I received the news letter: Burma's Elections: The Fix is In from Human Rights Watch as part of its The Week in Rights , Nov. 4, 2010
Have interspersed, in brackets and italics , comparisons to our own U.S. elections with the quoted bold Human Rights Watch criticisms of elections in Myanmar, criticisms made ahead of the November 7th 2010 event.)
"Elections Designed to Keep the Ruling Military Junta in Power" [and in the US elections are designed to keep the Wall St. bankers in power along with their Military Industrial Complex and their Media]
"Burma will hold elections on November 7, ... Some contend the elections could spark democratization and open space for civil society." [Just as the Tea Party adherents contend should happen in the US.]
"Human Rights Watch believes that the elections are designed to ensure continued military rule, albeit with a civilian faÃ§ade." [Human Rights Watch does not care that US primaries and elections, dominated by corporate funding and manipulated by corporate owned media, are designed to ensure continued rule by bankers, war hawks and CIA, albeit with a faÃ§ade of mostly civilian politicians selected and bought long beforehand on Wall Street]
"Human rights violations litter the generals' path to these elections: the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in 2007; the 2,100-plus political prisoners; the marginalization of ethnic minorities;" [Given the world dominating superpower's states side affluence and trickle down First World standard of living, there is no need felt for overtly oppressive human rights violations, only the occasional crackdown on peaceful war protesters. No need for but a few political prisoners, for there is scant political activity in our US successfully arranged asocial consumer society. Repression of Latino immigrants is still being debated.]
"a carefully crafted constitution that undermines rights and guarantees continued military rule, and carefully constructed electoral laws that effectively bar the main opposition candidates." [Our founding father businessmen and slave owners' carefully crafted constitution undermines rights stipulated by the UN Charter on Human Rights and guarantees corporations the right of personhood. The U.S. Constitution's carefully constructed electoral laws effectively bar candidates opposed to our domination by private capitalist owners of our government. (See FDR's 1933 letter to Cordell Hull)]
"Only two parties will field candidates for almost every open seat: the military-backed party and the pro-military former Burmese socialist party." [U.S. media will make sure the public thinks that "only the two approved parties will field candidates' for all open seats. And both parties are pro-military and pro-war.]
"Political parties not aligned with the military report that they're being prevented from campaigning." [In the U.S., political parties not aligned with the military are not able to report that they are prevented from participation in TV debates, their position on issues blocked from coverage, while taxpayers are made to pay for the expensive conventions of the two Siamese twin pro-military and war parties.]
"and Burma's media is tightly controlled by the authorities, and foreign journalists won't be able to cover the elections openly inside of Burma." [Ninety-nine percent of the tightly controlled U.S. media is a cartel of corporations interlocked in ownership and backing the rule of Wall Street and its Military Industrial Complex. But here is a big difference. The U.S. welcomes foreign coverage of its plutocracy's sumptuously staged show and entertaining farce of voters appearing to rule themselves, freely nominating and then choosing who will govern.]
"Opposition to military rule is a criminal offense now and will remain so after the election, so anyone calling for genuine reform is likely to be quickly imprisoned."
[In America, opposition to rule by Wall Street, Military Industrial Complex and CIA is so unvoiced and so little organized that those controlling our government have no present need to make it a criminal offense except in cases of civil disobedience of the kind peoples historian Howard Zinn called for.]
"Unfortunately, these elections will be about cementing military rule indefinitely."
[Permanent-war backing bankers and a CIA lackey U.S. government is presently engaged in cementing military rule over many innocent occupied, bombed and tortured Muslim nations in the Middle East, as it was earlier in Asia and Latin America. No need to cement the bankers rule over us. Reagan's Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, Paul Craig Roberts quotes Chris Hedges writing in Truthdig, "That's America. The people simply cannot put two and two together. Thinking is not an activity of the American public."
Nothing to cement, except America's high opinion of itself as a paragon of virtue. Progressive organizations like Human Rights Watch are doing a good job of helping our homicidal criminal conglomerate media pour concrete.]
Burma (Myanmar) is one of those countries where the majority of mankind lives lives made poor by centuries of European and U.S. capitalist imperialism. As most other nations conquered, enslaved and plundered during the age of white imperialism by the Industrial Revolution's machined fire power, it still suffers from centuries of intentionally stunted development under foreign occupation and post-independence economic neocolonialism.
The British conquest of Burma began in 1824 and Britain's colonial plunder, pillaging, economic exploitation and resource extraction lasted until 1948. Burmese resentment was strong. There were violent riots that paralyzed Rangoon on occasion all the way until the 1930s. A large number of prisons were built, including the infamous Insein Prison, then and now used for political prisoners.
The long militarily occupied, and kept impoverished Burmese, have only been free to govern themselves since a few years after the British and Japanese finished making war in their land and left, leaving Burma saddled with the trappings of an political economy artificially locked into First World imperialist connections.