The U.S. should intervene in Myanmar


Liam Regan, Staff Writer

On Feb. 1, following a landslide election in favor of  the National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s military seized power.  Protests over the past few months have been met with brutal force, and the military is responsible for over 700 deaths, many of whom were innocent civilians, protesters, and children.  On March 27 alone, over 100 protesters were killed.  Furthermore, thousands of civilians were arrested for peacefully protesting.  

The military junta, who rules undemocratically and without any respect for human rights, must be toppled and the original government must be restored.  While this may seem like an obscure conflict taking place halfway across the world, one cannot undervalue the worth of human lives.  Due to the corruption and sheer brutality of the regime, the United States must intervene and repair the damage created by the coup.

The original force that drove the Myanmar military to revolt is something known to Americans: the fear of voter fraud.  After Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, protests and complaints stated the election was “rigged.”  Myanmar also had a democratic election to choose the next leader, and the NLD won by a landslide.  Myanmar’s military, however, said they believed that widespread voter fraud made the election invalid, so they requested the vote be redone.  

Although few voter fraud cases were discovered in both the United States and in Myanmar, in Myanmar the military refused to accept the election results.  They carried out a coup in which they removed the country’s democratic leader from office and took charge.  

The leader before the coup, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been held hostage since the military took over.  The new head of the country and commander-in-chief of the military, Min Aung Hlaing, justifies the mutiny that occurred and expresses his belief that the military will protect the people and restore a “true democracy” to the country.  Ironically, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring about democratic reform in her country, yet Hlaing removed her from office and declared that he would bring democracy to Myanmar.  

“The right to participate in government and the importance of democracy is undeniable.  The military’s decision to override this is unacceptable,” said freshman Ezra Loewy.

Min Aung Hlaing’s claim that the military is for the people is questionable, as his regime has already resulted in hundreds of deaths.  Hlaing is familiar with violence; he is one of the chief figures driving the persecution and genocide of Rohingya Muslims.  The commander and his cohorts have been determined to eliminate the Rohingya from Myanmar.

“The current situation regarding Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is horrible, and the U.S. should step in to prevent the situation from worsening,” said sophomore Sean Mondschein.  

Unfortunately, there have not been many attempts to help the Rohingya, so they have created armed forces of their own.  The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked multiple police stations and an army base.  They have also executed Rohingya whom they believed were traitors.  As these groups militarize, Myanmar seems to be headed towards a civil war.  To prevent this, international assistance is necessary and should be provided as soon as possible.

“Hopefully the United States government will intervene in this conflict and put an end to this coup,” says sophomore James Chondrogiannis.  

The crumbling situation in Myanmar necessitates foreign intervention to prevent it from worsening.  The Rohingyas responding with force highlights the threat of a civil war that would increase the death and suffering of civilians.  In order to stop future human rights abuses and restore democracy in Myanmar, the United States must intervene.