The high levels of excitement over an aging Hollywood star, hacking and mumbling his way through Burma, may be odd to some, but it attests to the power of American cultural hegemony. This is a reality that even diehard anti-American hotheads must accept. So, given the news spreading globally over the lavish red carpet openings and the musings of Rambo’s hulking front man, Burmese activists are given an opportunity to focus that spotlight so blurrily cast by Rambo…The latest Rambo movie does indeed offer opportunities for Burma activists. But, it must be along the lines of providing clarity to Rambo’s murky and simplistic critique of contemporary Burma and must make clear where Rambo sits in the overall anti-military movement. Wherever that position may be, it should not be on top or all-encompassing. For media purposes, the Burma democracy movement must ensure that it is a case of Burma using Rambo, rather than Rambo using Burma.

– Extracted from James Rose, “‘Rambo’ Muddies Burma’s Media Message”, The Irrawaddy, 3 March 2008.