貌强：Act Now or Regret Later with the Unholy Alliance
Kanbawza Win (Prof.Win)
Translated and published by Burma’s Chinese in the Chinese media worldwide:
Menachem Begin, the then Prime Minister of Israel (1981) watched apprehensively for two years as Saddam Hussein appeared to be nearing a nuclear weapons capability. The centerpiece of his effort was a French-built Osirak-type nuclear reactor turning out plutonium at Tuwaitah. Then in June 1981, he ordered his aircraft to bomb it to derail the Iraqi nuclear bomb effort without any declaration of war or hostilities. Looking back this two and a half decades one could not stay applauding his decision for without it, the Middle East would have been dominated by Sadam’s men. No doubt Begin had to make a very tough choice in making military decisions because he was once a guerrillas operating from relatively weak military positions. No present Western national leaders have had this hard experience or appear to share the jungle fighter mentality that might be required in a confrontation with a nuclear-armed and hostile radical regime. For Begin, a survivor of the Holocaust, Hussein was Hitler.
So also the Burmese in Diaspora, who has escaped the Junta’s Holocaust of 1988 where nearly 20,000 were indiscriminately killed in six major, cites of Burma, Than Shwe and his henchmen is Hitler. Human Rights organizations and refugees testify that things are only getting worse in one of the world's most repressive regimes. Mass forced labor on state-run construction projects, arrests, imprisonment, torture, repression, land confiscations and sexual violence by soldiers are all on the rise. A mini-Darfur is underway on the Thai-Burma border, where the Burmese army has launched a major offensive, burning more than 200 villages and displacing tens of thousands of civilians. While the country molders and its prisons fill, the Junta spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the construction of a bizarre new capital, Naypyidaw, the Burmese version, of King Nero of Rome.
Now it seems that the American leadership is facing the same dilemma as Begin was in 1981. Would they have enough guts, wisdom and visions to make a fateful decision on the rouge Burmese regime is what the international community has been asking themselves. Tom Casey the US State Department representative said that it is opposed to a Russian plan to help design and build a nuclear research center in Burma because it has no safe handling of nuclear materials. But obviously the world is worried about nuclear fuel being diverted for use in a weapons program. The 10-megawatt light-water research reactor, as well as facilities for processing and storing radioactive waste now constructing near Anesakhan, in Pyin Oo Lwin, is located in a flat land surrounded on all sides by steep hills. In addition, the area remains shrouded in mist all round the year, an aspect which the project's planners believe will make it virtually invisible from the air. It is a foregone conclusion that it is clearly heading geared for nuclear weapons. The Defense Services Academy (DSA) training facility is situated there and the regime has just constructed a military airport with a single runway, a 3,000-meter-long airstrip where the Junta received India's army chief of staff J Singh. It seems that the jean is out of the bottle and will grow bigger and more dangerous if one cannot nib it in a bud.
Russia, helping Burma in building a nuclear reactor has aroused concern, as the record of both countries in the area of constructive international cooperation supports reasonable fear that the Burmese generals would surely inch open the door leading to the achievement of more ambitious nuclear aims. The statements declaring that the facility would be under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency, not only caught the organization by surprise, but all indications pointed out that it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Burma, even though a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, has never prevented the regime from breaking them up. The involvement of Russia opens a wide arena for possible misuse. Russia has never been shy to enter the illicit marketplace when hard currency is to be earned, and nuclear fuel rods are a sought-after commodity. Russia’s experience alone confirms that during the breakup of the Soviet Union fissionable material went missing. Some 30 years ago, uranium-enriched rods were stolen from a nuclear reactor in the Congo and found their way into the hands of Italian smugglers—a horror scenario that haunts governments in Washington and other Western capitals to this day.
Even, if the Junta were to follow the rules, allowing regular inspections by IAEA inspectors and resisting any temptation to work for a military application of its nuclear capability, the country’s miserable record in the area of control and maintenance poses its own risk. Industrial installations in Burma are generally in a bad state of repair, security is lax, and to use it for health and education became a laughing stock in the international arena, when it had never invested in these two spheres. The regime’s sad record in both these areas precludes any guarantee against misuse.
BURMA'S military junta has attempted to buy nuclear weapons technology from North Korea's rogue regime in an alliance that presents a frightening new threat to regional security. The prospect of the two pariah states of Asia joining together has alarmed the other peaceful countries. North Korea is believed to possess six or seven nuclear weapons, has engaged in tense brinkmanship with the US, recently threatening to launch a new generation of Taepodong missile. If the North Koreans are able to miniaturize their nuclear weapons sufficiently, they will eventually be able to place them on Taepodong missiles, which are capable of reaching some targets in the US with Burma aiming its nuclear missiles to the US naval base in Diego Garcia. Intelligence sources confirmed that the Burmese military had a booming relationship with the North Korean military. This was confirmed when the two countries reestablish their diplomatic ties a few days ago. Western intelligence agencies believe Burma gets surface-to-air missiles, artillery and small arms from North Korea. The Burmese have also asked the Koreans for Scud missile technology. The highly secretive Burmese state maintains the biggest army in Southeast Asia, with a regular military estimated at about half a million people and a paramilitary force of some 100,000.
The restoring of diplomatic relations with, North Korea has provided the international community, with an example of how to successfully Korea and Burma can flout international disapproval, by testing a nuclear device last year. Burma is equally adept at defying world opinion, and assurances that its nuclear program threatens nobody should be given as much credence as its constant, blatant rejection of well-documented evidence of appalling human rights abuses.
Both Burma and North Korea have their chief external strategic relationship with China, who sees Burma as an important strategic asset. Much Chinese diplomacy has centered on energy security and Burma offers China substantial oil and gas reserves. Burma also offers China strategic reach into the Indian Ocean through access to its naval ports, and also provides China with enhanced intelligence capabilities through intelligence establishments, especially on the Burmese border with India.