Guns and Burma
A reader writes:
The Karen and Shan peoples have been engaged in civil war with the junta for decades, and are no freer, nor more close to independence (an independence constitutionally guaranteed to the Shan) than your average Burmese. What they need isn’t guns. They need simple organization. These soldiers have mothers and fathers, and they will be the ones who will induce a successful mutiny, or at the least, a system of satyagraha in which no soldier is served, spoken to, assisted, or even looked at by any member of society. If they can find the strength of India, they can be free. If they cannot, arming each one of them would be useless.
The days of the Revolutionary War are over. Native Americans had guns. The Iraqi insurgency even has pretty decent guns (AK-47s). Having guns is just an invitation to get slaughtered. Without equivalent firepower, no militia or popular uprising has any chance against a modern army. Being seen holding a gun simply means "shoot me first". There's a reason why IEDs are the weapon of choice in Iraq. Every time that the insurgency tries to stand and fight, or even snipe at the troops, they get mowed down. If the Burmese people suddenly find massive caches of assault rifles, body armor, RPGs, armored vehicles and air support, let me know.