Trump embraces a post-American world


September 24, 2017

Trump embraces a post-American world

by Dr. Fareed Zakaria

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-embraces-a-post-american-world/2017/09/21/91342088-9f09-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html?utm_term=.5fd39afd8d31

President Trump’s speech to the United Nations was well delivered. But it was a strange mishmash of topics and tones, in parts celebrating realpolitik but then also asserting the importance of freedom and democracy. There was, however, one overriding theme — the embrace of nationalism. And in striking that chord, Trump did something unusual, perhaps unique for a U.S. president: He encouraged, even embraced the rise of a post-American world.

President Donald Trump’s Speech @ UNGA –ENCORE

First, the mishmash. Early in his speech, Trump asserted, “In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.” But then, a few minutes later, Trump proceeded to castigate North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba for their undemocratic political systems, virtually demanding that they all become Western-style liberal democracies.

The danger of this kind of lofty rhetoric is that it has been selectively applied, so it is seen cynically by the rest of the world as a way to dress up American self-interest. Trump took this hypocrisy to a new level. He denounced Iran for its lack of freedoms and, almost in the same breath, made favorable mention of Saudi Arabia. By any yardstick — political rights, religious tolerance, free speech — Iran is a much more open society than Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute monarchy allied to the world’s most fanatical religious establishment, where churches and synagogues are prohibited.

The main thrust of Trump’s speech was about nationalism. He celebrated sovereignty and nationalism, choosing an odd example. Latching onto a few words by President Harry S. Truman in support of the Marshall Plan, Trump described that approach to international relations as “beautiful” and “noble.” But can anyone imagine Trump actually supporting the Marshall Plan? It was a massive foreign aid program, administered by government bureaucrats to help foreigners revive their industries — which became competitors to U.S. firms. Washington spent, as a percentage of gross domestic product, roughly five times what it spent during the combat phase of the war in Afghanistan, according to one estimate. To make the Marshall Plan work, Washington encouraged European nations to cede economic sovereignty and create the European Coal and Steel Community, which was the genesis of the European Union.

The most significant line in Trump’s speech was this one, delivered dramatically: “As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.”

But this is what countries such as Russia and China have been saying for the past few decades. For the past 70 years, the great debate among nations has been between those who argued for narrow national interests and those who believed that lasting peace and prosperity depended on promoting broader common interests. The latter stance, conceived by FDR and supported by every U.S. president since, is what produced the United Nations and all the organizations that monitor and assist with trade, travel, disease, crime and weather issues, among a host of others, that spill over borders and can only be handled at a regional or global level.

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But Trump is tired of being the world’s leader. He whined in his speech that other countries are unfair in their dealings with the United States, and that somehow the most powerful nation in the world, which dominates almost every international forum, is being had. His solution, a return to nationalism, would be warmly welcomed by most of the world’s major players — Russia and China, but also countries such as India and Turkey — which tend to act on the basis of their narrow self-interest. Of course, that will mean a dramatic acceleration of the post-American world, one in which these countries will shape policies and institutions, unashamedly to their own benefit rather than any broader one.

Trump grumbled about the fact that the United States pays 22 percent of the U.N.’s budget, which is actually appropriate because it’s roughly equivalent to America’s share of global GDP. Were he to scale back U.S. support, he might be surprised how fast a country like China will leap in to fill the gap. And once it does, China will dominate and shape the United Nations — and the global agenda — just as the United States has done for seven decades. Perhaps the Chinese will suggest that the organization’s headquarters be moved to Beijing. Come to think of it, it would free up acres of land on the East River where Trump could build a few more condominiums.

 

Donald Trump’s War Doctrine Débuts, at the U.N.


September 21, 2017

Donald Trump’s War Doctrine Débuts, at the U.N.

