I'd like to take a moment here and give a shout-out to my boys the Burmese generals. Ever been to one of those stupid movies where there's a psycho killer in the abandoned house, but the stupid girl and her sorority sisters are walking up to the front door anyway to go get slaughtered in the next two minutes of the film?
That's what watching American trying to court Myanmar is like.
The Burmese generals that got so many mentions in the Dictator's Handbook may have played this one perfectly. The government has, among other things, freed hundreds of political prisoners, allowed opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi to re-enter politics after 15 years of house arrest and made some progress toward signing cease-fire agreements with ethnic groups to resolve long-standing hostilities. In line with Obama’s inaugural pledge to “extend a hand” if regimes are willing to unclench their fists, the administration eased sanctions, and Obama himself became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot Myanmar in November 2012. ...
Then, once the checks started flowing and the West had promised tons and tons of aid, money, cash, ca-ching, and moo-lah, they just dialed down those reforms. Oh yeah, democracy? Justice? We're getting to it. Send in a bit more cash, we can talk about it. No, but send the cash first.
Brilliant, generals. You've played this one masterfully. Turns out, you's a bunch of hard dicks, just like I suspected.