RUNNING COMMENTARY ON BURMA

- WHAT WILL CAUSE THE JUNTA TO FALL

This may be the most important factor, outside of the armed revolt. When the economy decisively collapses, when the Kyat reaches 10,000 to the dollar, and then 100,000, the junta will fold. Right now thousands of Burma Army officers and their friends and cronies have made huge amounts stealing the wealth of the nation. Much of this wealth no doubt has been sent to Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. When there is no more money to be stolen, and realizing that the end is near, they will flee, with their families. Better to be rich and free abroad than jailed, tried and then hung in a Burma prison. I imagine people who can are fleeing already (or certainly planning it), mainly to Singapore. Their friends still in Burma will know about this, and be looking for their own way out, too. (How to get on a plane.) Just as Burma Army rank and file soldiers are looking for an opportunity to desert to the EAOs and PDFs, so the top officials and their families want out as well. The breaking point could come at any time.

As an aside, the U.S. finally stopping the MOGE cash flow would probably be the trigger event for the regime's collapse. Get going Biden and Blinken!!!

- THE COLLAPSE TRIGGER

Total collapse is terrible for the people, but if they can share the food they have and can still grow and make, while it will be very hard, they will get through. But the total collapse will mean chaos for the terrorist junta. They will feel terror themselves. Their soldiers will starve. It is getting close!

At these points in social change situations, what you need is a trigger. Something that pulls the entire house of cards down. Sanctions against MOGE from the United States would be the most obvious. But there are others, too. My view is that the revolutionaries should prioritize their targets, to hurt rank and file terrorist morale. What can you do to really hurt them, psychologically. To give them a major defeat. The ordinary soldiers of Min Aung Naing need to start thinking that they have lost already, that it is inevitable. Is there any way for them to get out, and to save their families.

- ON THE EXECUTION BY THE JUNTA TERRORISTS OF FOUR PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

What is different about this? The terrorists have murdered people since the coup, and for decades before that. They do it every day.

The difference is, in terms of diplomacy, this is inexcusable. You might think burning dozens of people to death was inexcusable, or perpetrating genocide, but to diplomats they can be excused. They are part of a bigger picture: People being savagely repressed by, and revolting against, a murderous dictatorship, but for a country that has huge natural resource deposits and where international companies have long-standing exploitation agreements with the terrorists. So, to diplomats, it's not that clear. They typically focus on boosting business, so they accept a tradeoff, bodies for access.

This isn't mass murder in a remote village. This is public, as public as it is possible to be. The terrorists are saying, we will murder anyone we want, and we know you won't do anything about it. We will kill the entire population if we have to, to stay in power.

This is a challenge to which the United States must respond. If they will murder four people, in public, they will murder a thousand. There are tens of thousands of political prisoners. They will kill every single one.

If the response isn't immediate, they will do this again and again.

The United States must help. There is zero difference with Ukraine. It makes no difference that China is next door. The U.S. must arm the revolutionaries.

This has to end as quickly as possible, the defeat of the terrorists, and getting the people the guns they need is the only way to do it.

- WHAT TO DO WITH THE DEFEATED BURMA ARMY

This article (a guest article in Irrawaddy - Min Aung Hlaing is destroying the Myanmar military) is fine as far as it goes, but it also contains an unspoken premise that destroying the Burma Army is bad. Which is absolutely ridiculous. By phrasing it this way the Irrawaddy's editors and the writer are once again assuming a Bamar-centric view and leaving the ethnic nationalities to pay the price. The Burma Army has been a terrorist organization since 1962 (longer against the Karen). It is irredeemable!!! It must be taken down no less that the terrorist generals.

No one talks about this but it will be the most difficult transition issue after the junta is defeated. What to do with all the rapist, killer Burma Army soldiers. Ideally they would all be imprisoned, for decades, as suitable punishment for their crimes. But it has to be said, the fewer that are left at that time, the more that are killed in the Revolution, the easier the transition will be. You can't just let them go home to their towns and villages. You have to make them pay! Imagine, the people win, and the Burma Army is disbanded. 100,000 - 200,000 terrorist soldiers then return to their homes, and with many of them hiding their guns. They will perpetrate large-scale criminal violence for decades.

It's not an easy question: What to do with a defeated army? In many historic cases the question hasn't actually been that pressing. Barring the Japanese, and the German treatment of Jewish people and other defined groups, in modern wars at least armies have not run rampage over local populations. But the Burma Army has, in one region after another and for decades. It is an army of war criminals, tens of thousands of identifiable individuals who have perpetrated the very worst atrocities. They must be dealt justice, and even more the country and the people must be protected from them.