In a bellicose address at the United Nations, Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” and baffled veteran American diplomats. Photograph by Spencer Platt / Getty

On Tuesday, Donald Trump made his début on the world stage—on the same elegant green-marble dais, donated by Italy after the Second World War, that he had mocked in a 2012 tweet as ugly. “The 12 inch sq. marble tiles behind speaker at UN always bothered me,” Trump wrote. “I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me.” Trump’s thoughts about the United Nations were bigger—and badder—this time around.

“Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell,” Trump declared. He vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if it didn’t abandon its nuclear weapons and the intercontinental ballistic missiles that deliver them. He came close to calling for regime change in “reckless” Iran, for policies that “speak openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.” Trump called the nuclear deal—brokered by all the veto-wielding nations of the world body—“an embarrassment” to the United States, implicitly insulting the European allies that initiated the effort and the Security Council, which unanimously endorsed it. He implied a willingness to use military action in Venezuela “to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy.” He blasted Cuba and took sharp digs at China and Russia.

The President also delivered a few campaign-style zingers—like his pledge to “crush loser terrorists.” About North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Trump pronounced, “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

Trump reportedly insisted, over aides’ objections, that he keep the reference to the Elton John song in his speech. The line is sure to become part of U.N. lore—along with the Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s quip, in 1987, “Remember, President Reagan, Rambo only exists in the movies,” and the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s insult, the day after George W. Bush’s 2006 U.N. speech, “The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still.”

For a body more accustomed to nuanced diplomatic speak, and now yearning for leadership in an unsettled world, Trump’s bellicose speech was his America First doctrine on steroids. Indeed, he opened his remarks to leaders from almost two hundred countries with a litany of his achievements since Election Day. “Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been,” he boasted.

One of Trump’s most curious and convoluted themes—in an increasingly interconnected and globalizing world—was the need for greater sovereignty. “The nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition,” he said. The subtext was that walls, along every nation’s borders, were the keys to prosperity and international security.

The line baffled veteran American diplomats. “The President kept talking about sovereignty as if it were imperilled,” Richard Haass, the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the head of the State Department’s policy-planning staff under the George H. W. Bush Administration, told me. “The last I checked, we still have a veto at the U.N. We set our own limits in the Paris climate pact. No one is forcing us to adhere to trade agreements. It seemed to me it was something of a red herring. U.S. sovereignty is not imperilled. It’s an odd emphasis at the U.N., where our goal is to generate collective effort against common problems. It seemed to me inherently contradictory.”

The tenor throughout Trump’s forty-minute speech was contrary to many of the trends of the twenty-first century. He advocated ideas that other nations either find suspect or shun outright. Trump ignored the fact that he needs the world right now more than the world needs (or wants) him. Saying that the United States is gaining military muscle no longer means that Washington gains more leverage. Power has been redefined and defused, as have the threats of the era.

“The defining challenges of the twenty-first century are global in nature,” Haass said. “That is what was missing—whether proliferation or terror or climate change or hacking or democratic disruption. A pinched approach to sovereignty is inadequate.”

Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, a risk-consulting firm, told me that the long-term fallout from Trump’s speech may be to accelerate the identity politics and anti-globalization sentiments that fuel so many of today’s conflicts. The world, he said, has been headed toward a “geopolitical recession,” a period of instability featuring setbacks to globalization and international coöperation. Weakened global institutions that can’t respond quickly or effectively to challenges increase the prospects for more wars. Trump’s unilateralist rhetoric is “facilitating a faster unwind, and that’s a dangerous thing,” Bremmer said.

Trump’s patronizing language at the U.N. was a stark departure from the policies of America’s two other twenty-first-century Presidents. George W. Bush’s strategy emphasized the promotion of democracy and nation-building, while Barack Obama was big on human rights, global outreach, and resolving old tensions.

“Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity, and peace for themselves and for the world,” Trump said. “We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government.”

The question is whether Trump, in his speech, went too far—and scared too many—to generate the kind of collaboration that he needs to achieve the very foreign-policy goals he outlined.

