Burma`s cold shoulder
Burma’s cold shoulder
President Obama took office hoping that constructive diplomacy could yield progress on some of the thorniest foreign-policy challenges facing the United States. Among these was Burma, a Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people that has been misruled into poverty, decline and perpetual warfare by a benighted military dictatorship. Mr. Obama did not abandon economic sanctions against the regime, but he did hold out the prospect of warmer relations if Burma`s regime would show some sign of easing up on its people.
This week the regime delivered its answer: Get lost. The government promulgated rules that make clear that an election planned for this year will be worse than meaningless. The new rules make it official: Burma`s leading democratic party and its leader, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, will not be permitted to take part.
Mr. Obama was right to offer, cautiously, an open hand. It has been spat upon. Now is the time for something new.
The Washington Post