• Lt. Tim McMillan (Ret.)

Killing Them With Indifference. The Story Of The Rohingya.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad called the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, "a textbook  example of ethnic cleansing.” Since August 25th, the Myanmar government has been involved in a savage military crackdown against the Rohingya people. Myanmar considers the roughly one million Rohingya Muslims who call the Eastern nation their home to to be stateless illegal immigrants. By all accounts, the actions of the Myanmar government represent state sponsored terrorism and genocide. In fact, today as world leaders will meet for the United Nations Summit, the second most significant topic on the agenda, behind only North Korea, will be discussing the villages being torched, children being murdered, gang rapes and beheadings,  that the U.N. says is going on in Myanmar right now. Presently, more than 400,000 Rohingya have fled the country in attempts to avoid the violence. Most of whom have sought refuge in the neighboring nation of Bangladesh. Last week, Reuters reported that roughly 100,000 refugees in these camps were no longer receiving food or healthcare after United Nations aid agencies had been  blocked. 

Corinne Ambler, the Spokeswoman for the International Federation of the Red Cross told ABC news, "I have no words to describe what I’m seeing out there." - "Wall-to-wall human suffering, that’s what it is. In response, the Myanmar government accused international aid workers of assisting terrorists. The government maintains that "most" of the Rohingya people who were killed in military operations were “terrorists”. As human rights and international aid organizations throw out words like genocide, ethnic cleansing, torture and murder of innocent men, women, and children, the leaders of the civilised world have remained deafeningly silent. In 2013, the United Nations labeled the Rohingya people as "the most persecuted minorities in the world. They have been the victims of repeated systematic state sponsored violence since 1978. UN special investigator on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee said he believes the country intends to expel its entire Rohingya population. 

And yet... the Western world, led by the United States of America, the self-declared champions of human rights have failed to do anything to help this utterly defenseless community. Today, 193 nations will meet at a summit for an intergovernmental organization that was formed at the conclusion of World War II for one sole purpose. To prevent another conflict like WWII or the Holocaust from ever occurring again. The genocide currently unfolding in Myanmar has been well-documented and it has been going on for some time.  Now, I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, and bring down the mood of the joyous reunion of our global leaders; however,  if someone might could pass along the message to the United Nations: 

"You had one job... and you failed." 

We have all been repeatedly told that terrorism is a threat to everyone in the world. However, can someone please define the term "terrorism" for me? 

Seemingly, we have no problem throwing the word around. However, clearly, we do a horrible job actually defining it. 

Because make no mistake, what is happening against the Rohingya people is state sponsored terrorism. And yet, the Western “war on terrorism” seems to be noticeably lethargic when it comes to Myanmar. Remarkably, it isn't as if the United States, and The West hasn't been more the willing to jump head first into military action and destabilize a country without so much as a semblance of a long term strategy or goals. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya being excellent examples. 

The U.S. had no qualms fighting terrorism and bringing bringing "freedom and democracy" in the name of human rights to those nations. The consensus amongst human rights groups and international intergovernmental organizations, is that the military regime in Myanmar has been one of the world's most repressive and abusive regimes for the last 55-years. Oh and by the way, Myanmar has built a research nuclear reactor with help from Russia. Not to mention, in 2010. Wikileaks published leaked cables suggesting that Myanmar was using North Korean construction teams to build a fortified Surface-to-Air Missile facility. Of course the leaked cables also stated that North Korea had been exporting nuclear technology to Myanmar as well. In light of all of this, I bet you 90% of Americans couldn't even find Myanmar on a map if they had too. 75% of people who have read this article have probably wondered how exactly you pronounce Myanmar. The truth is, Myanmar, a nation tucked in-between India and China, is the world's cruel, violent, sadistic little secret. So now as an entire race and ethnicity of people find themselves in a humanitarian crisis and once again on the verge of extinction, I cry out at the global community that, no matter who the offenders or who the victims are; terrorism by state or non-state actors is TERRORISM! In conclusion, if the international community; ok... ok... ok... come on, I'm sorry..."international community." We all know that when it comes to beating the drums of war, "international community" is merely a euphemism for the United States and the West... but I digress. So if the "international [The West] community" is genuinely sincere about rooting out terrorism and the source of what causes it, well then it might just want to make a start by actually doing something to end the genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. Then again, we can just sit back and relax. Let the government of Myanmar commit ethnic genocide and murder off it's entire 1 million person Rohingya Muslim population. Give the Asian country a little more time to finish on up their nuclear weapons production. Lastly,  say, "Meh" a little longer, affording the authoritarian nation more time to link up and form strong allied partnerships with like minded sovereign powers. 

By THEN... we can have ourselves a real good time with World War III. Honestly, the words may be different, but we should all know the tune to that song and dance. We just played it 72-years ago. Oh the impact that a few generations can have... we went from "Never again" to "We forgot." All in such a relatively short amount of time.  

Take a good look at this picture. Chances are the world will soon never see these people again.  

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC