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Burma

Coup Leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi Betrayed Democracy In Burma

What is taking place in Burma right now is a military coup. There can be no other description for such an unwarranted action as the dismissal of the government by military decree and the imposition of Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as an unelected ruler. However, despite the endless talk about democratization, Burma was, in the years leading up to the coup, far from being a true democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the country’s erstwhile ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has done very little to bring about meaningful change since she was designated State Counselor. Since her return to Rangoon in 1989 and placement under house arrest for many years, Suu Kyi was transformed from an activist making the case for democracy in her country, into a ‘democracy icon’ and, eventually, into an untouchable cult personality.

The US Opium Wars: China, Burma And The CIA

By Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn for Counter Punch - You won’t find a star of remembrance for him on the wall of fallen “heroes” at CIA HQ in Langley, but one of the Agency’s first casualties in its covert war against Mao’s China was a man named Jack Killam. He was a pilot for the CIA’s proprietary airline, Civil Air Transport, forerunner to the notorious Air America which figured so largely in the Agency’s activities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Killam’s job was to fly weapons and supplies from the CIA’s base in Bangkok, Thailand, to the mountain camps of General Li Mi in the Shan States of Burma. Li Mi, Chinese in origin, was the leader of 10,000 Chinese troops still loyal to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who had been driven off the Chinese mainland by Mao’s forces and was now ensconced on Taiwan. Under the direction of the CIA, Li Mi’s army was plotting a strike across Burma’s northern border into China’s Yunnan province. But Li Mi’s troops were not just warriors in Chiang’s cause: they had also taken control of the largest opium poppy fields in Asia. The CAT pilots working for the CIA carried loads of Li Mi’s opium on their return flights to Bangkok, where it was delivered to General Phao Siyanan, head of the Thai secret police and a long-time CIA asset. Jack Killam was murdered in 1951 when one of these arms-and-drugs round trips went bad. His body was buried in an unmarked grave by Sherman Joost, the CIA’s station chief in Bangkok. The exiled Kuomintang (KMT) army of Li Mi was as much a proprietary of the Central Intelligence Agency as Civil Air Transport.
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