By James A. Lyons
By arming the rebels, we're aiding al Qaeda
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
total perimeter, 1930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline. It is the second largest country by geographical area in Southeast Asia. - Source: Wikipedia
After years of decrying oppression against Myanmar's democracy leader, the United States got to celebrate her freedom as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi to the State Department on Tuesday at the start of her landmark tour of America.
As the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama co-sponsored a bill to restrict the U.S. government's military support of countries that use children as soldiers. But President Obama has waived those very same sanctions in the name of "national interest," bypassing the findings of a State Department report and allowing millions of dollars in military aid to flow to countries where children as young as 11 have been conscripted to fight — many of whom have died in one bloody conflict after another.
The Senate on Thursday approved legislation to extend some sanctions on Myanmar by another year.
For years, it's been the budget secret of Washington — the rules allow Congress to spend money in one year and then take 10 years to refill the government's coffers, all the while piling up the national debt because the money has to be borrowed.
Whatever develops out of the bloody, chaotic mess Syria has become, it is unlikely that the short-term outcome will be good or the long-term prospects much brighter.
It's one of the last unexplored frontiers for American business, but the opening of the once-sealed economy of Myanmar as the country's military makes democratic reforms has both peril and promise for U.S. companies looking to invest there.
The United States is poised to allow companies to invest with Myanmar's state oil and gas enterprise as the Obama administration takes its biggest step yet to roll back sanctions, marking a rare break from democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The rare Washington consensus behind the Obama administration's policy toward Myanmar is showing signs of cracks as American businesses grow impatient to invest there and human rights groups push back.
After spending 15 years under house arrest and not even letting the death of her husband come between her and her passionate fight for Burma democracy, there is little doubt that Aung San Suu Kyi chose the road less traveled ("Suu Kyi to make bittersweet return to Oxford," Web, Sunday).
Aung San Suu Kyi and Bono joined forces Monday as the Myanmar democracy activist's European tour moved from the home of the Nobel Peace Prize to the land of U2.
On Monday, Mrs. Suu Kyi begins a weeklong trip to Britain as part of a European tour. The most bittersweet moment likely will be her homecoming to Oxford, where on Wednesday the 66-year-old finally will accept the honorary doctorate she was awarded in 1993 while she was under house arrest in Yangon.
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says the Nobel Peace Prize she won while under house arrest 21 years ago helped to shatter her sense of isolation and ensured that the world would demand democracy in her military-controlled homeland.
Twenty-four years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi left Europe for what was then a military-controlled nation called Burma. She returns Wednesday as the icon of Myanmar's democracy movement to a Europe eager to hear from her whether the country's recent reforms truly spell the end of its cruel dictatorship.
The U.S. is open to improving military ties with Myanmar if the country continues to enact political and human rights reforms, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told Asian leaders Saturday.
For decades, they have been two of the world's most reclusive nations.