?
Well yeah. The common innocent Burmese will be punished severely and extremely for actions by a force aimed to assassinate the Generals or blow up the pipelines. But doing nothing means a whole hell of a lot more Burmese will suffer, over the span of decades. Welcome to the real world, here are your choices:
You cannot choose to not choose and still consider yourself to have a human conscience. There is suffering before you, you need to act to continue to have a clear conscience. OK, now choose.
- a lot suffering right now for actions against the generals,
- even more suffering at a slower rate over a much larger timescale if the generals are not opposed,
- there are no other choices.
- Too hard for a bunch of amateurs.
Well yeah. But that's why you coordinate. In organization and in numbers, impressive stealthy force can be achieved, perhaps, hopefully, overcoming the paranoid bunker mentality of the Burmese Generals and their formidable protections. They are human, they are not gods. They can be touched. As Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
All sorts of impressive logistical, financial, intelligence, and other assets come out of the woodwork when you coordinate and aggregate people under a common purpose. This is what the Internet is meant for: action for the greater good in spite of nationalistic ambivalence due to blind selfishness and United Nations incompetence due to hamstrung spinelessness.
PS: You don't threaten the lives of powerful and very evil people without jeopardizing yourself. If you live in this world you can be touched, and hurt, and this applies to the Burmese Generals as well as those opposed to them violently. If anyone in this Internet group is killed for their convictions, or fall under the thumb of a government agency for agitating in a way that does not serve Washington DC or Manila or some other fucking nationalistic entity, even if much of the government servants might agree with the cause in principle, then I say this to the world: we sacrifice for the greater good, we sublimate our personal identities to the cause. We could die feeble old men, or we could die for a good cause. Dying for a good cause is way better in my book. So if we are murdered or are imprisoned or prosecuted to financial ruin, it is OK with us. Because we thereby bring media coverage to the cause, thereby serving the cause and generating more interest, thereby letting more good be done. We don't matter. Only the cause does. This makes life worthwhile living.
And the cause is righteous and correct and agreed upon by the entire world, including the consensus of the Burmese themselves:
Get rid of the Burmese Generals by violent force. There is no other way.
Murder this subhuman pig, Than Shwe, today. Everybody get behind this.
It won't be easy.
It must be done.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stuart Mill