The problem of how best to deal with the military thugs who control Myanmar with a iron fist has bedeviled American political leaders for years. The Bush administration tried employing sanctions but there is scant evidence those running Myanmar are worried if their people suffer due to economic constraints. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to attempt seeking new ways to connect with the rulers of Burma in order to explore alternatives to the failed policy of sanctions. After meeting with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, she made clear since they have a better entry into the Burmese leaders the United States would work in close cooperation with Indonesia in finding ways to assist the people of Burma. As she noted, “imposing sanctions has not influenced the junta… reaching out and trying to engate has not influenced them either.”
In reality, there is not much the United States or even Indonesia can do to influence a group of men who inhabit a closed world in which only their concerns are of importance. Most probably, China is a better entry into these people since they have built a lucrative relationship with China in order to develop the rich natural resources of their country.