May 6, 2008

22,500 dead. 41,000 more missing.

Cyclone Nargis. Myanmar.
Shaken by the scope of the disaster, the authorities said they would delay a vote in the worst affected areas on a new constitution that was meant to cement the military’s grip on power....

The postponement of the vote, a centerpiece of government policy, along with an appeal for foreign disaster relief assistance, were difficult concessions by an insular military junta that portrays itself as all-powerful and self-sufficient, analysts said....

The United States, which has led a drive for economic sanctions against Myanmar’s repressive regime, said it would also provide aid, but only if an American disaster team was invited into the country.

The policy was presented by the first lady, Laura Bush, , along with a lecture to the junta about human rights and disaster relief.

"This is a cheap shot," said Aung Nain Oo, a Burmese political analyst who is based in Thailand. "The people are dying. This is no time for a political message to be aired. This is a time for relief. No one is asking for anything like this except the United States."

30 comments:

rhhardin said...

Hundreds of dollars in property damage.

vbspurs said...

Oh Rhhardin... Come on now...people died.

A sad moment for Burma, already in the throes of a right-wing junta for many years. No matter what the US does, however, it is wrong for some people.

On HuffPo the readers there concentrated on Laura Bush being asked by the WH Press Corps, mid-Burma appeal, about her daughter's wedding this Saturday.

She took the bait, like a proud mama, although it can be said the "conference" part had been over.

You can see the video here.

But she recovered and ended the press conference with these words:

"Bye, you all. Thank you so much, and thank you for covering Burma. Keep...Keep Watching."

First HuffPuff comment?

"Where's McCain when you need him?
"Dumb c*nt" would've surmised my thoughts just fine."


Our national politics are not in the crapper solely because of politicians.

It's us, those engaged in the topic, who are bringing the level down.

Cheers,
Victoria

George said...

Slavery.

Slavery.

Slavery.

Oil, raw materials for China (and thereby cheap goods for the US) : Chinese weapons for Myanmar.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This is a cheap shot," said Aung Nain Oo, a Burmese political analyst who is based in Thailand. "The people are dying. This is no time for a political message to be aired.

Or maybe we just want to be sure that any aid we provide actually goes to the people who need it. Considering the junta wasn't shy about beating the piss out of people and shooting a bunch of others who simply want some basic freedom, I think insisting on some oversight is warranted.

It is amazing that when disaster strikes, the countries who seem to clamor for help the most are in turn the most repressive. Go figure.

Pogo said...

"No one is asking for anything like this except the United States."

No one will do anything except the United States. Everyone else will talk talk talk and bitch about the US.

And the Myanmar thugs will steal all the aid meant for the most severely affected. So why should we aid the thuggery? This aid should come only with very long strings, lest it be used merely to fill the coffers of criminals.

MadisonMan said...

No one will do anything except the United States.

According to the article, Thailand has sent aid already, and China is about to. I heard on the radio this morning that India had sent aid as well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But with the clock ticking four days after the storm hit, Myanmar's reclusive military rulers insisted foreign aid experts would still have to negotiate with the government to be allowed into the isolated nation..

It isn't our government that is demanding negotiations. It is their military leaders.

I feel sorry for the poor people under the thumbs of these goons, but I'm also sick of the US taxpayer's money being sent over to ungrateful, greedy regimes.

We send the money and as Hoosier said, we have no assurances that the money doesn't just go into the leader's pockets. Oil for food anyone????? Then if we do send the aid, we are criticized for not doing more. Screw'em

The people on the left will be whining that our government didn't go in and give the people relief from their circumstances and their dictators, however, when we did in other areas of the we never hear the end of it from the moonbats on the left. The name Sadaam ring a bell anywhere?

PatCA said...

America=Bad.

Write this on the blackboard one hundred times.

No mention of the tendency in these tin-port dictator totalitarian states for corruption. After all, this is the anti-American NYT.

Pogo said...

Thailand has sent aid already, and China is about to.

I hope so, and bully for them. It's best for neighbors to help; they know better what's truly needed. But we'll see. If true, bully for them; it indicates a real rise in living strandards for India and China. Less reliance on the US as Lord and Protector is a good thing. But we'll see.

I was thinking more about the ineffectual UN in my rant, which seems solely capable of providing on-site managers (and pedophiles) than anything real.

downtownlad said...

