Our Stupid Burma Policy Mostly Succeeds in Killing Burmese Babies

This week, the world’s longest-running military dictatorship sentenced Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who’s been under house arrest in Burma on and off for twenty years, to eighteen more months of house arrest. The US and the rest of the Western world is SO mad. How mad? We’re-gonna-impose-a-whole-bunch-of-totally-impactless-sanctions mad.

Forget the sanctions everyone is calling for in the news and on NPR. Everyone is not, of course, disclosing the dirty details, which include the fact that our sanctions don’t apply to our oil and gas companies, which are still allowed to operate in the country. Everyone is not, of course, mentioning that we’ve already had sanctions in place for more than a decade with no effect. Well, not no effect -- they’ve put tens of thousands of factory workers out of jobs and helped make Burma the poorest country on the continent, where it has the second-highest child mortality rate (after only Afghanistan).

Obama just extended sanctions on Burma, again, a couple of weeks ago. But the administration says its policy on the country is “still very much under review.” Let’s hope that review involves recognizing that the US is going to have to do a lot more than sanction — which didn’t work in Iraq, and didn’t work in Cuba, and isn’t working in Burma now -- if it wants to stop the oppression.

Click here to read more about our Burma policy.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.