• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Myanmar Coup D'état: Update And Consequences

The Wuhan Virus and the UK variant to which it’s given birth; the Impeachment of a man from whom we can neither dissociate, nor be freed; The scorched-earth momentum of our drunken “woke” culture, by which one career after another has been utterly burned—any one of these things, viewed in detachment from the others, would have caused us entirely to forget about the situation in Myanmar.

In combination, there’s hardly a chance of us preserving enough space in our busy minds, of extending enough width to our cares, to reflect on the wretched state of this abused and unhappy land. Occupied as we are with our own domestic worries, we think little of this foreign nation over which, grimly, the cloud of despotism now heavily weighs.

Two weeks ago, you might recall, a coup d’état was carried out in Nay Pyi Daw, the picturesque capital of the Burmese state. One hesitates to proclaim the forcible overtaking of the Burmese government a complete “success”, for such an asseveration, made by the distant observer, is too often as clumsy as premature. Such is the tenuous nature of a modern coup—especially when scrutinized from afar in the hazy uncertainty of its immediate aftermath. To be sure, at such times, the government is very much in a position of instability, and the population, in one of great unrest.

That unrest, we know, can take a variety of forms. It might be peaceable or violent, tranquil or rowdy, auspicious or foredoomed. Really, though, from one moment to the next, it might even appear to be all of these things, confusing the very Geist by which the masses, connected to one another in the solemnity of their aim, feel themselves to be suffused.

Initially, the Burmese people expressed their discontent with this new, un-elected administration by ignoring nocturnal curfews and banging on pots and pans. To this, they added beeping the horns of the cars by which their narrow streets were filled, and chanting lines in support of the fledgling democracy of which they’d just been stripped.

Unsurprisingly, the military junta, that cadre of brutes toward whom their clamorous resentment was directed, was unmoved by these rather cautious displays. Confident in its power, and abetted by a Chinese Communist Party by whom support is never withheld, the junta wasn’t terribly alarmed by what it saw. It thought so little of these people’s feeble outcries and diffident protests, and discounted so surely their proclivity to violence, that it hardly conceived of a response worth giving.

In recent days, however, this has changed. As the number of protestors has begun to swell, and the simmering threat of its belligerence has gradually risen, the Burmese military has taken notice. More importantly, it’s taken action. If only to deter them from further unruly behavior, it dispatched its agents to “control” the growing crowds—a euphemism, I fear, for what we might call state-sanctioned violence, and “murder” in the name of order.

To this point, the Burmese police have greeted the crowds with powerful water cannons, rubber bullets, and—on rare but remarkable occasions—live ammunition. One woman, not yet twenty years of age, was shot in the head with the last of these three options from which the soldiers had to choose.

At the time of recording, her condition is critical, not unlike that of the democracy against whose infringement she stood. Without the intervention of some exogenous cure, or some invigorating palliative offered by a healthier neighbor, both might be breathing their last.

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