Reasons to be Fearful

By | November 25, 2014

Recent allegations in social media about the leadership of the ABFSU being in the hands of a “couple of commies” should come as no surprise to most people. [1] We have been there before so many times, and the finger pointing will return on every such occasion. One infamous example was Aung Gyi’s accusation that Daw Suu was surrounded by communists in 1988 despite a contingent of ex-army commanders like himself among her inner circle, and shortly after the junta’s loyal troops had gunned down thousands including schoolchildren in their green uniforms, all supposed to be communists. [2] After the Reds it had to be the Muslims, naturally. So we all know where this is going.

    There are two important sets of target audience whenever this oft rehashed propaganda machine is set in motion (the objective – to justify state violence in order to maintain and consolidate the military rulers’ stranglehold on power).

1. The “international community” – read dyed-in-the-wool capitalist powers where “democracy” as they define it is anathema to the Marxist interpretation of the same concept – no doubt an unconscionable beast. What they never made clear, unlike Marxists, for good reasons is that both forms of democracy have winners and losers. [3]

2. But more urgently, their own security forces, both officers and men steeped in anti-communist indoctrination. After all as one of the best known leaders of the other side of the divide in the last century once famously said,”political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. [4] Who follows this Maoist maxim more faithfully than the Burmese military regime?

   A useful exercise at this juncture might be to ask why this mortal fear as well as a visceral hatred of the “Red Menace”, despite repeated assurances over the last quarter of a century that to all intents and purposes the CPB is not just defunct but practically dead and buried. [5] Is there even a remote possibility that it will rise up from the ashes like the phoenix of ancient myth and legend? The military rulers of Burma evidently believe it will.

   What are the reasons behind this almost innate fear? Top of the list must be their deeply held conviction that no other group of opposition or armed resistance matches the communists in organizational and strategic capability, above all in political experience. [6] They know only too well who their real enemy is. They can handle the Lady and they have more or less proved it. [7][8][9] The fear of the Lady’s prospects of putting an end to the status quo is long predated by this particular fear of the communists which will outlast the former, just as their ties with the Western military predate their period of unabashed dictatorship, and prove to be simply dormant and readily revivable, not least the highly profitable prospect of arms sales. [9][10][11]

​   Whatever the rhetoric of reform and reconciliation they come up with, they remain the defenders of the status quo – of domination and privilege, of iniquity and injustice, of exploitation and repression, and of enslavement and impoverishment of the populace under their misrule.​ The prospect of an eventual overthrow of this military yoke crushing all the peoples of Burma into the ground over the last half century or so underlies this primal fear

– the loss of power, privilege and untold wealth which they planned to be extended for another half century at the expense of a long suffering nation, not to mention the retribution that may be visited upon them after their downfall. It will be a desperate fight for their survival once again as in 1988. Unfortunately for all concerned even power sharing does not appear to be palatable to them, let alone handing it over to a democratically elected government without let or hindrance.

A political blackmail is under way with a constant threat hanging over both the “opposition” and the public of a U turn or a “constitutional coup d’état”. The message loud and clear has been “don’t rock the boat” or else. They are themselves of course no strangers to the art of manipulation using fear. Fear of a communist takeover and the subsequent “Reign of Terror” as if they were innocent of such an unspeakable crime, indeed as if they were not the perpetrators themselves over the decades of the heinous crimes against humanity from July 7, 1962 onwards. Fear of the alien who will bring an end to our race and religion as we know it, as if the Saffron Revolution and its brutal and ruthless crackdown or the later attack on the Letpadaung protestors camp was not still fresh in our collective memory.

   Remorse or no, they appear to have a recurring nightmare of hearing their own death knell. If the 8888 Uprising and the subsequent crackdowns were any precedent to go by, they simply could not help themselves as a creature of habit, and would once again more than likely have the peoples of Burma for judge, jury and executioner, their own inability to let go of power eventually their grave digger.













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