The President’s threat “won’t make Kim Jong Un quiver in his boots and give up his nukes,” Mark Fitzpatrick, the executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in Washington, told me. “To the contrary, it will reinforce his determination to have nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles that can deter the U.S.” America’s allies also now have to worry, he added, that Trump’s belligerent words will make Pyongyang even more dangerous.

The same is true of his condemnation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the clunkily named Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the most significant nonproliferation agreement in more than a quarter century. “Nobody in the room, save Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, will have been pleased by Trump’s denunciation of the J.C.P.O.A.,” Fitzpatrick said. The consequences of abandoning the Iran deal, he noted, could also backfire in relation to North Korea. “Denouncing a deal that all other parties are upholding will certainly not make North Korea any more disposed toward striking a deal with the United States over its nuclear program.”

Trump’s speech infuriated the Iranians. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN -unworthy of a reply. Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one.”

Key players didn’t even show up for Trump’s début. President Xi Jinping, of China, didn’t come to New York to build on the relationship started over dinner at Mar-a-Lago, in April. Trump is dependent on China to deal with North Korea—and Xi is unlikely to make the grand gestures required to force the “Rocket Man” to surrender his deadliest weapons. For all that is at stake between Washington and Moscow, President Vladimir Putin didn’t bother to attend, either. Trump needs Russian help to tighten the squeeze on Pyongyang through U.N. sanctions.

Angela Merkel, now the de-facto champion of the West, also stayed home, occupied by the run-up to a crucial election. The Germans are outspoken about their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal—and have said so, bluntly, to the Trump Administration. Despite closer ties with Saudi Arabia forged during Trump’s first foreign trip, neither the King nor the Crown Prince came to New York. As at Trump’s Inauguration, the crowd at this opening of the United Nations may not have been as large as the President had hoped.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani Latest Speech At UNGA United Nations | 20 Sept 2017–A Rebuttal to Donald Trump

 

Myanmar’s Rohingya: A Far Wider Tragedy


September 20, 2017

Myanmar’s Rohingya: A Far Wider Tragedy

http://www.asiasentinel.com

Image result for aung san suu kyi

The first layer is the most obvious. These are Muslims in an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, in which Buddhist monks have had a nationalist political role dating back to British rule, if not before. If viewed as an exclusively Muslim issue, it has the potential to enlarge the cracks already apparent in the edifice of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It is noteworthy both that Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, currently pursued by allegations of billions of dollars of fraud, attempted to burnish his Islamic credentials by sharply criticizing Myanmar. Indonesia typically tried to calm troubled waters by sending its Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, to Naypiydaw. Soothing words but little action followed.

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Making use of the Rohingya Issue for domestic politics

Anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar has a long history, though the Rohingya issue is different in origin and character from those against Muslims, many of them small traders, in the cities

So far both the Muslim Indonesians and the Buddhist Thais have kept their cool.  But there is no guarantee that Indonesia’s approach can last if atrocities continue. The Buddhist Thais may have little sympathy for their Burmese neighbors given a long history of rivalry. Nonetheless with their own Muslim minority problems in southern Thailand, and lack of interest in the issues of Chinese maritime expansion which trouble Indonesia, make ASEAN solidarity increasingly difficult.

The next two layers are related. First, the Rohingya are Bengali speakers and thus readily identified not only with Bangladesh but with a Bengali world – which at 250 million, including Indian West Bengal, is much more populous than Myanmar’s 60 million, let alone its Burmese core. This demographic issue lies behind the Myanmar obsession with Rohingya immigration into Rakhine state and the government’ s refusal to grant citizenship to them, however long their families have resided there.

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The third and related one is that these people are mostly dark-skinned people with features common to the Indian subcontinent. Myanmar officials of course do not admit to blatant racism based on skin color and facial characteristics. But in 2009 the Myanmar consul-general in Hong Kong was unwise enough to speak his mind, one which is probably silently shared by a significant proportion of his countrymen.

