Fri Sep 8, 2017 03:58PM
Rohingya genocide
Rohingya genocide
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With so much riding on this political, commercial, and military engagement with Myanmar, there was never any way the US or its allies were ever going to "embrace the Rohingya cause" and the real power has been very busy using a "policy" to advance business and security interests, unencumbered by "quaint considerations like international law and human rights," political commentator and international lawyer Barry Grossman says.

Grossman, who is based on the Indonesian island of Bali, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on the state-sponsored atrocities against the Rohingya in Myanmar and US and UK officials’ lukewarm reaction to it.  

US and UK officials have expressed concerns about the deadly violence against the Rohingya but refused to address calls for international sanctions against Myanmar, and also avoided to blame Myanmar’s de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi over her complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

“Many of us who have been working diligently for years to genuinely understand what is going on in Myanmar and rally what sadly tends to be an apathetic, self-interested public to support the cause of justice for the Rohingya, have been shocked that with this latest Nakba inspired effort to stampede the Rohingya into scarcely less hostile neighboring countries and, even worse, into the sea, there are people among us who,  having made little or no effort to inform themselves about long established facts concerning the on-going Rohingya crisis, have in fact been urging people to remain aloof and even suspicious of the Rohingya cause,” Grossman said.

“To be clear, there is not even a scintilla of doubt about the fact that millions of Rohingya have been unjustly stripped of the citizenship, with many burned out of their homes, businesses and villages, herded into camps, denied the right to wed, to practice their faith, and left unable to get education, basic health care, and even decent food,” he stated.

“Ironically, the people who have opted to ignore the calls of our leaders and instead speculate about infiltration of the Rohingya cause, seem to be quite happy to promote confusion by incorrectly claiming that the situation faced by the Rohingya remains unproven and to place their faith in Aung San Suu Kyi and countless other figures who, in other circumstances, these doubters correctly associate with the New World Order agenda,” he said.

'Cult of Aung San Suu Kyi was fabricated'

This photo taken on July 19, 2016 shows Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi paying her respects to her late father, General Aung San, during a ceremony in Yangon. (Photo by AFP)

“Well let me be perfectly clear. The cult of Aung San Suu Kyi was fabricated by elements in the Atlantic World establishment committed to imposing a US-led, New World Order which, of course, is only a slightly more neutral term for the neo-conservative plan to impose what they inaptly refer to as Pax Americana,” Grossman said.

“Her position seems to be that if she denounces the state-sanctioned terror against the Rohingya, she will forfeit no small part of her grass roots support in Myanmar, so she seems relatively unconcerned that by saying nothing, she will be judged by millions of people around the world as being responsible for those very same atrocities. She is at best a coward and worst a villain of the worst kind. But the US-led Atlantic World, as they say in America, ‘has her back,’” he stated.  

‘Myanmar has the status of a knight’

“Why is the Atlantic World political establishment not acting?  Well, it certainly isn’t due to doubts about the atrocities being perpetrated against the Rohingya. The conventional thinking is that, with Myanmar’s proximity to China, in chess terms, Myanmar has the status of a knight or perhaps even a rook in the old geopolitical game Zbigniew Brzezinski once infamously characterized as ‘the Grand Chessboard,’” Grossman said.

“What cannot be contested is that the corporate and special interests who championed Hilary Clinton in the last US election, spent years working with think tanks, neoconservatives, and hawkish elements in the Atlantic World security apparatus in order to engineer a strategy for containing China while at once promoting Atlantic World corporate and military interests, all of which was packaged using the ‘Pivot to Asia’ paradigm sold by Hilary Clinton as Obama’s secretary of state. That agenda staked no small part of the accompanying tactical plan on a policy of not-so-cautious engagement with Myanmar,” he added.

