Those people who have been able to get beyond Ahmadinejad’s headlining act in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Holocaust and Gay Denying World,” have been mesmerized by the popular uprising in Burma against the fiercely repressive military regime. Just yesterday, in an effort to drag world attention to a more worthy subject than Bollinger’s Jerry Springer moment, President Bush made Burma an important issue in his speech to the UN.
Now you, too, can have your say, via a petition that will be sent to the UN throughout the upcoming week. The petition came to me from Joshua Muravchik, one of the best neocon thinkers around, so I have no doubt but that this is a valid petition, from a valid organization. The petition’s goal is to use popular pressure to bring about real change in a country whose citizens are putting their lives on the line in the hopes of getting even a little of the freedom we enjoy here without a second thought.
The petition language itself spells out precisely the risks the Burmese people are taking, and the demands we, the People, are making:
After decades of military dictatorship, the people of Burma are rising – and they need our help. Marches begun by monks and nuns have snowballed, bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets. Now crackdown threatens.
When the Burmese last marched in 1988, the military massacred thousands. But if the world stands up and supports their struggle, this time they could succeed. We’ll send our petition to United Nations Security Council members (including the dictatorship’s main backer China) and to media at the UN, while also alerting the Burmese to our support:
To Chinese President Hu Jintao and the UN Security Council: We stand alongside the citizens of Burma in their peaceful protests. We urge you to oppose a violent crackdown on the demonstrators, and to support genuine reconciliation and democracy in Burma. We pledge to hold you accountable for any further bloodshed.
Incidentally, lest you doubt the importance of moving quickly to put pressure on the Burmese military, the crackdown has already begun.
So, again, I urge you to click on over here and sign a petition that requires little effort to complete, but may have a big impact.