When former US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes first met Aung San Suu Kyi in 2012, she exuded the all traits that made her an international icon for human rights and democracy.
Rhodes had accompanying Barack Obama in an historic visit to Myanmar, and admired the moral authority of Aung San Suu Kyi. There was a hopefulness, surrounding her, he says.
Now seven years later, she has been stripped of many international accolades, honors and prizes.
At issue is the fact that as the most powerful civilian leader in Myanmar she refused to intervene against, or even publicly condemn, a genocide committed by the government against a religious and ethnic minority. Some 700,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled Myanmar amid what a UN official has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. All the while, Aung San Suu Kyi was silent.
So what happened to Aung San Suu Kyi? How did a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent decades under house arrest in an elegant pursuit of democracy and justice in Myanmar fall so from grace? And was the international community, including the Obama administration, wrong about her all along? Ben Rhodes grapples with these questions and more. [Listen to Podcast]