I wish I could agree with Glenn Reynolds when he says that “Burma is more likely to be freed at gunpoint than via diplomacy.” Certainly, guns would be more effective, if someone were willing to use them. But no one is, least of all the Bush Administration, which has just gone to court to try to quash a human-rights lawsuit directed at Unocal’s collaboration with the Burmese dictatorship.
Saddam Hussein’s tyranny was perhaps a good reason to invade Iraq, but it wasn’t the reason Iraq was invaded. As long as the SLORC, or whatever it’s calling itself this week, confines itself to making the Burmese miserable, it has nothing to fear from Team Bush.
Note that this can’t be attributed to cynicism on the part of Bush or his advisers; it’s a matter of principle. Bush made it clear during the campaign that he opposed any use of US military might for any purpose other than protecting American interests, defined in a way that clearly didn’t include the abolition of forced labor in Burma.