Friends of liberty worldwide should offer aid and support to Burmese activists seeking to transform what remains an authoritarian system. Such assistance best comes outside of the U.S. government, lest democracy promotion be seen as yet another tool of American foreign policy.
In addition to saying the forbidden word, President Obama should address the root causes of the crisis by urging the Burmese government to reform its outdated laws that base citizenship on ethnic identity.
In a day and age in which technology affords us the ability to connect with people across the world, we can no longer claim ignorance to the fact that the Rohingya people are being slaughtered, displaced, and terrorized.
The few hours that the president will spend on the ground in Myanmar sends a signal that the government is no longer an international outlaw. But the president's stop-over has the potential to advance rather than set back reform.