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That's why we protest

Here are the reasons why we get involved in conflicts, like now with Burma. And the reasons why we don't usually care.

[Burma] Somewhat startling has happened over the past couple of weeks: "Most people" in Norway have now become involved in Burma's democracy struggle. 28. September, even Norwegian politicians and trendsetters wore red clothes, in solidarity with the Buddhist monks' struggle against the military regime in Rangoon.

But the spontaneous, media-backed support contrasts with the lack of Burma involvement in recent years, compared to Iraq, Palestine and Latin America. This despite Burma having had one of the world's worst dictatorships since 1962. Despite the fact that 62-year-old Nobel Prize winner and Gandhi-inspired Aung San Suu Kyi is now making Mandela the rank of unlucky: 18 imprisoned years, despite a democratic election she clearly won in 1990.

The lack of Burma involvement looks all the worse in terms of how Norwegian companies have long financed the dictatorship: On the "red-clothes-day", NorWatch published a list of 154 Norwegian import managers. . .

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Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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