Lots of New Mandala readers are interested in the exploits of Thomas Bleming, and his efforts to assist the Karen National Liberation Army in eastern Burma. A few weeks ago his story was still only being reported on New Mandala, in The Panama News, and in the press back in his native Wyoming. In the past week he has received a great deal of extra attention. Readers hoping to get up to speed on these recent reports will find this summary useful:
- “Gone Kurtz, on the Burma Border”, by Antonio Graceffo in Asian Tribune.
- “A military ‘Walter Mitty’ in Myanmar’s jungles”, by Brian McCartan in the Asia Times.
- “The Whole Town’s Talking: Traveler leaves Lusk behind for war zone”, by David Mirhadi in the Casper Star-Tribune.
In response there is also a wide-ranging discussion of Bleming (and foreign volunteers fighting in Burma) that has kicked off over at The Black Flag Cafe.
With all this press coverage, how long before Bleming gets his first mention in The New Light of Myanmar? “…trying to jeopardize stability of the State and progress of the nation”? “…foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State”? “Crush all internal and external destructive elements as the common enemy”? etc, etc.
I imagine that Bleming would wear the label “external destructionist” with considerable pride.