Well I plan on vacationing in Burma soon, so hopefully this will lower the prices and drive away the tourist crowds.

Pogo said...

Your presence alone always elicits that same result.

Martin Gale said...

According to the article, Thailand has sent aid already, and China is about to. I heard on the radio this morning that India had sent aid as well.

Ah yes, the usual shipments of rice soon to be rotting on some Burmese dock. Sadly, getting aid to places where it is actually needed will probably require the efforts of the U.S. Navy (as was the case after the Tsunami.) Only, it seems the arrogant hegemon is insisting that the relief efforts be for real and not just show. Bastards.

Palladian said...

"Well I plan on vacationing in Burma soon, so hopefully this will lower the prices and drive away the tourist crowds."

The boys must cheaper in Burma than in Thailand these days...

Kirk Parker said...

"No one is asking for anything like this except the United States."

See? Even Burmese political analysts acknowledge American Exceptionalism!

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's us, those engaged in the topic, who are bringing the level down.

With respect Victoria, who is this 'us' you speak of?

I personally don't consider myself in anyway, shape, or form remotely comparable to the hating fascists who lurk on Kos or HuffPo.

Just sayin

vbspurs said...

Just sayin

Understood. I'm sorry I tarred you with my rhetorical feather, Hoosier, but to make a point about the Blogosphere is by necessity, to include all of us -- that was my only point.

In fact, you see I ungrammatically included myself, because God knows I haven't always been Miss Manners, either.

Cheers,
Victoria

Hoosier Daddy said...

but to make a point about the Blogosphere is by necessity, to include all of us -- that was my only point.

I understand. After visiting HuffPo and Kos fairly regularly in the beginning, I just came to the conclusion that those people intellectually left the building with Elvis a long time ago.

amba said...

Comeback of the year, Pogo.

Pogo said...

amba,
I suspect it's not just his deodorant.

Maguro said...

I don't have a problem with disaster-relief oversight, but why is Laura Bush the spokeswoman for this policy? Shouldn't the State Department be speaking for the US government?

gophermomeh said...

DBQ - we do anyway. It's the right thing to do.

Revenant said...

we do anyway. It's the right thing to do.

The right thing to do is to help those in need. If the Myanmar junta refuses to let us do that, how is that our fault? What you would suggest we do -- invade and topple the government?

vbspurs said...

Maguro -- YEAH. No really, YEAH.

It goes to what we're speaking on that other thread, about First Ladies with influence, but I honestly don't remember how this came about:

Laura Bush also took the opportunity to condemn Myanmar's junta for its human rights record, as she has repeatedly since a violent crackdown on protests led by Buddhist monks last September.

Via Reuters.

WTF?

I like Laura Bush, as you guys know, but I did a double-take when I read that.

I know I've been out of it, but when the hell did she become Myanmar's Bianca Jagger?

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

P.S.: And WHY?!

/left-field

Dust Bunny Queen said...

we do anyway. It's the right thing to do.

Says Revenant "The right thing to do is to help those in need. If the Myanmar junta refuses to let us do that, how is that our fault? What you would suggest we do -- invade and topple the government?"

Thank you. Just what I said. :D

Revenant said...

Yeah, sorry for repeating your argument like that. :)

bearbee said...

I know I've been out of it, but when the hell did she become Myanmar's Bianca Jagger?

Laura Bush's Burmese Crusade

vbspurs said...

Bearbee, ahh...the woman angle.

"I don't think many Americans know about Burma. Darfur they know, because the press has covered it. But most Americans don't know about Aung San Suu Kyi. But that's the point of talking about it, to let people talk about it."

Laura would be a Hillary voter, if she were a Democrat.

Sorry, does that sound dismissive?

I don't mean to be of poor Aung San Suu Kyi, God knows. But I do find it typical of her generation, that it struck a chord with her that a woman crusader was involved)

Still, I'm glad personally for her that she's taking a stand, but I do think it's awkward for the First Lady to be changing the goal posts this late in the game.

Cheers,
Victoria

bearbee said...

Along with teaching and education, she has championed other woman angle causes.

Laura Bush Carries Pet Causes to Afghans

First Lady's Middle East Trip Focuses on Breast Cancer

George said...

A spokesman for the Indian Meteorological Department revealed yesterday that it had given Burma two days’ warning of Cyclone Nargis.