Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Politics of Hypocrisy

UK business interests in Burma are more important to this government than justice

John Pilger
Saturday October 27, 2007
The Guardian


The news is no more from Burma. The young monks are quiet in their cells, or they are dead. But words have escaped: the defiant, beautiful poetry of Aung Than and Zeya Aung; and we know of the unbroken will of the journalist U Win Tin, who makes ink out of brick powder on the walls of his prison cell and writes with a pen made from a bamboo mat - at the age of 77. These are the bravest of the brave. What shame they bring to those in the west whose hypocrisy and silence helps to feed the monster that rules Burma.

Condoleezza Rice comes to mind. "The United States," she said, "is determined to keep an international focus on the travesty that is taking place in Burma." What she is less keen to keep a focus on is that the huge American company, Chevron, on whose board of directors she sat, is part of a consortium with the junta and the French company, Total, that operates in Burma's offshore oilfields. The gas from these fields is exported through a pipeline that was built with forced labour and whose construction involved Halliburton, of which Vice-President Cheney was chief executive.

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