Burma's Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a good figure to think about in analogy to Mandela. She wasn't on Robben Island, but was greatly isolated in decades of house arrest while Madiba had the solidarity of other prisoners around him.
Critics wonder how Aung San Suu Kyi could express praise for the military in light of the regime's atrocious human rights record. Perhaps it is because she operates in an extremely tenuous political space.
Two years ago few people, in or out of Burma, predicted genuine reform. Today almost everyone expects it. The ultimate objective must be to allow the Burmese people to take charge of their own destiny.
The growing discontent with the NLD has been obvious inside Burma for most of the past decade. It came to light internationally when, during the November elections, desperate discussions were held about the official boycott.
The US embassy is Rangoon is not known for its diplomatic activism. But WikiLeaks reveals that behind those forbidding doors busy fingers are sending perceptive, well observed missives about the state of Burmese misery.
Though Burma's future is uncertain, it's important that the U.S. continues to engage. Dialogue between the military and the opposition leaders must be encouraged to pave the way for national reconciliation.