Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, TIME 100
Burma Crisis Update: Weigh the Coverage of Sarah Palin's Ascension Against the Coverage of Aung San Suu Kyi's Hunger Strike & Ask Yourself What has Happened to Your Culture?
By Richard Power
Once again, you and I are confronted with a savage and pervasive ignorance.
Life is all about the choices we make.
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) has the freedom to come and go, to speak and choose.
What has Palin done with that freedom?
Palin, like about 60 percent of Alaska voters, favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Her environmental credentials are, at best, mixed. She favors what we in Alaska call "predator control," including, if necessary, the hunting of wolves from the air. Just recently her Dept. of Fish and Game pulled some wolf cubs from their den and shot them as part of a program to improve moose survival. Washington Post, 8-29-08
Sarah Palin wants to let the polar bears die, too. On global warming, she's aligned with" most discredited, fringe, extreme viewpoints" America Blog, 8-29-08
Aung San Suu Kyi's freedom is very different. It is the inner freedom of an imprisoned dissident; it is a mute freedom of heart, mind and spirit.
What has Aung San done with her freedom?
She has gone on a hunger strike.
Weigh the US mainstream news media coverage of Sarah Palin's political ascension against its coverage of Aung San Suu Kyi's hunger strike; then ask yourself, "What has happened to this culture?"
Of course, it is big news that a politically obscure, ideologically radical, former topless beauty queen, who is under investigation by her own state government, would be named as the VP candidate of the Republican Party.
Miss Wasilia 1984
But it is also big news that a beautiful, articulate and courageous Nobel Peace Prize winner, the duly elected leader of her country, chooses to go on a hunger strike because she refusesto bow to the rule of thugocrats who have held her prisoner for years.
And yet, there is barely a brief mention.
Aung San Suu Kyi is your parent, your child, your lover, your teacher, your conscience.
What will you do to help her?
Will you at least remember her day by day, google her name to follow her plight, and go tell her story to your loved ones and your colleagues?
Will you ask yourself what must it be like to choose to go on a hunger strike and what circumstances would lead you to make such a choice?
When someone wants to discuss Gov. Palin will you offer them the choice of discussing the struggle of Aung San Suu Kyi instead?
Burma's detained opposition leader and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi continues to refuse food deliveries, even after nearly two weeks of receiving her last supply on August 15, her party leaders said.
"As far as we know, she has not yet accepted any food supplies," Nyan Win, spokesperson of her party – the National League for Democracy – told Mizzima on Friday.
However, it is still not clear why she is refusing food supplies.
"Everything is still unclear, and we are still trying to get confirmation about her situation and why she is refusing supplies," Nyan Win added.
But meanwhile, the government has refuted the information that Suu Kyi is refusing to accept food supplies saying it is rumour. Besides, the military junta also said Suu Kyi has not submitted any demands.
But news that Suu Kyi is fasting is spreading and causing great concern both at domestic and international levels. Mizzima, 8-30-08
For a Words of Power Archive of Human Rights Updates on Burma and other crises, click here.
For an archive of Words of Power posts on Campaign '08, click here.
For Words of Power's archive of posts on Corporate News Media Complicity, Power of Alternative Media, Propaganda & Freedom, click here.
Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.
Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, Sarah Palin, Human Rights