The most significant current event happening right now is going on in Burma where 20,000 red-robed monks took to the streets about four days ago to protest the totalitarian regime. About 80,000 peaceful protesters followed as they marched through the streets. The government began it's crackdown a few days ago and now we are starting to see signs of revolution as there are reports leaking out that at least one unit of soldiers has turned on government forces. This is definitely the news story of the year. What is happening is nothing short of the labor pains of democracy and it's pretty exciting. After all, the Myanmar regime is ranked as tied with Somalia as the most corrupt government on earth. The popularly elected leader, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been under house arrest off and on since 1989.
And yet, CNN is treating the event a lot like "Myanmar" state-run propaganda TV is treating the event as a small local disturbance. I'm sure this epidemic isn't limited to CNN but all mainstream news sources. After all, they always miss the important news stories in favor of Paris Hilton and OJ Simpson. The second day of marches, CNN didn't have a single link on their main page to any stories about the protests. Every other day, they have had exactly one. Today it is pushed off to the side. Make no mistake. What is happening in Burma is epic and the money-driven media is missing the boat.
In comparing The Saffron Revolution (named for the color of the protesting monks robes) to the type of democracy we are trying to force in Iraq, a reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog writes this:
"What I find amazing, is the stark contrast between real democracy in action (Burma) and the staged theater in Iraq. For those of us who witnessed Tiananmen and the fall of the Wall…not to mention Ukraine, etc., the lesson is that true democracy is an organic event that arises from the people. It can not be bestowed, bequeathed or imposed. As you say, know hope."
Protesters have begun to be killed. The government has cut off the internet so reports and blogs cannot get the word out. The phone lines have been cut. Again from Sullivan's website:
"Another witness said the soldiers were led by a two-star general who beat some of the soldiers who were reluctant to harm the monks. The attack lasted about 90 minutes, ending when about 60 monks and 40 laypeople were tossed into waiting trucks and driven to an unknown destination."
As Andrew says, pray for them all. And read some of the reports he has passed on here, here, here, and here.