Addressing his fellow diplomats on the Rohingya issue soon after it came to foreign attention as boatloads of refugees arrived on the shores of Thailand and Malaysia, Ye Mint Aung said the Rohingya were not actually Myanmese and were not accepted as one of the ethnic groups of his country, or indeed as citizens.

“You will see in the photos that their complexion is ‘dark brown’” in contrast to the complexion of Myanmar people, he wote, which was “fair and soft, good looking as well.”

He claimed that his own complexion was typical of a Myanmar gentleman and fellow diplomats could contrast their “handsome colleague” with the “ugly as ogres” Rohingya whose pictures were in the newspapers.

The fourth layer may be least obvious but perhaps most dangerous. Even Aung San Suu Kyi, let alone the monks and generals, see the Rohingya as immigrants into Rakhine state.  They are mostly descendants of people who arrived there under British rule, when Burma was administered as part of India. This lasted 114 years until it ended with the Japanese occupation 75 years ago. If Asian nations are now to get into the business of reversing population movements which occurred in colonial times, be prepared for bloodbaths on a horrendous scale.

Image result for Najib and the Rohingya

One of the great achievements of independent Asia so far is to have accepted almost all colonial-era boundaries and demographic changes, however illogical or disadvantageous they may have been to this or that ethnic or religious group. There is hell to pay if reversing history is the silent goal of the Myanmar government. The short term will be agony for the Rohingya, the long term possibly a calamity for Burmese in the face of Bengali numbers. Horrendous bloodshed would also be in store – especially for communities of Chinese origin – should the notion of post-colonial ethnic cleansing take hold elsewhere in Asia.

Asian neighbors in particular need to wake up to the Rohingya crisis being more than a “little local difficulty.” This is not Marawi in the Philippines nor Patani in Thailand, where small insurgencies have been ongoing for decades. The ethnic collision in Rakhine is a threat of altogether different proportions, as well as an ongoing tragedy.

Philip Bowring is one of the founders of Asia Sentinel. A version of this appeared originally in The Globalist.

President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly


September 19, 2017

President Donald Trump Addresses The United Nations General Assembly

Trump: “We are calling for a great reawakening of nations”

Trump concluded his UN speech by urging for a “great reawakening of nations” and a “revival of their spirits.”

“Now, we are calling for a great reawakening of nations. For the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people an their patriotism,” the President said. “History is asking us if we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve and a rebirth of devotion.”

Listen to The President of The United States of America at The United Nations. He said leaders must serve their people and let me know what you think. –Din Merican

A Bit of History for The Donald


September 18, 2017

Notes and Comment–A Bit of History for The Donald

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Ignoble Laureate


September 17, 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Ignoble Laureate

“I am just a politician. I am not quite like Margaret Thatcher, no. But on the other hand, I am no Mother Teresa, either.”–Aung San Suu  Kyi

During her fifteen years under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi—now the de-facto leader of Myanmar—found solace in the poetry and novels of authors such as George Eliot, Victor Hugo, John le Carré, and Anna Akhmatova. Another favorite, she has said, was Rebecca West’s “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon,” an epic travelogue about Yugoslavia written on the eve of the Second World War. West described a country that Aung San Suu Kyi would have recognized as being much like her own: a fragile mosaic of ethnicities, languages, historical backgrounds, and cultural traditions.

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In a short essay called “Let’s Visit Burma,” published in 1985, Aung San Suu Kyi described the “colourful and diverse origins and customs” of her compatriots. Rakhine state, in the west of Myanmar, was something of a “mystery” in this respect, she wrote. Its population had originated from “Mongolian and Aryan peoples who had come over from India.” Owing to its geographical position, Bengal had also “played a major part” in its history and culture. Among the state’s numerous ethnic groups —Arakanese, Thek, Dainet, Myo, Mramagyi, and Kaman—others displayed “the influence of Bengali.” But she assured readers that while there are “more people of the Islamic faith to be found in [Rakhine] than anywhere else in Burma,” it had been “predominately Buddhist” for centuries.

