September 9, 2009

Senator Jim Webb Burma Problem Gets Bigger!!! Democrat - Virginia Current Term 2007 - 2012 Virginians PLEASE VOTE HIM OUT!

The Weekly Standard
Burma Problem Gets Bigger
written by Michael Goldfarb
Wednesday September 9, 2009 04:11 PM

As I wrote in this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Senator Jim Webb has made a real mess of things with his foray into Burma last month -- or as Webb calls it, in deference to the ruling junta, Myanmar. After emerging from a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the Burmese democracy movement and a prisoner of the military regime, Webb declared that it was his "clear impression from that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions" -- which just happens to coincide with Webb's position on the matter, though it came as a shock to Suu Kyi's supporters. Suu Kyi's lawyer, one of only two individuals allowed access to her, later put out a statement clarifying that "she had not discussed the issue [sanctions] with anyone recently." Webb and his staff refuse to comment further on the matter.

The other plank of Webb's Burma policy is a push for greater participation in Burmese elections scheduled for 2010. Webb touted these elections in an op-ed in the New York Times last month, giving only a nod to the "many" who point out that the constitution under which these elections would be held is "flawed." Today, U Win Tin, a Burmese democracy activist, former political prisoner, and a founder of Burma's National League for Democracy party, took to the Washington Post op-ed page to blast Webb for his support of these sham elections:

Much attention has been focused on Sen. James Webb's recent visit to my country and his meetings with Senior Gen. Than Shwe and incarcerated Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. I understand Webb's desire to seek a meaningful dialogue with the Burmese ruling authorities. Unfortunately, his efforts have been damaging to our democracy movement and focus on the wrong issue -- the potential for an "election" that Webb wants us to consider participating in next year as part of a long-term political strategy. But the showcase election planned by the military regime makes a mockery of the freedom sought by our people and would make military dictatorship permanent. [emphasis added]

Webb -- who became the first American official ever to meet with General Than Shwe, the country's ultimate political authority -- has been sucking up to the junta by providing its leaders with the recognition they seek and by pushing the Obama administration to drop sanctions against the country. Worse yet, he seems to have enlisted Secretary Clinton into his cause. The left may be content to see the Obama administration pursue a policy of engagement with America's enemies, but we are now starting to see the consequences of such policies as a former political prisoner and democratic activist is forced to take to the op-ed page to insist that he "will not be cowed or coerced into participating in a fatally flawed political process that robs [us] of the freedom for which we struggle."

Shouldn't Webb, and the administration, be cowing and coercing the junta instead of its victims?

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