Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar’

It’s failed-states’ Wednesday

February 3, 2021

The article below by Max Fisher in the New York Times is very interesting on the disaster that is Myanmar. Far better than anything in the British press.

What Fisher writes chimes with what I saw in Myanmar and why I declined offers to go back there in the time of Ms Aung (she’s really called Ms Suu).

Meanwhile, breaking news in a failed state closer to home is that Mario Draghi is trying to form an Italian government. Ho, ho, ho.

Having gone to Frankfurt to run the European Central Bank and stave off the bankruptcy of his miserable but attractive country, Mario is now going to try to actually change Italy.

Good luck with that!

I guess we’ll soon find out if he really is Super Mario.

More, later:

Could I just mention, while we are on the subject of Italy, that the bung-taking architect of Putin’s insane Black Sea palace, described in Navalny’s wonderful documentary, is none other than Lanfranco Cirillo, who is, of course, Italian. They certainly invented fascism. Did they also invent corruption?

Cirillo is from Brescia, about 50 kilometres east of Milan (remember Berlusconi, or Bettino Craxi, or Poalo Pilliteri, who I interviewed when young?) All from the same neck of the woods. Northern Italians like to blame the south for the country’s problems. But my observation has long been that this is a crock of shit. It is the north of Italy that is the spawn-pool of selfishness and corruption. The south, after all, gave us Gramsci, possibly the last principled Italian. He died in 1937.

And here come the Myanmar generals…

February 1, 2021

You could not make it up.

Xi Jinping. Vladimir Putin. Myanmar generals.

Covid is now providing cover for every villain on the planet to do his worst (they do all seem to be men).

The generals in Myanmar, having been crushed in a free election, and then saying they wouldn’t do a coup, have done one.

What a mess. The key observations in the linked article come from the venerable Thant Myint-U:

<The author and historian Thant Myint-U wrote on on Twitter: “The doors just opened to a very different future. I have a sinking feeling that no one will really be able to control what comes next. And remember Myanmar’s a country awash in weapons, with deep divisions across ethnic & religious lines, where millions can barely feed themselves.”>

I should say that I am not a big fan of Aung San Suu Kyi. She seems to me to be a hippy and hippies don’t make good leaders if you want economic development and an end to poverty (remember Ghandi?).

About three years ago I was asked by a foundation that works on land reform to go to Myanmar and I met some of Ms Aung’s advisers and ministers. I was appalled by the non-quality and intellectual laziness of much of what I saw. (It was like I imagine having dinner with George Osborne or Boris Johnson would be.)

Still, none of this justifies putting the lunatics back in charge of the asylum.

I should also say that, although I have twice been in the same room as her, I have never actually spoken to the little lady, so there is some room for doubt about my opinion of her.

I also wonder if the Communist Party of China is meddling in this coup. It wouldn’t be a big surprise.


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