An Old Cold War Trick

Burmese Generals Hijack Aid

The regime plastered names of the top generals on the aid boxes, as part of the propaganda and intimidation campaign it is running to back its referendum seeking to perpetuate the 46-year military control of the country.

The Associated Press reported that state-run television inside Burma continuously ran images of elaborate cemonies where top generals – including the junta leader, Senior Gen Than Shwe – handed out boxes of Thai aid disguised so as to appear it came from the junta, to survivors of the tragedy.

One box seen in the videos bore the name of Lt Gen Myint Swe, a rising star in the government hierarchy, in bold letters, overshadowing a smaller label which barely could be read:: “Aid from the Kingdom of Thailand.”

The Russians used to do this during the Cold War. The U.S. would send aid to third world countries. It would be labeled with a picture of a handshake and say something about being from the U.S. The Russians would have their agents slap labels over ours saying that it was from the USSR.

I guess the Burmese learned from them.

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