Okay here we are. The BURMA Act (itself a mouthful) is queuing up and we expect Meeks to let it out in the next few days. Trying to get more GOP especially on the Senate side. But on the House side things are looking pretty good. There is no “there there” in the proposed legislation for Ted Lieu and Brad Sherman to object to on behalf of the Rohingya. In fact Rohingya are pretty darn happy with it as it is filled with references to their plight and the need for the National Unity Government to do more - without necessarily giving them the money to do so. And so, The Honorable Rep. Ted Lieu has agreed to co-sponsor what is, nonetheless, important legislation (it does a LOT for civil society).
Both Sherman and Lieu represent Southern California. Lieu wisely sat out today’s conversation in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation. Sadly, Sherman reverted to his mid 2010’s self with questioning that was so nonsensical, the witness pretended not to hear it.
To be clear, there is no US funding going to the military regime of Myanmar. There is no longer a coordinating military/civil (tatmadaw/NLD) establishment functioning. We know that because on February 1, 2021 there was a military coup and the people who had been elected in October 2020 to take the reins at this time were instead placed under arrest or have since fled in terror with warrants for their arrest and formed a unity opposition government in exile.
Myanmar is not pronounced My Anmar. The Nobel Laureate and challenged National League for Democracy Leader’s name is not pronounced “Aung Juan Suu Key.” She is not now the apologist for genocide as she has not been able to speak out since February.
At 45:00 he goes straight down the rabbit hole. His speaking about the creation of the new nation state of South Sudan is one he was cautioned away from by the very parties he hopes to engage in this tired, wasted argument. That is, that either Bangladesh should annex Rakhine/Arakan State, the historic homeland of the Rohingya who have always considered themselves part of Burma/Myanmar, or the Rohingya should declare it an independent nation with support from the US - which would lead to a proxy war with India, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, to say nothing of another major population of Rakhine/Arakan State, the Rakhine/Arakanese people themselves, before we get to the actual Bengali and Hindu populations in the area. In short, nobody in the region wants this, and when he spoke of it more explicitly in the past, Bangladesh regarded it as an international incident.
The question he asks is an absolute non starter. He’s asking if we should provide aid at a time when the government has not redressed issues with the Rohingya. There is no fucking government. The government has been removed. The people are not cooperating with the military. They are out in the streets and apologizing on social media for having been brainwashed about the Rohingya by the military. The money will not go to the people who have been carrying out the genocide.
Dave Shear doesn’t speak to the difference between the tatmadaw and the NUG. I wish he’d said something here, but…what’s he supposed to say/do?
Next, no we are not providing tens of millions of dollars to the regime to meet its objectives of genocide. We are not giving them any money. This whole thing is bumming me out. He has constituents reaching out to clear up just what is happening right now and will try to have the Rohingya leaders explain it directly to him.
Moving on, I’d like your thoughts on this idea which has just started circulating:
Will the fall of the Myanmar Kyat bring about the fall of the SAC? That is the question.
Soldiers’ pay is worth less and less every day, soon every hour. Most empires in history fell because soldiers no longer were willing to fight for their masters when the masters could no longer pay them. That was true of ancient Rome, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union. Will it be true of the Myanmar junta?
The NUG should introduce a new currency, backed by $1 billion of hard foreign reserves held in the US. It could be an e-currency, not physical paper. Or both. If the NUG issued this today, people can exchange 1 MMK to 1 NUG-kyat, so the NUG could issue 2,800 * 1 billion NUG-Kyat. But the NUG kyat would not inflate further, since it would be tied to actual dollars held in the US. Everyone would rush to convert SAC-Kyat to NUG-kyat. Then, the SAC-kyat (current kyat) would collapse.
The soldiers would not be allowed to get NUG-kyat unless they defect and give up. I think many solders would desert the Tatmadaw at that point. The SAC would collapse very quickly.
What do you think?