What Can the US Do about Burma?
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The bloody repression of peaceful protest in Myanmar—or Burma—has outraged the rest of the world and put China in a diplomatic squeeze. What can be done to stop the violence? Should the US intervene or keep its head down? Also, key detainees in the war on terror will be able to get civilian attorneys and, on Reporter's Notebook, several investigations are zeroing in on five incidents involving the private security guards of Blackwater USA in Iraq.
Buddhist monks protest outside the Burmese Embassy in London, England. People gathered to show support for the Burmese protestors who are still campaigning for democracy in Burma, despite the Burmese military using force to break up the demonstrations. Photo: Cate Gillon/Getty Images
Key Guantanamo Prisoners Gain Right to Civilian Attorney ()
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of September 11, will be able to have a lawyer, along with 13 other "high-level" detainees at Guantánamo. If he wants one, it will the first time he'll have talked to anyone outside the Red Cross and US interrogators since he was captured four years ago. Josh White reports for the Washington Post.
- Josh White: Military Affairs Reporter for the Washington Post
What Should the US Do about Burma? ()
Despite years of isolation by a despotic regime, the world is watching the military crackdown on peaceful protesters in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The official death toll is now ten. Diplomats in the capital say it's more than that by "many multiples." Now there are reports of "unusual troop movements" and a disagreement between the chief of the military junta and his second in command, who leads the army. Condoleezza Rice calls the crackdown a "travesty," and neighboring countries have expressed "revulsion," but all eyes are on China, which has ruled out sanctions. We get an update and background on a country compared to North Korea for brutalizing a starving population. With no economic interests, should the US still intervene or keep a low profile? Have Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo damaged America's moral standing?
- Simon Long: Asia Editor for the Economist
- Jennifer Quigley: Advocacy Coordinator for the US Campaign for Burma
- James Lilley: Former US Ambassador to South Korea and China
- Dan Slater: Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
- Carl Gershman: President of the National Endowment for Democracy
New Details Emerge on Blackwater Shooting ()
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sent a fact-finding team to Iraq to look into deadly incidents involving Blackwater security guards. It's being reported in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post that the State Department and Iraqi government already are focusing on five separate incidents, including a diplomatic convoy during which one guard reportedly drew a weapon on colleagues and screamed at them to "stop shooting," presumably at civilians. The Brookings Institution's Peter Singer is author of a new study on private contractors, "Can't Win with 'Em, Can't Go to War without 'Em: Private Military Contractors and Counterinsurgency."
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