Sunday, February 10, 2008

When War is in your blood....

I just heard a fascinating report from the BBC. Reporting from Burma, the correspondent was telling the story of the underground movement to crush the Burmese people's uprising. This is the same uprising for democracy that was led by Buddist monks weeks ago.

The excellent report which can be found here, explained the persecution the Burmese people are experiencing at the hands of the military. A side note to the story is the latest Rambo film. For the uninitiated in this go 'round Rambo is helping a human rights group help victims of the Burmese miltary in some blood-letting ultra violent way. One of the themes of the movie, "Live for nothing, or Die for something!" has become an underground theme of the revolutionaries in Burma. Bootleg underground copies have made there way into the country despite a government ban.

I'm not sure how I feel about Rambo being an inspirational character for any group. But it bears noting that our action hero genre films have completely shied away from the actual wars we are fighting. Instead, Rambo is fighting for a cause few Americans have ever even heard of much less cared about. The people of Burma took to the streets because they deeply want democracy I'm their country and they we willing to endure maltreatment and violence and the hands of the government to express their desire. Yet the American government and the American people have done nothing to support their effort.

Despite this our American pop culture serves as a rallying cry and theme for their revolution. Despite waging a war for unjust reasons, despite keeping over seven-hundred people in prison indefinetly without charges in Guantanamo Bay. Our action hero is still an inspirational figure to others in the world. An american freedom fighter is seen as thr answer to the silent war in Burma. I'm not going to pretend to be a Rambo fan. But I'm also not going to hide that I felt a swell of pride for the muscle bound speak imeded vietnam vet with a pension for killing. At least something American is inspiring to the rest of the world.

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