Soldiers of Fortune

Times magazine has an interesting article on Burma. This is an excerpt:
I see how wealthy the Burmese elite have become when I tour the Mindhama Residences, a new housing development in Rangoon: the mansions start at $850,000 and go up to $1.2 million, not counting interior decor. All but one have been sold--this in a nation where per capita GDP is just $442, according to the IMF. Might I be interested in the remaining one? The agent allows me to gawk at the splendor: swirls of gilt and meters of marble, Jacuzzi bathtubs, crystal chandeliers. I ask who have bought the other houses. "Some businessmen," he says. "But mostly ..." He trails off, then taps his fingers to his shoulders, the Burmese code for army stripes.


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