McCain & Albright on Myanmar

John McCain and Madeleine Albright have written a widely published article calling for all democracies to act on Myanmar. Those are wonderful and admirable sentiments. They also write (italics mine)

The Burmese junta, with the cynical support of neighbouring governments, has announced a “road map to democracy”, beginning with a constitutional convention in May. The convention is expected to be stage-managed by the junta, which has offered no meaningful participation to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, no timetable for progress towards a political transition, no release of political prisoners and no guarantee that the military will cede control to democratically elected leaders. [Gulf News]

Criticizing neighbouring countries for ‘cynically’ supporting the junta is rich coming from a United States government who has shored up various Middle Eastern despots and tin-pot dictators elsewhere for years. What is really cynical is the ignoring of conflicts and despotism in those parts of the world which are of no strategic significance to the big powers.

McCain and Albright should spend more time convincing their own government rather than point fingers. Beyond paying lip service to democracy, the US record on pushing democracy is not something to write home about.