Laura Bush vs. Burma

What does a lame-ass-duck administration do when basically nobody in the entire world listens to anything it says because every Senior Administration Official is either a worn-out loser or a hapless placeholder? Get Laura Bush to freak out on the Burma military dictatorship, that's what!

The creepy first lady made her first diplomatic foray today, demanding that the generals of "Myanmar" give up to the tragic monks. She did this using the traditional "diplomatic pouch" of the Bush Administration, otherwise known as the WSJ editorial page.

Murderous generals in Burma were said to be terrified by the First Lady's harsh words, which they were surprised to find in their favorite section of the Wall Street Journal.

It is 2 a.m. in Rangoon, Burma. In the middle of the tropical night, army troops pour into the neighborhood surrounding a peaceful Buddhist monastery. The soldiers occupy nearby homes, so that residents will not peek through their windows or go outside to witness the raid. Troops then storm the monastery, brutalizing, terrorizing and arresting the monks inside.

That's some pretty melodramatic and terrible writing, Mrs. First Librarian. We could run down some basic news/column rules here, but let's just mention the most important one: Don't start a fucking lede with the time element unless the time is the most important thing about the story. You know, like if people were stuck on a Jet Blue plane for 17 hours, the time element is important. (We have no horse in the Burma/Myanmar Rangoon/Yangon race, but Tom Waits sure as hell wouldn't sing about "Myanmar Shave.")

The generals' reign of fear has subdued the protests -- for now. But while the streets of Burma may be eerily quiet, the hearts of the Burmese people are not: 2007 is not 1988, when the regime's last major anti-democracy crackdown killed 3,000 and left the junta intact. Today, people everywhere know about the regime's atrocities. They are disgusted by the junta's abuses of human rights. This swelling outrage presents the generals with an urgent choice: Be part of Burma's peaceful transition to democracy, or get out of the way for a government of the Burmese people's choosing.

This is the worst 'graf in the op-ed -- for now.

Stop the Terror in Burma [Opinion Journal]


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