Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rambo does humanitarian intervention

So here's what happens. There's a genocide in Myanmar, right, and Rambo happens to be nearby with a big boat stacked full of military equipment. Except, the big dumb goofball is too cautious to get messed up in something that ain't his business. He's become an isolationist after defeating world communism, you see. And then, right, this bunch of human rights workers or something plead to use his boat to travel up to some unspecified part of Burma to try and help the poor local Burmese people who are being rather brutally taken apart by men with guns and sticks and things that spray fire. One of them, a white woman whose heart curdles with the milk of human kindness, tries to persuade the stupid, over-armed American behemoth to take notice of the plight of the poor oppressed people. Only when she and her fellow workers are kidnapped (she is predictably on the verge of rape by some oversexed Oriental) does Rambo remember that he's got a conscience, and he starts kicking ass in the most gruesome ways imaginable. He's such a cold, unforgiving instrument of God that, when he strikes, the enemy is almost certain to explode in a shower of pulped flesh and blood. Naturally, neither the enemy nor their Burmese victims have distinquishable features. Their faces don't quite register, and they have no real stories of their own. An amorphous mass, they either personify abject victimhood or eeeevvvillll.

Incidentally, it is odd that they should pick Myanmar for their genocide tourism, because reports last year suggested that the mortality rate for males aged 15-25 is close to that achieved in Cambodia under Pol Pot. This is not because the repressive government - which provides British capital with a flood of low-price commodities - engages in arbitrary or group-based murder (although it does those things too - about 2% of the population experiences a family member being shot at, beaten or stabbed by government forces). It is because it is a capitalist dictatorship, based on forced labour (up to a third of the population experiences this), with nothing that could be called a social security system. Malnourishment, starvation and treatable or preventable malaria cause the bulk of deaths as a consequence. That is to say, this grim tale is simply part of the reality of global capitalism, partaking of some of its worst ills. Obviously, the UK government repays the regime's services to capital with a steady supply of armaments. So, if Rocky does want to fuck with the Burmese, he has to go through the British first.