Obama Administration Dodges, Critiques, Resigns Itself to
Chinese and Indian Dominance
26, 2010 -- The Obama administration's less
critical stand on the military government in Myanmar
has been on
display of late.
the run up to the September 27 meeting at the UN
of the Group of Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar, Inner
City Press has been asking a range of Obama administration officials
what the US position in the meeting, and on Myanmar, will be.
Press asked the Myanmar question to a senior US official who gave a
briefing to preview the General Debate. The official, who has spoken
about Sudan, Iran and a range of other topics, said they hadn't been
briefed on Myanmar.
an on the
record session with US State Department spokesman PJ Crowly on
September 21, Inner City Press asked about the “meeting of the
Group of Friends and the Secretary General on Myanmar – Burma on
Monday. With the NLD dissolved, like what’s the U.S. in this UNGA
trying to accomplish on Burma?”
“I’ll take the question of our involvement of that particular
meeting and have that for you at our next briefing.”
two days later,
still no answer had been provided. After another US briefing, about
President Obama's two speeches at the UN, Inner City Press tried
again to get the US position.
below, the State Department spokesman's presentation to Inner City
Press of the US position on Myanmar and the meeting initially seems
strong, critical of the military government of Than Shwe and other
generals, but ultimately uses the support of China and India for
Myanmar as a reason not to push for much.
the Obama administration, loudly, does not allow Chinese support for
Sudan to stop it from publicly speechifying about Sudan, and being
seen to “apply pressure” to the al Bashir government.
Why has the
US, as some see it, given up on Burma? Watch this site.
President Obama at UNGA Sept 23, focus on Myanmar not shown
Here is the
what State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told Inner City Press on
Do you remember my Myanmar question. Did I miss a
briefing of yours?
is a friend of Myanmar meeting on Monday. We will be
participating. And we'll go through a full range of issues. Obviously
our concerns about the human rights climate are well known. We have
been encouraging Myanmar to open up political space. Clearly they
have failed to do that. We have been encouraging them to have a
serious dialogue with the various ethnic groups which compose their
population. They haven't done that. The electoral laws that they've
passed for the election later this fall we believe will not lead to a
credible result. Just taking generals out of uniform and making them
civilians is not enough. Part of the challenge with Burma is also
working more collaboratively with other countries some of whom do
have strong relations with Burma. To settle on a common approach and
then see if we can't together demonstrate to Burma there are
definitely things that they have to do.
You mean India as well as China?
There's this call for an international inquiry into war
crimes in Burma which was made by the UN rapporteur. France has just
said there's going pursue it in this GA. It was never clear to people
if the Obama administration joined that call There were some articles
where a senior US official said they supported the call but it was
never.. I don't know what that meant. Do you know what I'm referring
do. I don't know if that's going to be brought up at this
meeting or not. Let's wait and see.
administration were really behind this call for an inquiry into war
crimes in Burma, it seems unlikely that the State Department
spokesman would say “let's wait and see” if the issue comes up at
the September 27 meeting the US is participating in. Watch this site.
* * *
Shown in UKUN Documents, Myanmar Now Darfur
Exclusive, Must Credit
-- The UN's Ibrahim Gambari was humiliated by
the military rulers of Myanmar
in 2009, internal documents of the UK
Mission to the UN obtained by Inner City Press show. For example, of
Gambari's 2009 trip the UK Mission wrote:
visit on 26-27 June lasted a mere 32 hours. As on previous
encounters, his programme was revealed to him on arrival. He was
driven directly to the new capital, Naypyitaw, a 4-hour drive from
Rangoon. A flight to Naypyitaw would have taken an hour.”
including from the September 2009 meeting
Group of Friends on Myanmar meeting (similar to the forthcoming
meeting on the sidelines of this week's UN General Debate) came to
very little. In 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest and
her NLD party has been dissolved.
the UN's subservience to Than Shwe and others in
Burma's military regime, the documents will raise more questions
about Gambari's questionable engagement with Sudan's Omar al Bashir
government, from which Gambari as head of Darfur's UNAMID
peacekeeping mission awaits permission before even sending troops to
documents of the UK Mission to the UN and of the UK Mission in
Yangon, which Inner City Press is exclusively
putting online here, include
and summarizing Gambari's visit in early 2009
during which a “meeting was attended by the members of the CEC but
the Burmese/Myanmar authorities insisted on the exclusion of Win
which Gambari “did acknowledge that there were now
cross-border implications to the issue, as a result of the situation
in the Kayin State;” and
Gambari's claim that “Than Shwe had pointed
out the challenges facing the country, including the underdeveloped
border areas, and the role of the military. Gambari commented that
he thought Than Shwe would like to re-engage with the international
community, and to turn a new page in relations with the UN.”
in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, the Than Shwe government took up
to 25% of the UN's aid by means of scam foreign exchange conversion
which the UN covered up, until exposed by Inner City Press.
UN's Ban & Gambari spin on Myanmar, UK docs and
Darfur not shown
in Darfur, seeking permission before protecting civilians and
reportedly angling to turn over to the government rebels who support
Abdel Wahid Nur, the Myanmar documents provide a glimpse some say
into the pro dictatorship leanings of a diplomat who formerly
represented a military government at the UN.
Gambari documents here, and
imagine what similar internal documents about the (in)actions of
Gambari's successor Vijay Nambiar will show. Watch this site.
* * *