Some days before Mr Bush and company launched the Iraq invasion, I was watching the news on television. Mr Bush, as an answer to a reporter’s question said, “We need to liberate the Iraqi people from the rule of the despot that Saddam Hussein is.” The ‘need to liberate’ is something that has stayed with me ever since.
Last night, as I was watching the news on television and staring at the cyclone-afflicted misfortune that Myanmar’s people are undergoing, the ‘need to liberate’ them welcomed itself back to my mind. Wonder what the creator of the phrase is thinking.
Saddam gassed his own people, imposed himself upon them, lived a king’s life when his subjects killed each other for food and did all the a dictator does. Oh yes, he also desired nuclear weapons but never got near doing that. Lets take Gen Than Shwe’s regime in Myanmar now. Denial of basic human rights, crushing rebellion using bloody means, hes done all that. So much so that even the usually apolitical monks came out on the streets in protest only to face shocking brutality. Today, as his country is facing what is perhaps Asia’s worst natural calamity in over a decade, after tsunami, his men are busy restricting planes carrying relief materials from reaching the affected.
And from 6:15am, this morning, his men have even begun awaiting people at polling stations. What for, one would ask. Well, they want people to go through and approve a military-drafted constitution. So what if 1.5 million people are displaced, number of registered voters is not known and perhaps, over 1,00,000 people have died only a week back.
And like Iraq, Myanmar too is home to one of world’s largest fuel deposits. Makes a case for ‘liberation’, Mr Bush?