By groups that “displayed the influence of Bengali”, Aung San Suu Kyi certainly meant the Rohingya, a stateless minority in northern Rakhine that most Myanmar people consider to be Bangladeshi immigrants. Since August 25, when militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police posts and an Army base, as many as a thousand Rohingya have been killed and over three hundred and seventy thousand (more than third of the Rohingya population) have been forced into neighboring Bangladesh, human-rights groups estimate. Aung San Suu Kyi’s champions are now contemplating her fall from grace, appalled that the Nobel Peace Prize winner remains silent about and unmoved by a crisis described this week by the U.N.’s human-rights chief as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” There have been widespread calls for the Nobel Committee to strip her of the prize. But there is no statutory procedure for doing so, nor is it clear how this would end the murder, rape, and mass exodus of the Rohingya at the hands of Myanmar’s Army.

The most urgent and powerful appeals to Aung San Suu Kyi have come from her fellow Nobel laureates. The Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who won the prize for her advocacy of girls’ education, condemned the “tragic and shameful treatment” of the Rohingya. “I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.” Addressing a letter to his “dear sister,” the anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu wrote of his “profound sadness” and called on Aung San Suu Kyi to end the military-led operations. “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep,” he wrote. The Dalai Lama subsequently urged her to find a peaceful solution to the humanitarian crisis, saying that Buddha would have “definitely helped those poor Muslims.”

This is not the first time that laureates have spoken of their displeasure with Aung San Suu Kyi. In December last year, when the military conducted another brutal offensive against the Rohingya, thirteen Nobel winners, including Muhammad Yunus, Shirin Ebadi, and Leymah Gbowee, signed an open letter deploring the Army’s use of helicopter gunships, arbitrary arrests, and the rape of women. “Despite repeated appeals to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” they concluded, using her honorific, “we are frustrated that she has not taken any initiative to ensure full and equal citizenship rights of the Rohingyas. Daw Suu Kyi is the leader and is the one with primary responsibility to lead, and lead with courage, humanity and compassion.”

When Aung San Suu Kyi accepted her own prize, in Oslo, in June, 2012, she said that, under house arrest, “it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world. . . . What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me. . . . I began to understand the significance of the Nobel Prize.” Since becoming State Counsellor, in 2016, however, she has retreated into the solitude of her former life. Her husband, Michael Aris, died, of cancer, in 1999—she was prevented by the military regime from saying goodbye to him—and she rarely sees her sons. People close to her describe a life of morbid isolation, living alone in the administrative capital, Naypyidaw—arguably the dreariest city on earth—pouring over state documents late into the night. She rarely gives interviews, and is reluctant to delegate responsibilities (there is no obvious successor to lead her party when she’s gone).

There’s no evidence that the laureates’ chorus of indignation has any bearing on Aung San Suu Kyi, or whether their declarations can break the spell of isolation and bring her back to the outside world. The only response she has made to the present crisis in Rakhine was a Facebook post, detailing a phone conversation she had with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In it, she criticized the “huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists.” While Aung San Suu Kyi has remained silent, the offices and ministries under her charge have not, describing the Rohingya as Bengalis and publicly advocating the use of force in certain situations. “If they are going to harm you, you can shoot them,” Aung San Suu Kyi’s spokesman, U Zaw Htay, said. The most egregious case of the recklessness of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government came last month, when it accused international aid workers of supporting terrorists, prompting fears for the safety of thousands of people in Myanmar employed by charities and N.G.O.s. There have been demands that the U.S. government stop using the name “Rohingya”, and when a Rohingya women gave details of an alleged gang rape, Aung San Suu Kyi’s office dismissed it as “fake rape.”

