Myanmar brutally cracked down on protests. It could get worse. | United States Politics

TOKYO (AP) – Myanmar security forces killed dozens of protesters protesting a coup. The new junta has jailed journalists and anyone else capable of reporting the violence. It also eliminated limited legal protections. The outside world has so far responded with harsh words, a smattering of sanctions, and little else.

The slide from from a nascent democracy to another coup, as swift as it is brutal, opens up a grim possibility: however ugly it may seem now in Myanmar, if the country’s long history of violent military rule is any guide, things could get worse.

Protesters continued to fill the streets despite the violence that killed 38 people one day this week, even though they turned out to be fewer in number than in the weeks immediately following the February 1 coup. They used smartphones to capture brutality. Recent videos show security forces shooting a person at close range and chasing and savagely beating protesters.

The military, however, has the distinct advantage, with sophisticated weapons, an extensive spy network, the ability to cut telecommunications, and decades of combat experience. from civil conflicts in the border areas of the country.

“We are in a crisis point,” Bill Richardson, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations with a long history of working with Myanmar, told The Associated Press, indicating …