Myanmar Spring Chronicle – October 12 Scenes
Published by MoeMaKa, October 13, 2023
Myanmar Politics & Global Politics; Justice & Universal Values
When a neighborhood in Laiza, near the northern border of Myanmar, was subjected to an attack involving heavy weaponry or a drone, simultaneous conflicts raged in various corners of the globe. The Gaza Strip and segments of Israel found themselves embroiled in a war employing missiles, bombs, fighter jets, and various small arms.
While the Myanmar situation is indeed complex, it pales in comparison to the ongoing Middle East conflict between Palestine and Israel. In Myanmar’s context, it’s relatively straightforward to determine who wields force, who engages in acts of violence, who shoots and kills unarmed civilians, and which army razes villages in retaliation. However, global matters make it challenging to arrive at such clear-cut conclusions.
The difficulty in making determinations doesn’t stem from excessively complicated events or a lack of clarity regarding the culprits. Rather, it’s due to the multifaceted positions and stances taken by individuals and organizations in the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Here, governments and organizations safeguard their interests, employing dual sets of moral standards, silence to maintain the favor of supportive governments and organizations, and a tendency to selectively scrutinize one incident to condemn one side while disregarding other events. This all rests on the belief that any form of retaliation is justifiable to attain justice for a particular occurrence.
At present, truly impartial and neutral media outlets are rare exceptions. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of news media adopt a particular standpoint. To assume that a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground can be gleaned solely from media reports is erroneous. A well-rounded comprehension of reality can only be achieved by absorbing information from a variety of news sources. Most news media outlets exhibit varying degrees of bias influenced by the organizations and individuals that own them, financial considerations, national allegiances, and religious affiliations. Thus, forming absolute judgments like labeling one side as entirely right and the other as entirely wrong based on a single paragraph or piece of information from the media would be a mistake.
Currently, we observe governments, political entities, and armed groups exploiting the brutality and inhumanity of the opposing side to intensify public sentiments and repeatedly drive their narratives into the ears, hearts, and minds of the populace. Such tactics can be argued as not sinful, for they are the duty of political parties, governments, political organizations, and nationalists working in the service of their nation. While this statement holds partial truth, urging individuals to mercilessly kill children, women, and the elderly on the opposing side, just as children, women, and the elderly on their own side perish without hesitation, amounts to glorifying the darker aspects of human nature to reinforce them. Masking these actions under notions such as the right to self-defense, the imperative to safeguard every inch of territory, and the compelling necessity to protect the nation equates to inadvertently promoting the evil within humanity.
Distinguishing between protection and vengeance proves challenging, and there is a potential for armed individuals safeguarding their nation, faith, and homeland to unflinchingly eliminate innocent children under the belief that they might become adversaries in the future. The permissible boundaries of the right to defend remain unclear. Once war is declared, the situation evolves into one where all legal and moral restraints are cast aside, granting the authority to pursue any means necessary to secure victory.
For those engaged in the Myanmar Spring Revolution, activists, human rights champions, advocates of press freedom, and champions of freedom of expression, analyzing the Palestine-Israel conflict unfolding on the global stage serves as a litmus test. Will they speak from a stance anchored in values and standards, or will their discourse be shaped by pragmatic considerations of real-life implications? It remains a challenging task to discern whether they will regard warfare, assaults, and actions by armed individuals as justifiable through propagandistic rhetoric, incitement, and interpretations based solely on select facts while overlooking other humanitarian and non-violent incidents.