On that fake photo nonsense from Suu Kyi & media: it’s just to deny genocide

There are many who are warning about fake photos from the genocide in Burma. They don’t realize that this comes from Suu Kyi herself who’s making a big deal that a Turkish government official tweeted (& later deleted) photos from the Rwandan genocide in 1994, identifying them as Burma. The BBC picked this up because they’re pushing the line that it is not a genocide but communal violence. Jonathan Head, their correspondent for southeast Asia, said there were 1.5 million tweets about the Rohingya crisis since September 5th including photos that were from other crises around the world. Does he want us to believe that he or BBC fact-checkers have gone through 1.5 million tweets in the past 48 hours & vetted all those photos?

In fact, mostly what is tweeted are cellphone videos which are easily vetted because of the uniforms of the Burmese army. It cannot be said that photos are pouring out of Arakan state; in fact there aren’t a lot of them except at the border area in Bangladesh where journalists are allowed. So which photos is Head talking about? The only ones he pointed out were those by the Turkish guy which Suu Kyi tried to make hay out of.

What Head should be squawking about is that journalists are not allowed into the region. Although today Head reported he was on a regime-sponsored tour of Arakan embedded with the military. They are not allowed to investigate freely & are under guard. He reported he saw a group of thuggish Buddhists walking away from a torching scene brandishing swords, machetes, & sling-shots who admitted to setting the fires. But that fits nicely into the communal violence scenario that Head is pushing. According to Human Rights Watch satellite imagery, the devastation from fires is so dense & extensive that it could only have been done by the military & not just roving Buddhist death squads with boxes of matches.

What’s deeply troubling is that at latest count, 164,000 Rohingya have streamed into Bangladesh extremely traumatized & with life-threatening injuries, including bullet wounds, & their testimony that the military is torching their villages, burning their families & neighbors alive, raping, executing, torturing is not considered reliable.

It has to be said frankly that Head, the BBC, & other media pushing the line of communal violence rather than denouncing genocide are collaborating in a criminal way with the military junta in Burma.