Let’s get this clear: what is happening in Myanmar is horrible, is tragic.

What is more noticeable right now is that it also makes for great news. It’s bad news, so that’s good. Saffron is an easily recognizable color, so that’s a brand.  And most importantly: we have unarmed, peaceful monks protesting for a good cause against armed, brutal military defending a corrupt  dictatorship.  You cannot ask for more clearly defined roles of good an evil. It is rare that there is a conflict on this earth and it is so easy to see which side are the good guys.

Not that this helps, of course. Right now it very much looks like the protests have been crushed. The UN remain helpless (sanctions anybody?), European leaders look to China for help. Which gets straight to the point of why politics is in decline: we don’t really believe that we can make a difference anymore. We’ve failed too often.

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