In the Better-Late-Than-Never Department

First Lady Calls for U.N. Resolution Over Ongoing Strife in Burma

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007; Page A12

During her recent vacation at the family ranch near Crawford, Tex., first lady Laura Bush was reading news articles about the ongoing strife in Burma, where the military government has been arresting dissidents and protesters in large numbers in recent weeks. When she returned to Washington last week, she did something unusual: She called the U.N. secretary-general to register her dismay and urged him to condemn “the brutal crackdown.”

Yesterday, the first lady invited a small group of reporters to her office in the East Wing to explain her passion for the cause of Burmese freedom and called for a U.N. resolution expressing the world’s concern over the deteriorating situation in one of the world’s most isolated and repressive governments.



Gotta update those passions, Laura, along with your reading list. The country has been called Myanmar for the past 18 years and lost its democracy in a military takeover 45 years ago.

Interesting that you gave the UN Secretary General a buzz. The first Asian Sec-Gen was a guy named U Thant, who was Burmese and had as an aide a young woman by the name of Aung San Suu Kyi. Eighteen years ago she won the first free election in the country for the office of President, but the military types learned quickly about democracy, canceled the election and have had her under house arrest for most of the time since.

But it’s nice that you have ‘explained your passions’ to reporters. Good to get down to Crawford and out of the bubble, huh? Now if you could only explain the history and culture of Iran to your husband, he might develop a similar passion for that nation.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Outside America, check out

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