By Anna

The Kachin tribes of Myanmar live in the hills bordering China. They have called for peace with Myanmar’s government, yet their army is strong enough to defeat the Myanmar government.

When did peace and military strength become one? The dualism between what we think we need and what we actually need is startling. Myanmar has eight armed ethnic groups. Though the militant government antagonizes these groups, there are no ethnic groups without their own military power (as each ethnic group falls into one of the eight). These ethnic groups, ironically, are trying to gain influence by the very means their enemy gains influence.

Our role in this ethnic war in Myanmar, is at least to recognize Western cultures’ influence that has made Myanmar the mess it is today. These ethnic groups have ravaged for civil war since 1948, the year Myanmar was “free” from British rule. Britain steps aside and many worlds fall apart. That’s not to say in hindsight that Britain should have stayed, but rather that it never should have entered, spreading its empirical wings of desire across cultures it did not understand or care to.

Thomas Fuller, writer for The New York Times, reported: “During the Cold War, China, Thailand and the United States supplied arms and other assistance to some borderland (ethnic) groups. Now commercial interests, including many shady businesses, have replaced ideological ones.”

How arrogant (and hilarious) of Fuller to even suggest in his article that we, the United States, ever even had ideological interests in the ethnic groups of Myanmar. Our ideology lies in money and maintaining power by whatever means we can, even if that means selling arms to ethnic groups calling for peace. Perhaps we sold them arms to ease our own conscience, after all, weren’t we building up nuclear warheads for peace too?