‘US will never embrace the Rohingya cause’

Bangladeshi onlookers stand next to dead bodies of Rohingya refugees washed up on the banks of the Naf river in Tenkaf on September 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

“With so much riding on this political, commercial, and military engagement with Myanmar, there was never anyway the US or its allies were ever going to embrace the Rohingya cause, let alone in this new, post rule-of-law era which has seen the Atlantic World political establishment pretty much openly relegate the ‘human rights’ paradigm to the status of being nothing more than fodder for 3rd tier diplomats to ventilate at staged events nobody is interested in. Meanwhile, the real power has been very busy using ‘policy’ to advance business and security interests, unencumbered by quaint considerations like international law and human rights,” Grossman said.

“This calculated abandonment of responsibility by a pragmatic, self-serving political establishment has of course left a huge hole or blind side which enabled the real villains --- comprising hawkish elements in the CIA, Zionists, neocons, and corporate profiteers -- not only to ignore this humanitarian crisis in Myanmar but, in some instances, arguably to work closely with the Myanmar regime in order to plan and execute this Nakba-inspired operation,” the analyst explained.

“Yet despite clear evidence of the regime’s crimes and despite unequivocal calls from our own leadership to raise our voices in support of the Rohingya, some among us have elected to respond to this crisis by urging people to be cautious in embracing the Rohingya cause, arguing that there are geopolitical concerns which must prevail over our concerns about suffering and injustice,” he stated.

“Well it may seem quite normal in America that geopolitical-based speculation tends to override genuine concerns about the systematic oppression and abuse of millions of people who are powerless to save, let alone help themselves; but this inversion of priorities is unknown in Islam,” he noted.

Is it ethnic or religious conflict?

“There are also those among us who have been saying this is an ethnic rather than a religious conflict and therefore that we do not, as Muslims, need to be concerned. There are others who, without a scintilla of evidence except a disputed report put out by the International Crisis Group, claim that the Rohingya cause, both in the media/cyberspace and on the ground, has been infiltrated by Sunni extremists, and that the Rohingya ‘cause’, as distinct from their ‘plight’, is a fake cause,” Grossman said.

“Well I call nonsense on both of these delusions. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no principle in Islam, - be it from al Quran, Hadith or Sunnah - which can be invoked to argue that we should only be concerned about injustice when the underlying oppression is religiously motivated. As for claims that the Rohingya are somehow suddenly backed by al Qaeda or Daesh, well leaving aside internet chatter, all the available facts suggest exactly the opposite; namely that the Rohingya are entirely unsupported and alone,” he explained.

'Zionist style atrocities against the Rohingya'

This photo taken on September 5, 2017 shows Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state set up shelters at a refugee camp at Unchiprang near the Bangladeshi border town of Teknaf. (Photo by AFP)

“Indeed, even the head of Myanmar's military publicly stated only last month that the handful of cadre comprising the ArakanRohingya Salvation Army, generally known as ARSA, which by the way, was only formed in 2016, are armed with nothing more than sticks, spears, knives and a few ancient pistols. ARSA, by the way, itself openly declares its mission to be entirely defensive and directed only at securing the reinstatement of Rohingya citizenship stripped from them in the 80s,” Grossman said.

“This picture hardly calls to mind the characteristics of groups we have come to associate withal al Qaeda or Daesh. Nevertheless, the regime has leveraged claims about a handful of extremely ineffectual and desperate Rohingya attempts at resistance,  to promote the absurd notion that the regime is facing some massive threat from terrorism and more importantly to justify the scorched earth policy they have been pursuing for 3 weeks in order to stampede huge numbers of Rohingyas out of the country by burning them out of their villages and concentration camp styled holding areas, while orchestrating a few very well-publicized atrocities just as Zionist terrorist did in Palestine in 1948,” he observed.  

“This has been exactly the wrong time for amateur bloggers to jump into this long running tragedy which they have no knowledge of in order to promote misinformed views which at best confuse an already apathetic public and at worst encourage people to dismiss the Rohingya cause as fake,” the commentator said.  

“The Rohingya cause is undoubtedly a genuine and important cause which should be drawing us together instead of pulling us apart. Sadly but not surprisingly, those people who prefer to ignore the suffering of millions in order to pull us apart seem to have prevailed this time around,” Grossman concluded.