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Thought For The Day

By ATWadmin On September 30th, 2007

Burma is a good example of ‘gun control’, i.e. a state of affairs where firearms are a legal monopoly of the government forces. One side has good intentions and the other side has loaded rifles, and the result (so far) has been the same as it was in 1988 – or even back in 1962 when the late General Ne Win first set up his socialist administration.
Paul Marks at samizdata

24 Responses to “Thought For The Day”

  1. Arent you rather missing the point about it all? The monks purposefully stood between the people and the state as a peaceful force. That is how they want to effect this change, through peaceful means not violence. Through the pen not the sword they will get what they want, which is why press restrictions are worse than not having a loaded gun. The worse thing we can do out here is stand there and point the finger and use their situation to make a cynical point.

  2. "That is how they want to effect this change, through peaceful means not violence. Through the pen not the sword they will get what they want,"

    Yeah we’ve seen how well that’s working for them so far. Just like all those dead and forcibly sterilised Tibetans huh? Peaceful passive resistance is working a real treat for them too isnt it?

    What a crock. The Burmese regime doesnt care about international opinion because it knows international opinion won’t affect it in any practical way, and it is quite happy to send soldiers out into the streets seven days a week if that is what it takes.

    Its easy to witter on about peaceful change when you don’t live there, when you’re not seeing the bodies with your own eyes. There is only one way this regime can be removed, and that is with the use of outside military force.

  3. They CHOSE to use peaceful means on purpose. Are you …thick?

  4. "Its easy to witter on about peaceful change when you don’t live there, when you’re not seeing the bodies with your own eyes. There is only one way this regime can be removed, and that is with the use of outside military force."

    You could have worked as a speech writer for the IRA in the early 70s.
    Oh the irony of ATW.

  5. "They CHOSE to use peaceful means on purpose."

    They have no choice.

  6. How wonderful it must be to be a pacifist, when you don’t have to look down the barrel of a gun to speak or have your say, or to log onto the internet, or to do so many of the things we take for granted. How smug and self-righteous they must feel!

    That the freedoms we are enjoying now had to be fought for, – not talked for, – seems to have been forgotten by the more idealistic, and perhaps more youthful, in our community.

    Choice is spoken of as though it occurs naturally, or perhaps is regarded as a ‘right’ – it most definetly is not – it is all part of the above mentioned freedom, and has to be fought for, and defended every inch of the way, and at all times…perhaps it is Jason who is the thick one!

  7. Do you know what the monks who stood between them and the people represent and espouse? Using the situation to plug the pro gun lobby is silly. Pick any other oppressive situation. Any!

  8. ‘How wonderful it must be to be a pacifist’

    ROFL! I missed that chestnut. Please look up buddhism, monks, Burma, who is leading the protest. Please. Before this argument becomes any sillier.

  9. Pinky,

    Your attempted comparison between the actis of the vicious anti-democratic IRA killers of the 1970’s and the need for the removal of the Burmese junta is pathetic. You could have been a speech writer for the IRA with that drivel.

  10. Jason,

    Laugh all you want, it was you, and and your ilk, I was referring to as a smug pacifist, not the monks.

    I well know the history of modern Burma and the religion of Buddhism.

    When you learn the relatively simple art of comprehending the written word, then come back with a comment…

  11. LOL DV you got there first. Pinky, trying to draw moral equivalence between one of the most violent and oppressive regimes in the modern world and the will of the Protestant majority in Ulster is laughable. But very, very typical.

  12. Im no smug pacifist. But I see no value in milking this situation for a smug pro-gun babble when the very people who are standing up to the forces there are *specifically* oppossed to all forms of violence.

  13. Paul Marks is clearly in his article trying to use the situation in Burma to promote an anti gun control agenda. He is shamefully and ignorantly exploiting that situation for his own domestic pro gun agenda.

    Ernest, why do you regard Pacifism as smug. The world would be a much better place if every individual adopted a pacifist position and stuck to itregardless of political manipulation..

  14. Colm –

    He is shamefully and ignorantly exploiting that situation for his own domestic pro gun agenda.

    As Paul Marks has posted his view publicly, I doubt he feels shame about it. As the Burmese ruling regime is able to govern at will and with brutality because the Burmese people have no adequate means of self defence, that’s ‘ignorantly’ leaving town too.

    The point is that Burmese civilians and not Burmese soldiers have been killed in the last week becaause the soldiers are holding the guns.

    Look at it in any way you like, but the Burmese, Zimbabweans, Tibetans, North Koreans, Venezuelans, Iranians and millions more don’t need our food or sympathy. They need guns.

  15. Pete

    I am not talking about the nature of whether the Burmese military should be challenged with guns, I am talking about comparing the situation in Burma with ‘gun control’ legislation in domestic criminal law in our countries. The 2 situations are not comparable and the events in Burma should not be explotiated to promote the internal gun lobby agenda in the US/UK.

  16. Colm –

    Why shouldn’t those events be cited? Do you think what is happening in Burma can never happen here?

  17. Buddhism teaches its followers to rebel against and execute tyrants. The Dailai Lama himself says that "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    It seems to me that ‘exploiting events’ is often merely a way to dismiss and shut down debate. When some gets shot in the West it is invariably ‘exploited’ by the anti-gun lobby to call for tighter gun control. I don’t have a problem with this – something bad happened so people put forward their views on how to stop it. Equally if the earth heats up by a degree and scientists say "this is proof of global warming" that is not "exploiting" events but using it as evidence in support of a continuing argument.

  18. Colm,

    Of course pacifism is ‘smug’, especially when espoused by those not directly involved in the confrontation, and especially by those who have little concept of just how the freedoms they currently enjoy, were achieved, and have never had to fight for anything in their cosy little lives.

    But then if you would prefer to throw bodies at the armed fores of an aggressor or oppressor instead of bullets and grenades, then do so, but just make sure it is your body that you are proposing to throw.

    In any confrontation people will die, but when the odds are so one sided, as with a pacifist versus an armed opponenet, then many more will die and the anguish will be more, and over a much longer period of time.

    Of course a negotiated peace is the best option, but it rarely works! and it will only work when it is in both parties interest. The battle between the barbarian and the civilised being, can never be negotiated, precisely because of the very differences between the two philosophies.

    The battle between any dictator and the people he controls will always entail much death, for the simple fact that he will be better armed.

    Might may not always be right, but it rarely loses either!

    I’m no lover of war or overt aggression, but sometimes it is the only option.

  19. Sometimes civil disobedience can change things, as was demonstrated in India, the American South and the Phiilipines. It often can not.

  20. True Mahons. Neither peaceful protest nor armed rebellion is the be-all and end-all solution to the problems of governments. Both have their place. The problem is that one can never know before hand, only with hindsight, which is the best in any given case.

  21. I do not regard pacifism as smug, I regard it as suicidally stupid and unhelpful.

    The monks may get a warm fuzzy glow from feel morally superior as they are gunned down but if they managed to dissuade others from taking more effective action (i.e. sticking a knife in a soldier and taking his rifle) prior to their removal from the gene pool then they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. If you choose to be an idiot it does not make you any less of an idiot.

  22. Excellent comments Jason and Colm.

  23. Perry –

    Calling them idiots demonstrates exactly how you want to use this situation for your own cynical ends. Pick a better example.

    Speaking of choice, you should at least factor in the respect the monks have in that society and the *choice* of *the people* to issue that respect.

  24. "for your own cynical ends"

    Less of the cynic bashing please!