Being a dictator isn't easy work, and the hours suck, too: Basically, no rest for the wicked. So in between squashing the opposition and eviscerating the constitution, it's nice to step back once in a while and revel in the simple pleasures: like pulling one over on the West.
So this morning when I sat down at the breakfast table, poured a nice, hot, black coffee (and then let it cool while I took a slug of whiskey instead), I was thrilled to see another great example of my famous technique in action.
You have read chapter 10 of the Dictator's Handbook, haven't you? It's all in there under "Working with the International Community."
Hats off, then, to my brothers the Burmese generals. Yes, I know it's called Myanmar, dammit. Shut up. In a diplomatic triumph, these boys threw off enough bad reputation - and promised enough reform - to get the Western donors tripping over themselves in a race to give up some money.
Do you smell something? It's that sweet smell of schadenfraude.
Folks on this forum were smart enough to recognize the West was committing the same mistake as always, by doing the only thing they know how to do. Even long-suffering Aan Sung Suu Kyi cautioned the West was moving too quickly. (It seems no one heard her over the rumble of the jet engines as bankers carrying leather suitcases full of $10s and $20s precipitated down the tarmac of the runway).
So when the Burmese generals went back to what they do best - pounding minority ethnic groups with overwhelming firepower - the West emitted a collective groan of disenchantment. From the Christian Science Monitor:
The [military] offensive – which includes helicopter gunships and aerial bombardment – comes after weeks of heavy fighting at outposts about 10 miles outside the KIA headquarters on the Myanmar-China frontier." He then quoted Joseph Nbwi Naw, a Kachin Catholic priest in the KIA headquarters town of Laiza as saying "the situation is very tense. The bombers are bombing just about four or five miles from the town here."
I'm wondering how you say "Suckers!" in Burmese. Because there's clearly a way to do so.