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  • Writer's pictureMyat Tun Oo

Is Western Foreign policy racist?

It will be rhetorical to ask this question when the United States has elected President Obama and UK is about to elect a new Asian Prime Minister, Mr Rishi Sunak. However, this question is still valid and relevant based on our experience with the West.

First, both US and UK are the leaders of the free world. They have supported Human Rights groups around the world and stand up for religious freedom. The United States invaded Iraq to topple the dictator Saddam Hussein and bombed Libya to free from its dictator, Gaddafi. The US has supported the Syrian opposition and also Guaido’s parallel government in Venezuela as well. In addition, then Presidential candidate Mr Biden supported the plight of Rohingya in Burma. That all seems good to Democracy but let’s see what happened when it comes to action.

In Syria, the west realised that it won’t be quick and easy like in Libya. Syrian President Assad breached all red lines set by then-President Obama. They bombed civilian targets, and the only red line was the use of chemical weapons. When President Obama was about to launch air strikes, Russia intervened and transferred Assad’s chemical weapons to the UN and it was called off. At the same time, Putin physically helped Assad and bombed the Syrian opposition. It changed the map of its civil war. That emboldened President Putin and it led to what he is doing in Ukraine now.

Although Germany has accepted Syrian refugees, the rest of the western world showed the cold shoulder and ignored it. Some Eastern European countries went a step further in stopping them from even crossing their boundaries and refused to follow the EU’s own rules to accept them and process their Asylum application. However, they are luckier than other refugees. Somali and other refugees from Africa were ignored before that and were treated worse than Syrian refugees. The West failed to provide and help them to create an environment so that they can fight their dictator and live in their own countries. You may forgive by saying that it is their foreign policy and immigration policy. It is quite right initially but everything has changed when you see what they are doing for Ukraine.

In the UK, all refugees are welcome, unlike Syrians. They were given accommodation and temporary permits/visas to stay in Europe and UK. In addition, they provide all weapons asked by the Ukrainian government. It is in contrast to what they are doing for Burma. They talked a lot about Human Rights and freedom when Suu Kyi was in power. They said what she is doing is not enough. Now she was detained, and people are taking up arms. The US is the only country which gave temporary resident status to Burmese in the US. No other EU countries are doing like the US. UK won’t allow anyone from Burma to stay like the US. Their numbers are not in the thousands. I can still understand that it is their foreign policy, and they would like to treat differently to their fellow European country's refuges to Burmese refugees.

Now, the junta is bombing every day and we are hopeless and helpless to defend ourselves. The junta is using jets purchased from Putin and China to bomb its civilians and kills children every day. Where are the US, UK and UN to protect us? We are not asking for your foot soldiers, but we need some surface-to-air missiles to shoot down these Russian planes. We will need your support for Burma’s opposition like your support in Ukraine. The Burmese government called the National Unity Government of Myanmar is not like the Syrian National Council and it is formed by congressmen or elected MPs. So, this is the legitimate government, and it is an oven-ready government. You don’t have to wait for legitimacy like in Venezuela or Syria. At the moment, you are not giving any humanitarian aid to Sagaing where most Burmese live and the whole state is uprising.

In the past, US, UK, EU and UN ignored when the junta raided a village and killed innocent civilians. Then the junta killed primary school children and then bombed other civilian targets. The question is how many innocent people have to die before you decide to give some weapons to them to protect themselves? The expression of Sorry is good but we need some action to show your solidarity. No Action Talk Only is what Burmese people give acronyms for NATO. When you are supporting the Burmese spring revolution verbally, Putin is propping up the military by selling planes and training the junta’s air force in Naypyidaw. Putin is not talking too much and he provides lethal weapons to the junta and Assad. Otherwise, Sorry seems to be the hardest word, and it will go nowhere. We are not asking for your soldiers but we just need something to match up Putin’s weapons. If the West doesn’t provide, I have to question whether your foreign policy is racist or you don’t care about our lives because our lives are not caucasian or European.

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1 Comment

Maung Chit Khaing
Maung Chit Khaing
Nov 02, 2022

It is well known in the last 200 years that both US and UK foreign policy is 1000% racist and it is not going to change in the forseeable future.

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