BANGKOK, Thailand -- Burma is apparently using photos sent to Web sites, TVs and other media to arrest protestors, while praising China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown which turned foreign news videos into virtual wanted posters to capture its dissidents.

"Residents say military trucks patrol neighborhood streets during the night with loudspeakers broadcasting warnings: 'We have photographs. We are going to make arrests!'" the respected, U.S.-funded, Thailand-based, Irrawaddy magazine reported on Wednesday (Oct. 3). Associated Press and other news organizations also reported the chilling quotes.

Burma's junta employed camera-wielding security forces during September's pro-democracy marches.

But the regime is probably also gleaning the faces of protestors from countless video and still photos shot in Rangoon by journalists, bloggers, and residents who used cell phones, email, and Web-sites to transmit pictures during more than two weeks of public marches.

Bold, shouting, and angry faces of Burmese protestors appeared on TV screens, Web sites and news publications worldwide, attracting emotional international support and an insatiable demand by the outside world for more and more images.

The Internet community, and world leaders, gleefully praised the stunning use of cyberspace as the most powerful way of showing Burmese demanding for democracy in their closed country.

Burma's use of photos to hunt people, however, echoes communist China's June 1989 crackdown on a student-led, mass protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, when Chinese security forces killed hundreds of people.

China quickly captured and punished several fugitive protestors, thanks partly to foreign broadcasters who beamed unedited video news feeds through Beijing's government-run satellite transmitters, to editors in newsrooms overseas.

For example, TV pictures of a Chinese man on the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news network -- who complained about China's military killing civilians at Tiananmen Square -- soon appeared on Chinese government-controlled TV broadcasts alongside warnings that he needed to be caught.

Within days, Xiao Bin, a factory sales chief from Dalian city, was seized and shown on Chinese TV saying his ABC interview was criminal activity, and apologizing in fear.

ABC's staff condemned China for turning their news footage into incriminating evidence against Xiao Bin, but it was too late.

Without mentioning Tiananmen Square, or China, the Burmese regime indicated it wanted to copy the 1989 crackdown, because Beijing got rich by enforcing stability.

"A civil commotion in a big Asian nation in 1989," was the euphemistic phrase used by the Burmese government's New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Tuesday (Oct. 2), apparently indicating Tiananmen Square.

"As the big Asian nation was able to solve the problem at its initial stage, to prevent it from spreading, the nation has now become an economic power.

"If the [Chinese] nation failed to solve the problem at its initial stage, its peace, stability and progress will not reach the present stage," the paper said, apparently supportive of the way Beijing's brutal suppression created enough stability to attract the Olympic Games.

President Bush, meanwhile, is a hypocrite to complain about Burma's crackdown, it said.

"About 100,000 people staged a protest in Washington calling for an end to the Iraq War. Of them, about 200 were arrested" on Sept. 15, the paper said on Wednesday (Oct. 3).

"The [Washington] police also beat those who led the protest," the New Light of Myanmar said.

Washington's police, some wearing riot gear, arrested at least 189 people among the several thousand who marched to the Capitol, where a handful of protesters and police were injured, according to U.S. news reports.

"If American President Bush accepts that the arrest and beating of his people who got involved in the protest is a matter of enforcing the law, why can't he accept that Myanmar should take such action against saboteurs who created unrest in the nation with the intention of harming peace and development -- at the instigation of certain foreign countries -- as a matter of enforcing the law?"

President Bush's wife, meanwhile, trumped Burma's rhetoric when she called for Burmese troops to turn traitor against the regime, disobey the military's chain of command, and join the pro-democracy movement.

"I want to say to the armed guards and to the soldiers [in Burma]: 'Don't fire on your people. Don't fire on your neighbors. Join this movement," First Lady Laura Bush said in a Sept. 26 interview broadcast into Burma by the Voice of America (V.O.A.), which is financed by the U.S. government.

The head of V.O.A.'s Burmese service, Than Lwin Htun, told a Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington on Oct. 3 his "personal views" were that the crackdown "reminds me of my days in 1988, when I was a student activist in Burma, and the government was saying only 200 or so so-called 'looters' had been killed, but my colleagues and I knew for sure that over 3,000 peaceful demonstrators had died."

Than Lwin Htun said his sources in Rangoon "have already published the names of 138 people who have perished at the hands of the army last week."

Burma's junta said 10 people died in the September clashes in Rangoon.

Burma is the biggest country in mainland Southeast Asia. After crushing the 1988 insurrection for democracy, the military regime changed the country's name to Myanmar and demanded the world conform to the name change.

Richard S Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist who has reported news from Asia since 1978. He is co-author of "Hello My Big Big Honey!", a non-fiction book of investigative journalism, and his web page is