Hey, on second thought – maybe I won’t be a dictator by mattsteinglass
June 29, 2007, 9:51 am
Filed under: Burma

Deputy Assistant  Sec. of State Eric John, theUS’s top SE Asia guy, met with three Burmese ministers in Beijing yesterday, the first such high-level US-Burma contact in years. The US said any further progress on bilateral relations depended on freeing Aung San Suu Kyi. According to a State Dept. spokesman:

“It was a frank exchange of views but I don’t think we saw anything coming out of them that would indicate, unfortunately, that they had changed their basic opinions,” Casey said of the meeting, which was held at Myanmar’s request.

It’s easy to make too much of the use of one word by a spokesman, but — “opinions”? As if these guys might have done a little reading and decided, hey, you know, a military junta is kind of an antiquated form of government that’s ill suited to a modern economy, so how about we move towards liberal democracy? Interests, stances, aims, perspectives even. But not “opinions”. On the other hand, the claim that the meeting was held at Burma’s request is interesting. What are they looking for from the US, and why now?


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