Taylor Earnhart Burmese Call for International Intervention The Burmese people have been resisting an imposing junta since February 1, 2021. February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s democratically elected government was overturned in a promissory coup. A promissory coup, as described by Nancy Bermeo in On Democratic Backsliding is a modern style of coup that is done under the guise of defending democracy. While an inherent part of promissory coups is an expected election, this is a pretty clear cut situation. Myanmar has a very long history of autocracy. Myanmar has traditionally been led by juntas since their independence from colonial Britain in 1948. Myanmar’s most recent democratic stint began in 2010. Myanmar’s promissory coup is the military’s effort to regain control. Since the coup on February 1, 2021, a rough estimate of 900 people have died as the result of violent protest and counter protest clashes. Many more Burmese people have been injured. Protestors, activists- citizens, are being abducted and tortured by the current regime. The junta has released images to the public of political dissidents after government abduction and abuse. Peaceful means of resistance have been implemented by the Burmese people. An economic boycott has been put into place. Businesses are leaving the nation. Money is being taken out of banks. Currency is being converted to gold. The junta has taken notice. The military leadership naively believed that their pro-business policies would help bolster the Burmese economy. The junta has been proven wrong. Myanmar is set to have one of the worst economic rebounds in East Asia after the Covid-19 pandemic. Sadly, this has been proven to not be enough. The junta persists. The Burmese people persist. Violence begets violence and nonviolent protest methods have become the background noise of Myanmar’s political upheaval. Some citizens cannot afford to boycott the economy and abandon their sources of income. Many have gone completely underground. Some are taking to war. Min Ko Naing, a prominent name in the Burmese resistance to the coup, took to Radio Free Asia to make the following statement, urging people to go to armed and protected territories in the southeast: “These territories will become ‘free zones’ where they can continue the fight against the military together with ethnic minorities. Those who remain in the cities will continue their fight by guerrilla protests,” The situation between the junta and the dissidents grows continuously worse. What has been a series of riots and massacres is developing into a civil war. With international support of the Burmese people and their pursuit of liberal democracy, the situation is hopeful. The West does love to arm political dissidents and help restructure governments! However, that’s not what is wanted here. It’s not what’s going to be effective in the long run. Myanmar needs international intervention before the situation on the ground escalates to a fully fledged civil war. The current death tolls can be assumed inaccurate but are important for a sense of scale. There’s a complete lack of transparency from the junta itself; the Burmese people leak what information they are able to. Things are undoubtedly worse than they appear to the rest of the world. The junta is well aware of this. The junta is also aware of the growing sense of comradery and nationalism amongst countrymen, formed over a shared agreement of a broken social contract. The junta won’t give up without a fight to the death. Likely because giving up would probably mean literal death for those orchestrating the autocratic movement. The Burmese people have also displayed a willingness to die for this cause. They are dying not for themselves but for future generations. Thus, the international community is faced with a situation that will only get messier. Many Western countries- the US and European Union member nations included, have condemned the coup and posed sanctions against Myanmar’s new government. This collision in Myanmar has the momentum to come to an end. Myanmar has international attention. If the international community presses into the Burmese autocratic regime, potentially with force, total civil war can be avoided. The ground is shakey and the populace is united against their sovereign. Proper pressure could be the tipping point needed.Works Cited Bermeo, N. (2016). On Democratic Backsliding. Journal of Democracy, 27, 6.