Aung San Suu Kyi’s biographer, Peter Popham, writes in “The Lady and the Generals: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Democracy” that she “has become an object lesson in the slipperiness of the concept of heroism, and the folly of hero-worship.” Indeed, the tenor of the denunciations suggests that Aung San Suu Kyi’s critics are angered as much by a sense of personal betrayal as they are by her silence. She has exposed the artlessness with which many in the West reduced a complex personality into a Rapunzel of the East, emptied of her more illiberal traits, such as an authoritarian leadership style, and some potentially unsavory views on Muslims. The BBC correspondent, Fergal Keane, who probably knows Aung San Suu Kyi better than any other foreign journalist, has admitted that “we knew too little of Myanmar and its complex narratives of ethnic rivalries. . . . And we knew too little of Aung San Suu Kyi herself.” In a rare interview with Keane in April, she denied ethnic cleansing was taking place in Rakhine, and resisted the cruder perceptions of her persona: “I am just a politician. I am not quite like Margaret Thatcher, no. But on the other hand, I am no Mother Teresa, either.”

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Unlike Thatcher, a consummate political operator, many have commented upon Aung San Suu Kyi’s weakness as a politician. Her failure to act against the military operation in Rakhine, so the argument goes, is not a result of her bigotry but because she is unable to outmaneuver the generals in Myanmar’s very own game of thrones.

Few can blame Aung San Suu Kyi for her political impotence. The constitutional arrangements of Myanmar would foil the shrewdest operative. Designed by the military, in 2008, the constitution gives the armed forces control of three ministries—the interior, borders, and defense—that are beyond the oversight of the civilian government. It bars Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming President, and allows the Army to veto any attempt at constitutional reform. The irony, then, is that if Aung San Suu Kyi once represented the power of the powerless, she is now powerless in power, taking the flak for the Army’s unrelenting inhumanity in its fight against ethnic rebels on the borderlands, and the Rohingya.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s powerlessness hardly matters on this issue, anyway: hatred of the Rohingya is one thing that unites Myanmar. Despite their political differences, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, and the military are in lockstep when it comes to the problem of northern Rakhine. Years of xenophobic, anti-Rohingya propaganda, pushed from the late nineteen-seventies by the military government, endures in the nation’s collective memory, and is stoked by the hate sermons of Buddhist monks like Ashin Wirathu. By speaking up for the Rohingya, Aung San Suu Kyi imperils her standing in the eyes of her fellow-citizens.

When she was thrust into the public eye, in 1988, it was her lineage, rather than her politics, that was the driving force. As the daughter of General Aung San, the nationally revered founder of modern Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was at the mercy of activists who recognized the dynastic force that her name, and looks (she is the spitting image of her father), lent to their struggle against the generals. Responsible for negotiating Burma’s independence from the British Empire, Aung San was assassinated by paramilitary forces of the former Prime Minister U Saw, in 1947, six months before its official declaration. Aung San Suu Kyi was just two years old at the time, but there’s no doubting her love and admiration for him. In a 2013 radio interview with the BBC, she described her father as “my first love and my best love.” This filial piety is perhaps the key to understanding Aung San Suu Kyi as saint and sinner.

Her father was an extraordinarily tenacious, even ruthless, man who navigated between the British and Japanese empires in order to achieve his objective—a unified, independent Burma. He was also a Burmese nationalist who cared little for the nation’s ethnic minorities. Today, he is universally venerated in Myanmar, while few outside the country know who he is. This has almost certainly influenced Aung San Suu Kyi, who mimics his leadership style, moral code, and political priorities. The Rohingya are a distraction from her overriding ambition: to complete her father’s dream of unifying the country and ending a civil war that has raged between ethnic rebel forces and the Myanmar government since 1948. As Rebecca West wrote in “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon,” in a passage that Aung San Suu Kyi likely associated with her father when reading the book under house arrest, “it is the habit of the people, whenever an old man mismanages his business so that it falls to pieces as soon as he dies, to say, ‘Ah, So-and-so was a marvel! He kept things together so long as he was alive, and look what happens now he has gone!’ ”